The new International Magnet School for Global Citizenship has opened in South Windsor, Conn., with the mission of creating a better world through education. As part of the Capitol Region Education Council, the school will foster the education and development of 530 students from pre-K through fifth grade. CREC is a non-profit, regional educational organization serving 35 public school districts in the greater Hartford, Conn. area.

According to project architect, Joseph Culotta, Perkins Eastman, of Stamford, Conn., designed the school to emphasize and integrate the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The International Baccalaureate is a highly respected foundation offering four programs of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

The 65,000 square foot facility is located in a suburban area with nearby pockets of rural countryside. After reviewing a series of design options, the design team settled on a prevailing theme that would create a “village” type of configuration that blended architecturally with existing buildings in the neighborhood. “We broke down the massing with four structures that are connected together at the school’s media center, which serves as the hub of the design,” Culotta said.

The three-story, circular media center is roofed with Petersen Aluminum’s 16-inch Snap-Clad metal panels that were segmented to create the radius. In addition to the media center, the pitched roofs on the four adjoining structures also use Snap-Clad panels. More than 22,000 square feet of Snap-Clad .040 aluminum panels finished in Hartford Green, and Dark Bronze was installed.

“Metal was determined to be the roofing material of choice fairly early in the process,” said Culotta. “There are a lot of barns in the area. Many of them have metal standing-seam roofs and zoning requirements stipulate that any portion of the building facing a major street must have a pitched roof. There are 12/12 pitches everywhere. So, we opted to reference the local area with metal in two colors that complemented the brick and [concrete masonry] façade.” Culotta noted the only design challenges were reconciling the pitched roof and the size of the school, and detailing where the pitched roof came into the flat roof portions of the building.

According to President Bruce Raulukaitis, installation of the PAC-CLAD material was done by The Imperial Co. in Cromwell, Conn., which has considerable experience with Petersen, and uses Snap-Clad most of the time. “The job went very well. We used 30-foot panels, and it was relatively straight forward overall. Although, the segmented panels took a little time. We had to tie into some valleys that were somewhat difficult. We worked out all of the details with the construction manager and the architect, all coming together in the end as a great looking job.”

"Everybody loves it. We even get lots of positive feedback directly from the students about how much they like going to school there,” said Architect, Joseph Culotta.

The school principal, Cindy Rigling, said, “The CREC International Magnet School community is passionate, collaborative, and one hundred percent committed to the success of our students. The move into our new home means that we will be able to offer our teachers and students the very best resources and learning tools.”

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