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Monarch Global Academy, Laurel, Md.

Gary Cearfoss, president of Steel Building Specialists Inc., a Varco Pruden Buildings builder that constructed Monarch Global Academy, says metal was selected primarily for its cost.

Gary Cearfoss, president of Steel Building Specialists Inc., a Varco Pruden Buildings builder that constructed Monarch Global Academy, says metal was selected primarily for its cost. "Additionally, using a pre-engineered metal building allowed us to meet the project completion date," he says.

The two-story, 69,020-square-foot K-8 school features a red-and-white exterior separated by floor-to-ceiling windows. The roof was constructed with a weathertight metal system in a blue finish. Varco Pruden supplied its Continuous Beam framing system and 24-gauge Galvalume soffit panels in Cool Cotton White. Additionally, the project utilized Varco Pruden's 24-gauge Galvalume SSR standing seam roof panels in Cool Imperial Blue, and Varco Pruden's TuffWall and ThermalClad insulated metal wall panels.

Cearfoss says the biggest challenge was the schedule because it needed to be completed before the start of the 2014-2015 school year. "Due to numerous extraneous variables, we were not able to begin work on the project until October 2013, leaving only 10 months for construction," he says. "However, through hard work and perseverance on behalf of our site supervisor and subcontractors we were able to complete construction on schedule before the start of the new school year."

Monarch Global Academy's classroom spaces are collectively 73 feet, 4 inches wide by 185 feet, 9 inches long. The ceilings on the second floor were left open; windows were placed to allow natural light to reach all the classrooms. The gymnasium and cafeteria space is 101 feet wide by 287 feet, 2 inches long.

The charter school was constructed on an 8.5-acre lot and served 474 students during its first year open. It features a 30-foot, electronic globe in its lobby entryway. The globe is lit from below and connected to a computer so teachers can use it to track civilizations and display global data and weather patterns.

Owner: The Children's Guild, Baltimore

General contractor: Steel Building Specialist Inc., Halethorpe, Md.

Architect: SEI Architects, Rockville, Md.

Metal building system: Varco Pruden Buildings, Memphis, Tenn., www.vp.com