Prefabrication Solutions for Public Charter Schools
National Charter School Week begins May 6th, 2012. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the national nonprofit organization working to grow the number of high-quality charter schools available to all families, and especially those who do not have access to high-quality public schools. Charter schools are independent public schools providing families with a new set of public school options. What began as a small movement in a couple of states has grown to become a major force in education reform. Charter School operators face unique challenges in terms of having the learning space they need to carry out their missions. Over the course of many years we have spoken to many professionals in educational facility planning, and we believe we can contribute value to Charter Schools in terms of providing information about high quality learning environments accessible to them.
Regularly, they are seeking a solution to a complex set of facility space problems. Most often, they are seeking a sustainable plan to provide best in class teaching spaces for the long term.
Among the challenges they tell us:
“Our enrollments can and do change over time we add a grade a year.”
“Speed of construction is critical for a number of factors.”
“We have a time definite occupancy, e.g. we must be occupied by Sept 1st.”
“Temporary stock classroom is being considered, because it meets the timeline, but it does not meet our funding requirements. Also “trailers” are a short term band aid, and a sunk cost!”
“We do not want our children learning in inferior learning spaces.”
“The potential always exists for space needed at another school down the road.”
We have found that by using repeatable systems, which have been successful in the past, we have reduced the time and costs in pre construction, and have unleashed savings without sacrificing building quality. Our buildings can also provide flexibility of financing and leasing, as well as 100% re use, while satisfying the all important requirement of quality. I want to share three telling examples of how, when people open their eyes to the benefits of adding a level of “prefabrication” as a solution to their facility space problems, they find amazing results.
Pictured: Whole School Solution – Permanent School Building – Six Month Construction Process
Pictures by NRB Inc.
The gymnasium shown below, is 64’ x 42’ with a rear, outside deck, and 16’ in height from the floor to underside of roof trusses. The floor was constructed at the factory, 8 floor sections, 42 feet long, to make up the multi-purpose room, and the rear outside deck. They were shipped to and stacked on site, off loaded with a crane and set on the piers. The surrounding modules were then set in place.
The roof trusses were also fabricated off-site and shipped. They rested atop columns, which were set atop the end walls of the building modules. “Stub” walls with windows and the end walls of the room were then site fabricated to close off under the trusses. All finishes were site installed.
Of the building example pictured above, two whole schools were started in March, delivered in June, and occupied in September for the start of the school year.
See example/solution number two in a video below:
See example/solution number three in a video by Perkins & Will Architecture below:
Article written By Glenn Cort – VP at Triumph Modular.