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Shawnee Mission School District Center for Academic Achievement

JE Dunn Construction Company was the general contractor for the Shawnee Mission School District Center for Academic Achievement, which was completed in April 2017. The two-story, 131,000 square foot facility is located at 8200 West 71st Street, adjacent to and west of Milburn Country Club, on a site that was formerly home to Antioch Middle School. Shawnee Mission School District is the third largest school district in Kansas with more than 27,000 students from 14 cities within northeast Johnson County.

The building combines three administrative centers in one location. The west wing includes administrative offices, a fitness center, and the PriorityOne Health Center. The east wing is dedicated to state-of-the-art learning environments including the district’s culinary arts program and student-run Broadmoor Bistro restaurant, animation and interactive media, biotechnology, and medical health sciences. The main entry connecting the two wings is an open, two-story atrium with terrazzo flooring, reclaimed wood walls, and terraced meeting spaces.

The building’s overall design and multiple functions presented unique challenges. Building Information Modeling (BIM) facilitated planning and coordination of the building’s multiple structural components including structural steel; two-story, cast-in-place concrete walls; load-bearing masonry walls; and a partial, precast concrete skin. Extensive planning and coordination was also needed to maintain a sealed air plenum for the underfloor MEP system and transition it to the building’s traditional HVAC systems. Additionally, construction sequencing and architectural finishes depended on the function of the space – from office spaces and open office collaborative areas with typical architectural finishes, to the culinary and dining space with extensive, below-grade MEP systems.

Because the roof structure of the building extends beyond the exterior walls and slabs by approximately 20 feet, materials could not be hoisted into the building using overhead cranes. The construction team instead used reach forklifts for hoisting, and employed safety rails and safety tie-offs to allow materials to be received safely. The project was accident-free.

Regular face-to-face meetings, as well as web-based BIM, Skype coordination, and other virtual meetings, facilitated effective communication.

Duane Cash, Associate/Project Manager, ACI Boland Architects, wrote, “Teaming with JE Dunn early in the process allowed the design team to explore many constructability options while maintaining the budget and the owner’s vision for this remarkable building.”