The Rochester (Minn.) Public Schools District teamed up with LHB on a $171.4 million bond referendum to ask the voters to construct three elementary schools and a middle school. The first of the schools completed was Overland Elementary, which was designed to be a welcoming, safe and long-lasting building for the students, staff and community.

 To help ensure the facility would stand the test of time, copper Flat Lock Tiles from Sheet Metal Supply of Grayslake, Ill., were specified and installed on the school.
 “The community and district stakeholders wanted a building that would feature ample light, was functional, timeless and energy efficient,” says Kelly Martinez, AIA, CID, LEED AP, BC+C, project architect at LHB of Minneapolis. “The copper Flat Lock Tiles were chosen due to their durability and longevity, creating a lowlife cycle cost. Once on the building, they should be virtually maintenance free for the life of the school. They will also provide a changing aesthetic for several years, as they patina over time.
 “The tiles define the main community areas of the building, such as the entry and cafeteria, media center, and group learn areas of each classroom wing.”
 Innovative Building Concepts of Burnsville, Minn., worked with Sheet Metal Supply to optimize the tile size for both production and economic efficiency while maintaining the originally intended aesthetic.
 “When it comes to aesthetic durability, there are few materials that can rival copper’s natural qualities, making it ideal for wall cladding installations,” says Ben Kweton, CSI-EP, Vice President of Sheet Metal Supply. “Alloys are great materials to use for facades due to their durability, recyclability and interesting natural reaction to their environment to create a pleasing patina. Innovative Building Concepts was a great company to work with and we were able to fabricate their tiles within a few weeks.”
 Innovative Building Concepts installed more than 13,000 square feet of 16-ounce copper Fla tLock Tiles from Sheet Metal Supply.
 “The system is really simple to work with the way Sheet Metal Supply gives it to us,” says Derek Halla, Estimator at Innovative Building Concepts. “Two adjacent sides of each tile fold over the tiles next to them and the other two sides fold under and they’re fastened with a clip.
 “Tome, the entrance really stands out on this project. The copper, the sloped soffits, it is quite unique; not your ordinary school.”
 Halla says as a precaution, anyone handling or installing the copper wore latex gloves to prevent anyone from leaving fingerprints on the tiles, which can leave marks on the copper that would endure until a natural or forced patina takes over.
 The new school, designed to serve more than 700 students, features three two-story classroom wings with support areas that include flexible space for small group instruction, student collaboration and project-based learning. The main entry opens to the cafeteria and the core of the building with shared spaces such as the gymnasium, art and music rooms, and auxiliary support spaces for classes and the community.
 Creating an energy-efficient and healthy building were among the project goals. Special care was used when choosing the HVAC system, daylighting and building materials to best provide a healthy and sustainable environment for the students.
 “Every occupied space in the building has a sight line to the exterior,” says Kevin Holm, AIA, Project Principal at LHB. “The copper is an eye-catching piece on the exterior that frames much of that exterior glass. It will be fun for the community to watch it change over time.
 “This project was a great collaboration between the Rochester School District, Rochester community, staff, parents, CRW Architecture and Design group, our local design partner, and Knutson Construction, the CMa on the project. We’re excited about the building and site and believe it will be an asset to the community for years to come.”