Mark Twain Elementary in Bettendorf, Iowa opened its doors to 450 students last December after 14 months of construction. The new 65,000 square foot educational center features modern learning concepts in a traditional school design, with plenty of windows and natural lighting, large common areas, and access to smart technology throughout the building. Architects worked to design and construct an inviting building that is energy efficient and visually appealing. The large, open construction used a variety of materials and finishes, highlighting different textures and visual nuances.
Precast concrete was selected for use in the exterior walls of the building. The top of the insulated wall panels utilized formliners, and the bottom featured brick finishes for a total of 25,257 square feet of precast concrete, consisting of 128 pieces. Precast Concrete was chosen for its ability to color match, enhance the building design, and complement the steel roof. The large flat precast concrete panels were also included in the design because they could make the building appear to be curved, when in fact the flat panels are actually laid out.
Challenges within this project included matching the steel roof with insulated architectural wall panels to eliminate pre-thaw and ice issues, as well as bringing the architects vision of a curved building with matching colors and patterns to fruition. Managing the logistics of extra time and transportation from the production facility to the job site 12 hours away was a feat as well.