Exterior Commercial (Alaska)

Fred and Sara Machetanz Elementary School

Location: Palmer, Alaska
Contractor: Bradshaw and Associates
Architect: McCool Carlson Green & Brain Space
Team: Northwest Supply, Insulfoam, Sto Corp.

Photo courtesy of NWCB
Fred and Sara Machetanz Elementary was built in below-freezing conditions and limited daylight.

The Fred and Sara Machetanz Elementary School is named after local artists Fred and Sara Machetanz, who have made significant contributions to the state of Alaska. The school is a 52,000-square-foot building clad in traditional three-coat stucco. The finish was accomplished using a multitude of bright acrylic colors — a fitting theme for elementary-aged students.

The project had its share of challenges for Bradshaw and Associates, but, as with many construction projects in Alaska, the greatest challenge was the weather. With just six workable daylight hours and temperatures dipping below minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, temporary lighting and heat had to be provided. The occasional wind rushing down off the Matanuska Glacier exceeded 100 mph, lifting the scaffold planks more than 40 feet to the roof of the building.

Despite the considerable challenges of Mother Nature, the project was completed on schedule and within budget.

Judge’s comment: “With the varied and wide assortment of acrylic colors applied by the Bradshaw team, under extreme weather conditions, the elementary school is an excellent example of architectural design achieving function.”

Copyright ©2010 Seattle Daily Journal and DJC.COM.
Comments? Questions? Contact us.