When the Renton School District decided to build a new state of the art early childhood center and replace Hillcrest Elementary School, they wanted a contemporary educational facility which encouraged learning in a positive atmosphere. They wanted these features in a building that still embodied the cost efficient, structural, and maintenance benefits required in school construction.
The decision was made to replace Hillcrest with Meadow Crest Early Learning Center, a 68,000 square foot school, focusing on 3 – 5 year-olds and preparing them for kindergarten. After selecting BLRB Architects to design Meadow Crest, the Renton School District gave the firm creative freedom to design a building that would endure for generations. BLRB’s vision for Meadow Crest was a building that had a visual appeal different than the traditional gray concrete block or red brick that was prominently used in schools in past decades, while still achieving the durability and maintenance benefits desired by the Renton School District.
BLRB thought outside the box and chose CMU for Meadow Crest, but took advantage of the different colors, textures, and sizes available from Mutual Materials to get a more contemporary aesthetic. For the lower elevation of the veneer, BLRB chose a Charcoal 4” CMU to get the look of dark brick with the structural advantages of CMU. The remaining veneer was designed with both a split face and ground face Sand Stone CMU, with some smooth face Mesa Tan blended in to give it a random pattern seen in more contemporary projects.
“Mutual Materials CMU enabled us the flexibility and freedom to achieve a contemporary building using a timeless material. The Renton School District will benefit from the durability and maintainability of this material for years to come.”
– Andrew Cottrill, Project Architect, BLRB Architects.
The resulting project received a Citation Award from American School and University Magazine. To learn more about how Mutual Materials’ CMU can give your project an impressive look while still providing the structural and maintenance benefits that accompany concrete masonry, please contact a Mutual Materials sales rep.