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August 26, 2013
High performance, sustainable design earn Wadena High School LEED Gold status
Kraus-Anderson rebuilt the high school destroyed by 2010 tornado
Minneapolis, Minn. (August 2013) – Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School has been awarded the prestigious LEED Gold certification from the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council). The achievement recognizes projects that are designed, constructed and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. The school was rebuilt following a devastating category E4 twister that wiped out 20 city blocks of Wadena, Minn. on June 17, 2010. Designed by Perkins + Will Architects and built by Kraus-Anderson Construction (KA), the new 174,000-square-foot high school opened September 4, 2012 and houses 800 students in grades 5-12.
To earn the elite LEED Gold award, buildings must demonstrate performance standards that include sustainable site developments, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Design elements in Wadena High School’s new $30 million building feature geothermal heating and cooling, a high-efficiency displacement ventilation system for quiet teaching spaces with excellent indoor air quality, and a design that harvests daylight and distributes natural light deep within the building. The school’s storm water management features rain gardens with native plantings, and an outdoor community garden agriculture program that supports the district’s sustainable curriculum.
The new school is considered a “high performance” school, incorporating design systems meant to improve the learning environment while saving energy, resources and money over the life cycle of the building. High performance buildings have been demonstrated to drive higher attendance, higher test scores, increased teacher satisfaction and retention, and reduced operating costs.
The school also features a two-story academic wing with 21 classrooms on each floor, a lecture hall, small theater, student commons, gymnasium, walking/running track, media center and the latest technology, including WiFi, smartboards and three-dimensional labs. The school design reflects the input of school administrators, faculty, students and members of the community.
KA provided oversight of construction materials to ensure that they matched those specified for LEED goals, and maintained recycling processes for construction debris on the jobsite. The project greatly exceeded the goal of recycling 75 percent of construction debris, with a total of over 95 percent of construction debris recycled.
Successful collaboration among the construction and design teams, along with a highly competitive bidding environment, enabled the school to add value to the facility with several material enhancements. Terrazzo flooring and tile wainscoting in the corridors will add durability over the school’s life cycle.
Moreover, the school’s new $1 million safe room is the latest word in durability. The first such space in the six-state region, the 6,547-square-foot amenity is a combination auxiliary gym, community event space and multipurpose area that can also shelter up to 1,100 students and community residents in the event of another tornado. The safe room is built to withstand the forces of an E5 tornado, up to 250 mph. Climatologists say that magnitude can be expected to breeze through the region once every 35 years.
KA was also able to help the school secure a $950,000 FEMA grant to build the facility.
Established in 1897, Kraus-Anderson® Construction Company (www.www.krausanderson.com)
is one of the nation’s premier commercial general contractors and construction managers. KA continues to lead the field of regional education construction projects and is currently ranked 7th 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, having completed over 200 K-12 projects totaling over $700 million in the past five years. Kraus-Anderson, an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and has regional offices in Madison, Wis., Minot, N.D., and Duluth, Bemidji and Rochester Minn.