Home About Awards Events News Resources Certification Projects Construction Tilt-Up Products Directory login

Santa Fe Middle School

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements?

The $63M Santa Fe Middle School Building broke ground in Nov 2022 and was completed in the Spring of 2024. The building will replace an existing middle school that was originally building in 1968 and featured 3 additions/expansions throughout the years. Olathe School District is an urban school district and planned the replacement of Santa Fe Middle School as a part of their 2022 bond to upgrade district schools. The building footprint is approximately 236' x 600'. The exterior walls are load bearing, non-composite insulated, tilt up panels which also act as longitudinal shear walls.

The project site for the middle school was extremely tight with existing operating middle school on west side and residential housing on the east side and a steep slope on the north side of the project. Access to the project was limited to and from the South side of the project The project had originally been planned for precast construction. With less than 50 feet between the building footprint and existing building Lithko worked with Newkirk Novak the GC to figure out a casting and erection sequence to make tilt-up feasible. Casting the insulated 31' panels were a logistical challenge. To make this project a success casting took place in 3 sequences to pour and erect all the panels for the building. Portions of the building Slabs were left out to utilize the building footprint for crane access and erection. The crane would lift the panels which would in turn create a path for the crane to travel inside the building footprint. The casting slab would be repaired or recast between sequences of pours and lifts as the usable area for casting diminished with each sequence.

Adding to the intricacies of the panels, the architectural design made each wall panel unique, requiring different thin brick layouts and formwork for each. The exterior surface of the panels was majority covered with 3 different colors of thin brick, both wrapping and returning into windows and return legs of the panels. Specific brick pattern layouts were created to help assist in the placement of the bricks where one color of thin brick dissolved into another color of brick at the entrance of the building.

The summer weather during construction was a challenge. Early morning pours could not be performed due to the proximity of the surrounding residential neighborhood. Hot weather concrete methods were used to keep the heat of hydration down and limit shrinkage cracks.

The existing Santa Fe Middle school building was scheduled for demolition shortly after the new begins it first school year in the fall of 2024.

Main banner image for Santa Fe Middle School

Project Location

Olathe, KS 66061
United States

Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Needham DBS

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Middle School
Brick (Thin)
Paint (Textured)
Angled Panels (Plan-Orientation/Position)
Shadow Panels
Sandwich Panel (Non-Composite)
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
169 panels
Total Floor Area:
107,000 sq ft (9,940 sq m)
Project Footprint:
145,000 sq ft (13,471 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
30 ft 9 in (9.37 m)
Widest Panel:
22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)
Largest Panel:
638 sq ft (59.3 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
79,000 lbs (35,834 kg)