Miller-Driscoll design renderings, portable classroom update

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Design renderings for the Miller-Driscoll renovation project were presented to the Board of Education during its May 28 meeting.
“The scope reflected in the drawings is virtually identical to the scope of the construction [in] the conceptual drawings, ” Miller-Driscoll Building Committee co-Chair Karen Birck told the board.
After the project’s conceptual plans were approved by the education board and signed off by the state, said senior architect Randall Luther, of Tai Soo Kim, they underwent a cursory review for “a lot of the administrative paperwork issues and [to] check for things relevant to temporary classrooms.”
“From there, we took them for what’s called a local review, where they were reviewed by building, fire and health for accessibility components to ensure that the design met all the requirements,” he said.
“Once that was all checked off, the sign-off for that went back to the state and they signed off in it.”
The committee will come back to the board with completed construction documents, said Luther, and “at that time, we will need the board’s approval.”


Luther said the use of colored construction paper in student art projects inspired him to color-code different areas of the school to not only make it easier for parents to identify locations of the school from the outside, but also make it more fun and less intimidating for students.
“They color-code the pods [now], but it’s not reflected on the outside of the building,” he said. “I thought maybe we could use that to generate an image to the building that’s a lot more playful.”
While Luther was playing around with this idea, there were groups in town that were concerned about skylights — “that’s where the spark came,” he said.
“We [can] take these folded roof shades that are folded pieces of paper in concept and cover up those skylights, so instead we have horizontal clerestory windows and no skylights,” said Luther.
“That way we still bring in light, and at the same time provide visual images both on the inside and outside that makes it feel like something other than a huge strip mall.”
Luther said these colored shades — or “kites” — would help “bring the scale down, solve a technical problem” and make the building “more interesting.”
His “very simple idea of a folded piece of paper” also became the design for an easily identifiable canopy above the school’s main entrance — which Luther pointed out is currently hard to find.


Luther said furniture is starting to be laid out for a typical classroom for two primary reasons — to “test the budget” and make sure there is enough space for anticipated furniture and equipment.
Existing classroom footprints will remain the same, said Luther, but all finishes will be replaced.
“The rooms are a little bit on the small side, so [storage is] the biggest improvement we’ve been able to make to the classrooms,” he said. “In this age group, there’s no such thing as too much storage.”
In Miller-Driscoll’s current pod classrooms, Luther said, there are “little areas, primarily used for mechanical space.”
With the new mechanical system, these spaces no longer need to be used for mechanical space, he said, “so we are able to recapture that space in all the pods, so virtually every classroom will have storage pods.”

Portable classrooms

Construction manager Ty Tregellas, of Turner Construction, updated the board on the status of the portable classrooms, which, he said, “would enable the rest of the construction process.”
After getting the state’s approval to go out to bid, said Tregellas, the committee did just that and initially received bids from four companies.
Tregellas said the bids ultimately came down to two companies — ModSpace and Triumph Modular.
“ModSpace was the lower bidder and the budget ... came in at $747,000,” he said. “We made a slight adjustment, so we’re $46,000 under budget.”
Tai Soo Kim prepared the floor plan for the portable classrooms, said Tregellas.
“The skirting at the bottom is added after they’re installed. The siding is pretty much complete, and then they just go together on site,” he said. “We’re in the process of confirming] exactly how they’re going to build them.”
Before the ModSpace temporary classrooms are shipped, Luther said, “we will go and inspect them” to make sure the interior is what they expect.
As for the temporary classroom windows, Luther said, he did modify the specifications and increased the size of the windows slightly.
Unlike a photo the committee showed the board of a ModSpace portable classroom, the ones that will be used at Miller-Driscoll will be fully enclosed with corridors connected to the exit doors.
“No one will go outside to get back and forth between the portables,” said Luther.
The portable classroom construction is set to begin after school lets out for summer break.