South Fayette mulls design elements for new school

Published Jan 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm (Updated Jan 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm)

Design aspects of the new South Fayette Intermediate Elementary School were discussed at a committee meeting of school directors on Jan. 15.

Tricia Monaco, interior designer at Eckles Architecture, presented samples of fabrics, paint and flooring school directors could consider for the new building, which is set to open next fall. Monaco talked about the color schemes that may be used for the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) rooms in the new school. She also showed the board drawings of what the STEAM rooms could look like, featuring brightly-colored walls, soft seating and brightly-colored flooring. The design of the rooms was inspired by the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

Monaco also brought samples of the furniture, including desks and chairs, that the board could choose from for the new building. She discussed the design of the flooring for one of the STEAM rooms, which was called the LEGO room, which featured precision-cut VCT tiles in primary colors. Superintendent Dr. Bille Rondinelli said that the floor may not end up with the custom tiles because of cost and the fact that the tiles would have to be precision-cut.

“The purpose of these (STEAM) rooms is to inspire students,” said intermediate elementary school Principal Greg Wensell. Bob Naugle of Eckles Architecture added that they are really looking to have the STEAM rooms stand out in the school. “We want that wow factor,” Naugle said, calling the STEAM rooms the “showplace of the building.”

Board members stressed that no decision has been made on the design of any of the rooms in the new building and further discussion will have to be held.

Joe Brennan of P.J. Dick updated the board on the progress of construction of the new school. He said they are about a year into the project and are looking for it to be finished in July. The total balance to finish the project is about $10.8 million, Brennan said.

Brennan added the door frames and windows are being installed and the masonry on the outside of the building should be completed in about a month. He added that about 90 percent of the roof is complete and the main gas line has been installed. Ceramic tile work will begin in the restrooms in about two weeks and the kitchen framing has begun.

Brennan talked about a change order that the board will consider approving at its next meeting. The change order is for $7,601, but since the project has had a negative $2,000 in change orders, the net of the change order is about $5,500. The change order is for magnetic door hold-opens for the doors in the school, so that the doors may be open in the stair wells, allowing students to freely use the stairs without having to constantly open the doors.

The magnetic door hold-opens are fire-rated, Brennan said, so that the doors will automatically close if the fire alarms sound. Bob Naugle of Eckles said the magnetic pieces should have been included in the original design. “We recommend that they be there,” he said. He added that because the change order was a design omission, Eckles will charge the district a fee on it.

The board is scheduled to take a tour of the new building on Feb. 9.

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