The Leander Independent School District needed to maintain a fast-track schedule to adhere to budget constraints and open an energy efficient, durable facility for fall classes. The district and design team also desired an aesthetic effect that would match the current buildings of the University of Texas campus in Austin. This required blended colored brick and a recessed Flemish brick band. Much to the satisfaction of the entire team and community, the 176,000-square-foot school opened in August 2006.
The school district used the cost-effective Tilt-Up method because of its structural integrity, improved wind and fire resistance and mold elimination. The Tilt-Up elements used include spandrel panels, false beams, flat panel base and corners, and quoined pillars. Several innovative methods were applied using Tilt-Up. The three-story interior corridor walls created bearing for the second floor, mechanical platforms and the roof structure. A stepped panel corner detail mutes the impact of the caulked corner joint and provides for continuity of the insulation around each corner.
Care was required in the coordination of bracing for the parallel corridor walls, the fire walls and the elevator shaft walls. Some slabs were used three times for casting the three-story corridor side, the two-story corridor side and the exterior insulated panels. Cranes were also used on the slabs to facilitate panel erection.
Because no paint could be used for the exterior of the building, a special concrete mix was used for the exterior panels that included a mixture of special white sand, washed river sand and limestone aggregate.
Sandblasting was key to the visual outcome of the project. When sandblasted, the special concrete created a soft tan color. This project was completed below median cost and also below the average of the lowest-cost quarter of all tracked middle schools in the area.
Leander, TX 78641
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