Kraus-Anderson to build 2nd K-8 special ed school for District 916
New Pankalo Education Center in Lake Elmo to provide unique
health setting for children with behavioral disorders and autism
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (April 2016) – Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest commercial general contractors and construction managers, has been selected to build a new $22 million K-8 special education school for Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916. A groundbreaking ceremony for Pankalo Education Center located at 8568 Eagle Point Blvd. in Lake Elmo, Minn. will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 3 at the site.
Construction on the 76,000-square-foot school will begin at the end of April 2016 and is expected to be completed in August of 2017.
Northeast Metro ISD 916 provides programs for students who display autism spectrum disorders (ASD), developmental cognitive disabilities (DCD), emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD), and other health disabilities.
The project is part of the district’s strategic facilities plan, which includes construction of a consolidated K-8 facility in the northwest part of the district (Karner Blue Education Center); a consolidated K-8 facility in the southeast part of the district (Pankalo); and replacement of the existing Capitol View Center, built in 1958, with a purpose-built facility.
Karner Blue Education Center opened in 2014 as the first known school of its kind to serve children with specific disorders. Kraus-Anderson partnered with BWBR to design and construct the unique facility and is working with the district on plans for Capitol View Center.
“We are very excited to begin the second step in ISD 916’s facilities plan, which has focused on creating space designed to enhance learning of students with exceptional needs and to address challenges these students face in traditionally designed environments,” said ISD 916 Superintendent Connie Hayes. “Pankalo will replicate the successes we are seeing at Karner Blue so we are better able to serve the students who our member districts enroll.”
Pankalo Education Center
Designed by BWBR, Pankalo Education Center will serve students with ASD, DCD and EBD, disorders that challenge students to be successful in their home districts. BWBR, whose architectural specialties include behavioral health, education and secure environments, designed the school as a Healing Learning Environment — national prototype for students with special health needs.
Until now, most special education classrooms have been retrofitted from conventional classrooms, which, for ISD 916, included a patchwork of owned and leased spaces throughout the school district’s northeast metropolitan suburbs. The new facility’s innovative design supports the students’ unique learning styles and behavioral and mental health needs, including speech language and various related services.
A Healing Learning Environment is more than a place for students to learn. It is a center that acknowledges the extraordinary needs of children with mental and behavioral challenges. The design departs from traditional school floor plans by creating pods of learning communities, developing more open and daylit spaces that assist faculty and support the students as they learn life skills of self-regulation, coping, communication, self-efficacy and socialization.
The goal is to help students find success in an education setting. The open design empowers students to flow through the space, while providing staff the ability to maintain sight and control.
The name “Pankalo” comes from a combination of the Greek words pan and kalos, which means complete beauty. The name ties into the vision for the school — “Empowering students through creativity” — and will use elements from the arts to support learning and enhance cognitive abilities, facilitate identity formation and self-esteem, foster a physically and emotionally safe environment, as well as support individual expression and communication.
The educational philosophy and focus on the creative arts will provide students with a palette of activities that will:
• allow students to grow academically, socially, and personally, while tapping into their creativity
• allow unique learners to access core content academics in creative ways
• provide a calming and creative atmosphere
• connect educational philosophies to the arts, helping students build relationships between their inner and outer worlds
• give students tools for communication, appropriate emotional release and self-regulation
• utilize the Compassionate School Model
Kraus-Anderson continues to lead the field of regional education construction projects and is currently ranked eighth in the nation in the construction of K-12 facilities by Building Design and Construction magazine. The company also remains the top construction manager of education facilities in the region.
Pankalo is the fourth project in a recent partnership between Kraus-Anderson and BWBR, which brings innovative solutions to health and education settings. In addition to Karner Blue, projects include Regions Hospital Inpatient Mental Health Center in Saint Paul, Minn. and the Early Childhood Family Center in Stillwater, Minn.
“We could not take on such major transformational building initiatives if it were not for our great partners, Kraus-Anderson and BWBR,” said Hayes. “Our member districts look to Northeast Metro 916 with trusted experience. So does our leadership look to our partners for that same quality.”
Northeast Metro ISD 916 includes 14 partners from Centennial, Columbia Heights, Mahtomedi, Mounds View, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, Roseville, South Washington County, Spring Lake Park, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Fridley, St. Francis and St. Anthony-New Brighton school districts. With students referred to ISD 916 from partner districts, the demands have been growing for the specialized services ISD 916 provides.
Established in 1897, Kraus-Anderson® Construction Company (www.krausanderson.com) is one of the nation’s premier commercial general contractors and construction managers. Kraus-Anderson, an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and has regional offices in Madison, Wis., Bismarck, N.D., and Duluth, Bemidji and Rochester Minn.