Redington Jr/Sr High School

Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Year Completed: 2015
Total sf: 94,450sf
Contractor: Collins Construction
Client: Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

Redington Jr/Sr High School features classrooms, art, music, career training, gymnasiums, commons and administrative areas. Sitework includes parking area, bus drop off, soccer practice field, rubberized athletic track and turf football stadium, baseball and softball fields and a 210,000 gal water tank for fire service. The facility was designed to be energy efficient and sustainable, achieving LEED Gold - the first school in Alaska to do so and energy star standards. The design was a collaborative effort between Wolf Architecture and NAC Architecture, and the contract was completed quickly and engaged the contractor early on to ensure a 2015 opening. 

The facility is designed to provide over 46% energy savings when compared to a standard code building. The energy saving measures include additional roof and wall insulation, high efficiency windows, high‐efficiency condensing modulating boilers and on-demand hot water. Demand control ventilation is provided by CO2 sensors in the return air stream to modulate the amount of outside air being provided. All spaces are supplied with occupancy sensors, which will allow the mechanical and electrical systems to only be enabled when there are occupants present. Lighting improvements include volumetric troffer fixtures with high efficiency ballasts. The exterior LED lighting is controlled by a photocell and motion sensors. Fixtures used in classrooms have dual level switching to take advantage of day‐lighting.  

The design also incorporates sustainable strategies and materials throughout. The project utilized an integrated design process. Water savings from efficient fixtures is 35%. Over 50% of the materials for the project are recycled, local, certified wood or biobased materials. Over 50% of the project construction waste was recycled. Indoor environmental quality is maintained by low VOC finishes, a flush-out and daylighting and views. Building Commissioning ensured that the building that was turned over met the Owner’s design requirements.

Day School

Year Completed: 2014
Total sf: 21,500sf
Contractor: FE Contracting
Client: Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

Designed in collaboration between Wolf Architecture and NAC Architecture, the Mat-Su Day School focuses on students imagination and learning through innovation and playfulness. This special-mission facility serves as a ‘gateway’ for behaviorally challenged students to learn skills, overcome adversity and return to their neighborhood school. With visionary leadership, strong community support and state dollars, the state-of-the-art 21,500s.f. structure is a showcase of innovative programming, smart design and playful yet durable materials.

As they enter, students are greeted by a sculptural wall enclosing the heart of the school; the reading and media area. Spaces such as this and the achievement room are designed to foster student development while remaining flexible. The design specified glass with transparent layers that invite sunshine but prevent classroom glare. Standard windows give views to the birch forest and surrounding Talkeetna Mountains.

Colored glazing and local artwork drape the school ‘gallery’ and multi-purpose room where an audio-visual system and special effects ‘achievement classroom’ turn the mundane into magic. High-efficiency lighting, HVAC systems and building envelope make this building perform at a LEED silver standard. Trails, landscaping, fitness and playground equipment extend the classroom into the surrounding site. Bioswales hold and treat drainage on-site. 

Wolf Architecture performed design and construction administration, including Pre-Design, Educational Specification and Programming and Schematic Design through Closeout. Design included daylighting models and energy models Entrance Lobby throughout the process.

Early Headstart Center

Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Year Completed: 2017
Total sf: 7,500sf
Project Type: Daycare
Construction Type: Existing building, steel frame exterior wall framing, wood trusses
Contractor: FE Contracting
Client: Cook Inlet Tribal Council

The Headstart facility is an adaptive reuse of an existing restaurant building. The facility is licensed to provide day care services to 78 children age six weeks to three years and provides nine classroom spaces along with a full commercial kitchen, administrative and support functions.

Mat Su Central School

Location: Wasilla, Ak
Year Completed: 2011
Total sf: 31,300sf
Design/Build Team: North Country Builders, Oien Associates, Jernstrom Engineering, EIC Engineers

A16,146sf addition and renovation to an existing 15,154sf facility, the new Mat-Su Central School provides an improved, enlarged and energy efficient facility. The building consists of the local State Legislative Information Offices and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mat-Su Central School. The school is now the largest in the valley with over 1,400 students. The year after the renovation, enrollment skyrocketed and graduation jumped from 39 to 100 students. The building’s sustainable features include high performance glazing, energy efficient lighting with lighting controls. Glazing improvements included replacing sections of original glazing including at the LIO. 

With the renovations to the existing, the building now performs 14% better than standard code. The scope of work for Wolf Architecture was Design through Construction Administration. The project was delivered within the allotted $2.8m despite additional design items and increase of scope that were included within the original design contract amount, including a significant amount of interior design. Costs came within 2% of the engineers estimate; there were no Change Orders on the project. The design for the project included fast-track delivery to allow for early demolition and approval by the Fire Marshal. The project began construction in February 2011 and was completed November 2011.

Light School Studies

A small, Alaskan K-12 school design requires special attention to the precious sun light which is at it's shortest photoperiod while school is in session.  This design takes a modular approach, separating the very youngest students from the oldest (as required by the administration) while maintaining south exposure on tight site.

Academy Charter School

Location:  Old Glenn, Palmer, Alaska
Year Completed: 2006
Square Footage: 16,438sf Total – 13,366sf 1st Level, 3,072sf 2nd Level
Project Type: Charter School Administrative Offices and Gymnasium – Design-build
Construction Type: CMU bearing wall and wood trusses at Gymnasium, steel frame, OWSJ and concrete deck at Administrative Offices
Contractor:  F-E Contractors, Inc.
Client: Mat-Su Borough / Academy Charter School

The 6,000sf Academy Charter School was a fast-tracked design-build project providing a stand alone gymnasium, administrative offices, stage and classroom space. The 5000sf gymnasium houses a full-size basketball court and can be used as an auditorium. The facility also includes handicap-accessible locker-rooms and showers. Administrative offices include reception, staff lounges, workrooms, classrooms, storage, concessions and washrooms. It also provided a master plan for the future addition of classrooms to complete the 28,000sf K-8 school.

MSB School District Assembly Room

A $782,000 renovation of an existing 5,000sf school gymnasium into the new School District Assembly chambers and training area. The 43,460sf existing building had previously been converted into the Administration Building for the District. The Gymnasium was being used for storage and makeshift conferences. This renovation provided a cost‐effective and energy efficient retrofit to the existing space. The building’s sustainable features include reusing the existing building shell, adding insulation to the envelope (was R7, now R25), re‐used cabinets, recycled content products, acoustic design, energy efficient lighting with occupancy controls, efficient plumbing fixtures, and renovations and enhanced controls to the mechanical ventilation units. The retrofit provides an annual energy cost savings of 30%.

Kachemak Selo School

Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Year Completed: Unbuilt
Total sf: 18,720
Client: Kenai Peninsula Borough

These images are from a capital acquisition proposal for a unique K-12 school facility for all public school students in the Kachemak Attendance Area.  A primary design challenge is the extreme isolation of the site. It is only accessible down an undeveloped, steep switchback path that is not passable by school buses or even standard equipmented cars. The Borough has explored the use of “non-traditional” transportation such as a track vehicle but these do not have the maneuverability to make the tight turns needed on the switchback. The village is along the Bay; it is accessible by small boats during high tide – when there is about 6’ of depth; at low tide extends several hundred yards to deep water, thus not allowing boats to dock.

Kachemak Selo is a small unincorporated community in Kenai Peninsula Borough. The village is located on the North West shore, at the head of Kachemak Bay, approximately 30 miles east of Homer along Swift Creek. The community developed as a Russian Old Believers settlement and currently has about 150 residents.

It was strongly felt that this school should reflect the unique location and community while avoiding an institutional feel.  The proposed natural materials and extensive glazing balance a warm and welcoming reception with a literally warm building envelope. 

University of Alaska Theater

Year Completed: Unbuilt
Square Footage: 75,538sf Total
Community Library: 15,070sf
Distribution Center: 5,015sf
UAA Library: 33,064sf
Auditorium: 15,522sf
Common Area: 6,867sf
Project Type: Feasibility Study / Campus Building
Construction Type: Steel frame, siding
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Client: University of Alaska Anchorage, Matanuska Susitna Borough

This project consisted of developing facility programming, project cost, and design concept to promote the future joint use development of the UAA Mat-Su Campus.  The facility was designed to be utilized by University of Alaska for educational purposes and also as a community center for the various communities located within the Matanuska Susitna Borough.  The project included a new Library and 500 seat Auditorium, as well as conference and activity areas to support university and community functions.