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Wausau Window and Wall Systems: Company Helps Transform Historic Ohio Elementary School
Dec. 29, 2015 — The 142-year-old Stewart Alternative Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, has been transformed into a vibrant, modern center of learning for area students.
The renovated and expanded school features high-performance Wausau Window and Wall Systems’ windows with access doors and between-glass blinds that enhance the building’s historic aesthetic.
Wausau’s products also support the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) LEED for Schools Silver certification, which the school received in August 2015.
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) has championed more than 200 LEED-certified schools across the state since 2009. “We’re very proud that Wausau’s windows can be seen on many of these schools, both new construction and renovation,” said Wausau’s Central regional sales manager, Lisa May, LEED green associate.
“The benefits of green schools go far beyond operational cost savings as these are the facilities where our children spend a majority of their young lives,” wrote OFCC’s sustainability administrator, Lisa Laney, in an April 2015 article for the USGBC. By providing safe, healthy, and comfortable environments, we encourage their learning and show them that we believe they matter. I have had the extreme pleasure of watching new schools open to replace old, out-of-date, and sometimes unsafe facilities.”
Originally built in 1874 and located in Columbus’ historic German Village neighborhood, the building underwent two major renovations, the last one in 1926. The Columbus City School district had planned to renovate the building at a later date, but a 2010 fire accelerated the district’s timeline to update the building.
Columbus-based architectural firm Hardlines Design Company (HDC) was selected to lead the $11.2 million project, which included a complete renovation of the existing 28,000-square-foot building and construction of a new 18,000-square-foot addition. Since the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, it was essential that the architectural elements of the renovation and new construction replicate the original building as much as possible.
“Windows were one of the features we used to tie the new and old structures together,” said Charissa W. Durst, AIA, Hardlines Design CEO and principal architect. “First, we identified that multiple window types could be used, as there were slight detail differences between the standard windows in the original 1874 wing and the 1894 addition. We then required the contractor to provide custom-sized windows to fit each individual opening, which was a requirement of the German Village Historical Commission, which had to review and approve the project.”
Durst said HDC heard about Wausau’s products from a Columbus City School project manager their team had worked with many years before.
Under the direction of general contractor Miles McClellan Construction, glazing contractor Richardson Glass Service, Inc. installed more than 130 of Wausau’s 3250i -XLT INvent Series high thermal performance, simulated double-hung windows. Part of the Advantage by Wausau standard product offering, these windows are competitively priced and available on an accelerated delivery schedule to meet schools’ value-focused budgets and condensed construction schedules. All of Wausau’s INvent windows are backed with a warranty of up to 10 years.
The windows installed in the new addition were configured in tall units stacked two-high for easy installation. Both the new and historic sections of the school benefit from Wausau’s modern performance, but differ aesthetically. Reflecting a more contemporary look, the new addition’s windows do not have divided lites and were specified with square tops.
Students, staff, and community members have praised the renovated and expanded Stewart Alternative Elementary School. In May 2015, the building was awarded the German Village Commission and German Village Society Caretakers of Legacy Award. In October 2015, it received the Heritage Ohio Best Historic School Award.