Administrators at Guilford High School in Rockford, Ill., wanted their new 56,000-square-foot fieldhouse addition, built on a surface parking lot near the school, to offer upgraded facilities for students in all athletic areas.
The facility would include a 160-meter track with three basketball courts, a new entrance to the school’s swimming pool, a weight room, concession stands, athletic offices, and storage space.
They wanted the facility to feature an architectural style that complemented the existing school while also meeting a tight construction schedule.
Designers specified insulated precast concrete panels with 4 inches of insulation sandwiched between two withes of concrete to create 12-inch-thick panels. The exterior side of the panels was finished with inset thin brick to match the existing school, while the interior side featured reveals and areas with an architectural finish.
“I’m a big fan of precast concrete,” says Tucker Johnson, director of operations at Ringland-Johnson Construction, the general contractor. “Lead times can be a challenge, but the panels can be erected so quickly that they help with the construction schedule.”
Multiple colors of brick were selected and used in random patterns to match the coloring used on the adjacent school. Window locations were planned out to provide daylight to various facilities inside without disrupting the modular panel designs.
The panels were cast while the site was prepped and foundations were poured. “Once the foundations were set, the precast was delivered and it went up fast,” Johnson reports. “It was an ideal site, near the athletic fields with lots of access. It create no real challenges.”
The result was a spacious, attractive facility that was in place on schedule. “People who don’t understand precast concrete may be surprised by the appearance and speed of erection, but they were nothing unusual for the material.”
Additional renovations done in conjunction with construction of the new fieldhouse included new HVAC in the library and controls in each classroom, along with new sound and lighting systems in the auditorium.