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April 22, 2014

Innovative Design and Bidding Process Saves Money

April 2014 – With help from The Hayes Design Group – Architects, construction bids for the Wilson Elementary School project in the West Allegheny School District came in $400,000 under budget, with final bids totaling $12.5 million. Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed in August 2015.

The building renovation includes a complete reconfiguration of the educational and administrative spaces and an upgrade to the gymnasium and natatorium. The new building layout includes secured individual classrooms and incorporates “daylighting” concepts to bring natural light into interior spaces that are not adjacent to exterior walls. Studies have shown that an abundance of natural light in a classroom setting has been proven to advance student performance. There will also be newly dedicated spaces for a cafeteria, library and large group instruction.

Additions to the school will include new district administrative offices, new entrance towers and a canopy along the bus drop-off area. The administrative offices addition includes a large multifunctional space that will be used as a professional training center for the District staff and bimonthly School Board meetings. “There was no clear entrance to the building; so we designed the entrance towers to give them identity and provide a more secured building access,” said Mark Duane, a Senior Associate with The Hayes Design Group.

“We collaborated with West Allegheny School District to determine the best solution within its budget,” said Duane. “Our objective was to create a design that both looks and functions well, with a focus on designing systems and incorporating products and materials that have proven track records and will provide the District with a building that should last another 50 years.”

The Hayes Design Group also developed cost-effective and sustainable strategies for the school’s renovations including replacement of mechanical and electrical systems with higher energy efficient systems. The building will also have automated digital controls for lighting and HVAC systems, and all the lighting in the building and on the site will feature high-efficiency LED. The building’s windows, doors and roofs will be replaced with more energy-efficient ones. Additionally, the entire building will have state of the art audio-visual technology and wireless capabilities.

Dr. John DiSanti, superintendent of West Allegheny School District, added, “The goal of this project was to modernize an antiquated building through a creative and cost effective architectural design. This design will enable the District to meet the Educational Programming needs of students and staff while providing functional space for the District Administration, Professional Development Training Center and Board of Education. The architectural design and engineering will maximize energy efficiencies, security and educational climate.”

The Wilson Elementary and McKee Elementary School projects were featured in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article “West Allegheny School District to Eliminate Open Classrooms” on May 1, 2014.  Visit the link below to read more:

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