Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, Franklin, Mass.

Photo: Michael Petrocelli II

Arrowstreet Inc. used a steep roof and combination of exterior cladding materials to create a modern appearance based on local architecture for Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School. The K-8 school has a white standing seam roof and white corrugated metal wall panels, running vertically. Cedar wood paneling, also vertical, provides an accent to the metal. Additionally, there are metal composite material (MCM) panels in black around windows, doors and louvers. Fiberglass sandwich panels in black were used at science classrooms and the cafeteria.

Daniel Snider, architect at Arrowstreet, says, “The design intent for the school was to provide a modern interpretation of a traditional form within the town’s built landscape. The simple, gabled masses of the school’s design respond to a style of architecture that has been around for centuries. The white metal cladding provides clean, modern skin while the wood accents on the gable ends mirror the wooded environment that surrounds the site.”

To achieve desired aesthetics for the steep roof, mechanical units are supported internally. Suspended mezzanines in the attic hang from the roof steel, where they support and house HVAC units.

Tom Zabel, manager of sales at Steeltech Building Products Inc., erector for the project, says, “One of the challenges our team worked through with this facility was constructing a steep roof design, a 6:12 pitch and using a long-tab insulation system between significant rainstorms in the area.”

Steeltech built the 71,053-square-foot school with three metal building systems in a U-shape, supplied by Nucor Building Systems, a division of Nucor Corp. There are two classroom wings and a center connecting section. Offices are at the front of the building and the cafeteria and auditorium are in the connecting section. In the classroom wings, Steeltech built two mezzanines. In the connector building, the erector constructed a half mezzanine. For floors, Steeltech used the Ecospan composite floor system, supplied by Vulcraft Group, a subsidiary of Nucor Corp. A second phase of construction is adding a gymnasium to the facility, which will bring the total size to 76,032 square feet.

Inside, exposed metal is accented with wood materials as well. In the cafeteria, exposed steel structure is seen at the ceiling behind acoustical cloud ceilings. The ceiling panels have a wood grain finish and are oriented in a chevron style. Stepped bleacher seating in that space also has wood tones. K&K Acoustical Ceilings Inc. built the acoustical cloud ceilings with Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions’ MetalWorks Vector ceiling system.

“The design of the ceiling clouds arose from form and function,” Snider says. “The clouds create the illusion of a continuous ceiling surface, but are broken at each main structural frame to highlight the overall building form.”

On the roof, Steeltech installed Nucor’s VR16 II vertical rib standing seam roof system in PVDF White. On walls, Steeltech installed Nucor’s Accent Wall panels in PVDF White and vertical cedar wood panels.

The black MCM for the project was fabricated and installed by A&A Window Products Inc. Arconic Architectural Products LLC supplied its 4-mm-thick Reynobond MCM with a fire-rated core and Colorweld 500 (70% PVDF) finish.