The new Cape Cod Regional Technical High School is a 214,000 SF facility on a 67 acre site. Construction broke ground in 2019 and was completed in time for the 2021 school year. The old school was then demolished to make room for parking and sports fields.
Coreslab Structures (CONN) Inc. fabricated high-performance, architectural precast concrete wall panels for the new High School in Harwich.
Architectural firm Drummey Rosane Anderson (DRA) worked closely with the district and assessed the existing conditions and the educational programs. The design of the new school arranges academic spaces around each technical discipline to foster a sense of community and collaboration. The layout features two wings of academic classrooms and a large space for vocational shops with additional height and access for the construction and transportation shops.
The new facility is 6,000 SF larger than the old building, and houses 650 students. The design includes 22 general classrooms, 2 small group/flex spaces, 6 science classroom/labs, 2 art/maker spaces, and 17 vocational/technical shops/classrooms.
The new $104 million facility is configured in an asymmetrical “H” shape with academic and technical shops integrated with classrooms located on two stories in the long leg of the H, and the gymnasium, administration, and Hospitality Academy located in the short leg. The student commons and library/media center are located in the two-story connector between the two legs.
The technical school turned to precast concrete for its speed, durability and low maintenance. Spaces for auto shop, for example, are abrasive and dirty and precast durability was a necessity. Its low sound transmission between adjacent shop rooms was another benefit.
Coreslab utilized two different concrete colors and finishes to accommodate the architect’s vision. Insulated wall panels are exposed in the interior of the building, where the main goal was to make it as durable as possible for shop classes. Flanking the main entrance, the precast spandrels feature a ribbed formliner finish on the lower level, and a red stained appearance reminiscent of brick on the upper level.
The High Performance Precast Concrete Panels include 3-inches of Polyisocyanurate Insulation to achieve an R value of R-21. A vapor barrier is also incorporated within premanufactured wall system assembly.
Coreslab produced custom formwork to achieve the shapes and profiles selected by the design team.
The precast panels in the rear elevation are placed in a saw-tooth pattern to provide shading and architectural interest. The windows are also installed in the same pattern to contrast to the glazing on the upper level. The neutral color palette and the light sandblast and exposed aggregate textures provide a natural expression reminiscent of beach sand.
Every space was designed to provide an open and inviting environment that met the requirements of its program while maintaining the ability to grow and develop with the varied industries. Vo-Tech projects are very complex because of the varied uses and learning environments. The precast structure is designed to withstand high winds and nor’easters that are part of life on Cape Cod.
Two technical academies are located on each of two stories arranged in clusters. Each academy has shops on one side of the main corridor and academic, collaborative and teacher planning areas directly across the corridor. The high bay shops of the Construction and Transportation Academies are located on the first floor with at-grade service access. The STEAM and Life Sciences academies are located above on the second floor and include information technologies, engineering technologies, design and visual communications and art. The Construction Academy includes HVAC, plumbing, electrical, carpentry and horticulture while the Transportation Academy includes auto collision, auto tech and marine.
The new school is flooded with sunshine from a plethora of windows that let natural light flow into classrooms, shops and the main hall. With the three-story design, the new school fits into the topography along the eastern edge of the property.
The new Cape Cod Technical High School provides 21st century learning to students and supports the new educational philosophy for career and technical education. Precast concrete supports their efforts with its inherent durability and low maintenance.