Kasson-Mantorville High School
This school currently has approximately 600 students in grades 9-12; Dodge County will grow by 28.6% over the next 30 years, making it the fourth-fastest growing county in Minnesota, and this growth resulted in a need for expansion.
A 66,000 square foot, two-story addition at the high school included an 800-seat auditorium, kitchen/building services area, a commons/cafeteria space for 350 students, administrative areas, S.T.E.M. classroom additions, and a 200-seat forum room. A fixed gym seating on the second floor with seating for 1,400 people and the existing media center received an addition and renovation as well.
Approximately 58,000 square feet of renovations occurred throughout the high school with upgrades in the music wing, the family and consumer science rooms, and the art room. The industrial arts wing received an addition and renovation, and part of the renovation also included a new fitness center.
The precast manufacturer proudly worked on the auditorium portion of this project, placing over 34,000 square feet of 50’ insulated wall panels boasting a beautiful mix of thin brick.
“With the project in a rural setting, there were significant implications on the image of the school and the community itself. Therefore, the design challenge was to tie together two large, distinctly defined building elements into a cohesive, yet compelling composition. The selection of precast and the close collaboration with the precast producer enabled this to be achieved. The theater was fully clad with embedded thin brick in gray and black banding and the angled top of the precast walls extended up above the roof line to unify the high roof of the stage fly loft with the lower roof of the seating. The result was a singular, textural element juxtaposed to the transparency of the adjacent Commons space.”
-Sarah Fox, Lead Designer, ATS&R
“The 50’ tall panels went up fast compared to CMU construction and with winter coming up the schedule was everything. The thin brick cast on the panels looks great!! The producer adjusted the production schedule to accommodate steel installation on an early phase to maintain existing envelope to beat the winter weather. The thermal performance of the panels really helped our temp heating costs as well.”
–Aaron Benike | President, Benike Construction
“The design called for 50-foot walls for the auditorium space. Using precast allowed for thinner walls and a narrower foundation, and sped up erection time,” said Leo Schaefers, PE, the Structural Engineer of Record. “Speed was important during construction, because it was being done in November in the Upper Midwest, where weather can be a major factor at that time of year. If traditional masonry walls had been specified, the contractor would have been challenged with winter construction issues.”
“The producer’s professionalism was second to none. We had a very tight schedule to follow, which the producer met to perfection. The unique precast design developed into the most beautiful performing arts auditorium in Southern Minnesota.”
–Mark D. Matuska, Superintendent, Kasson-Mantorville Schools
- 102 members of precast provided:
- Wall Panel (6-3-3) = 75 members, 27,483 SF
- 8” Solid Wall Panel = 25 members, 7,045 SF
The height of panels ranged from +/-43ft up to 53ft on the high side, so that each panel along length of auditorium was cast to a different height
Early in the process, the designers chose precast concrete wall panels because of the tight construction schedule and concern about construction falling within the cold Minnesota winter season.
Wells Concrete’s engineered framing system minimized the detail design work and shortened overall construction time when compared with traditional construction methods. The thin brick finishes eliminate jobsite requisition of masonry materials, scaffold and labor, as well as related safety risks. The pre-finished interior face delivered ready for painting, rendering obsolete time-consuming finish work like furring and drywall. Finally, since all precast pieces were manufactured and self- contained, there was no jobsite waste, excising disposal and landfill costs.
Precast was a great solution for the tall walls at the stage area of the auditorium. The precast producer designed the concrete elements using loading information from the structural engineer.
The design called for 50-foot walls for the auditorium space. Using precast allowed for thinner walls and a narrower foundation, and sped up erection time. Speed was important during construction, because it was being done in November in the Upper Midwest, where weather can be a major factor at that time of year. If traditional masonry walls had been specified, the contractor would have been challenged with winter construction issues.
The fire code required the auditorium to be completely separate from the classroom construction. Back to back load baring wall panels provided the adequate 3-hour fire separation.
The design used two different brick types including Endicott and Belden. The mixed textures played well against each other with the slight differences in color and texture.
50’ high load bearing precast wall panels surrounded the theater and fly loft stage.
High Performance Attributes
Spray foaming the insulated precast wall panel joints bridged the gap and provided continuous edge to edge insulation, creating an uninterrupted thermal envelope.
The use of precast for this project reduced energy costs significantly versus traditional construction. The insulated wall panels featured an extremely low thermal transmission rate while eradicating cold spots. In addition, the thermal mass effect produced by the concrete construction results in higher insulating R-values.
The 50’ insulated wall panel has no cavities where moisture condensation and mold growth can occur which demonstrate resistance to fire and superior sound absorption capabilities. The resistance to mold and mildew provide a healthier learning environment, while the insulation properties enhance energy efficiency.