The cirriculum at Santa Monica, CA's Edison Language Academy is anything but ordinary, and the school's multi-purpose room door is pretty unusual too. It's a 37’-2” x 13’-2.5” custom-made glass designer door from Schweiss Doors of Fairfax, MN.
Edison Language Academy is a bilingual magnet school where students learn, speak, read and write in Spanish and English simultaneously. The school also offers English as a Second Language courses for adults.
Since its opening 25 years ago, the school has grown from a small, ethnically/racially isolated neighborhood school with low achievement scores to a vibrant and diverse school with scores substantially above the state designation of high performing schools. Edison regularly has long waiting lists for students applying for Kindergarten and has an active and involved parent community.
Edison began a new chapter in its history with construction of a new state-of-the-art school facility in 2011-2012. Edison remains a K-5 elementary school, but the new facility offers more space for the growing enrollment and programs.
During the design phase, the project's planning team decided it would be nice to have a large access door along one wall of the building's multi-purpose room, expanding the range of options for the space's use. The Liftstrap Bifold door from Schweiss proved the perfect choice.
The door is raised and lowered with the help of eight liftstraps and a top-drive electric motor. In the open position the door provides access to a courtyard space from two different areas. The safety of youngsters was factored into the door's design. It was outfitted with electric photo eye sensors, a door base safety edge, warning lights and horns and an emergency back-up hand crank. It is also equipped with top overrides and side latch jiggle switches.
Swinerton Builders of Los Angeles was awarded the contract to build the new school while McKendry Door Sales of Cerritos, CA was in charge of the installation of the door. The glass panels for it came from Architectural Glass & Aluminum Company (AGA) of Irvine, CA. The glass chosen for the project was a 1"-thick insulated PPG glass with an SN54 low-E coating that gives the glass a blue tint.
“Everything there, I thought, went pretty good," recalled Taylor Christianson, AGA Project Manager for the academy job. "The hardest thing for us was figuring how to put the glass on the door, but we came up with a solution. Brent, at the Schweiss offices did the shop drawings and was great to work with and gave us a quick turnaround.”
Christianson said he would recommend Schweiss doors to others and actually shared details with another glazing contractor in New York.
To see more on this project on the Schweiss Doors website, click here.