Improving aesthetics and acoustics, a Kansas high school uses Rockfon ceilings throughout its new and renovated spaces.
Salina Central High School, Salina, KS, celebrated the completion of its expansion and renovation project in March 2018. Originally constructed in 1952, the facility had not received many improvements through the decades. Maintaining the school’s sense of history, DLR Group, Overland Park, KS, and Jones Gillam Renz Architects, Salina, designed an updated and larger facility to provide more space and modern features to better serve the 1,000 students in grades 9 through12.
Blending new construction with renovated areas, Chicago-based Rockfon ceiling systems were installed throughout the 60,000-sq.-ft. school. The high school now encompasses renovated computer labs, commons, and athletics areas; a new auxiliary gym that doubles as a storm shelter; new art, theater, and music areas; new administrative offices, along with a career and technical education center; and new science and drama classrooms. On average, 700 to 800 sq. ft. was added to each classroom along with the new ceilings.
“Being that a major goal of the project was modernizing a dated building, we needed a ceiling that was aesthetically clean and modern looking. At the end of the day, this is a school, so things like maintenance, sound reduction, quality, and longevity are critical,” explained Ian Kilpatrick, DLR Group architect.
Addressing each of these ceiling requirements, Rockfon’s district manager Jim Frasca noted, “Rockfon Artic acoustic stone-wool ceiling panels, baffles, and islands offer a durable, low-maintenance, quality system; a good Noise Reduction Coefficient; a nice, white, smooth finish; and a high-end look at an economical price. In addition, our 2-inch Infinity perimeter trim creates a neat, clean edge for the ceilings.”
Kilpatrick agreed and added, “A great advantage of Rockfon’s product offerings is that we were largely able to provide one manufacturer of ceilings throughout the entire facility, while still incorporating many different ceiling solutions.”
For the majority of the classrooms, hallways, offices, and commons areas, Artic acoustic stone-wool ceiling panels with a square edge were the approved solution. These panels, in either 2-by-2 or 2-by-4-ft. sizes, were suspended within the company’s Metallic 1200 series 15/16-in. grid, and finished with Infinity 2-in. engineered perimeter trim.
In the stairwells, Contour stone-wool, frameless acoustic baffles help control the noise of students passing between classes. Also helping optimize acoustics and daylight, Island acoustic stone-wool panels were directly mounted to the ceiling of the art-education area and the new two-story media center. The 4-by-4-ft. sized, white panels not only provide high sound absorption, but also diffuse and reflect as much as 86% of light to reduce energy demands.
Beyond performance, principal Nate Showman called the media center’s interior a “showstopper.” It serves as the hub of the high school, and remains open late for students to work on projects and accommodate after-school meetings.
“It was a giant collaborative effort from top to bottom making sure that this thing went as smoothly as possible,” said Matt Hohn, senior superintendent at McCownGordon Construction, Kansas City, KS. The high school’s completed project cost approximately $31 million and took nearly two years. Construction began in 2016 and continued in coordinated phases through 2018.
At the ribbon-cutting celebration, Principal Showman told the Salina Journal, “This project was a complex renovation of a huge and remarkable building, and it took place while school was in session. Our teachers, office staff, instructional assistants, and maintenance team have worked tirelessly to ensure that our students had a clean, safe, and inviting instructional environment to come to each day. They have packed and unpacked multiple times and have seen their building change right before their eyes.”
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