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Alabama Alberta Elementary School ’s metal façade rises from ruins of EF4 tornado

A few years after an EF4 tornado ripped apart the Alberta Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the reimagined and redesigned Alberta School of Performing Arts has reopened on the site to the delight of students and the community. The new school serves the elementary schoolchildren of the Alberta area, but with a new performing arts component available to all children in Tuscaloosa in grades 4 through 8. The school has a citywide enrollment capacity of 540 students studying various aspects of theatre, dance, visual arts, instrumental music and vocal performance.

The 114,000 sq. ft. facility nearly doubles the size of the original school and now includes a storm shelter wing and meets all IBC and energy code requirements.

Two different Petersen profiles were selected as a key part of the school’s design. Approximately 27,000 sq. ft. of PAC-CLAD Precision Series HWP wall panels and 8,000 sq. ft. of Corrugated Panels work in conjunction with brick masonry and EIFS trim to clad the façade. The corrugated panels were installed vertically and run as an accent band between the brick masonry and the HWP. All panels were manufactured at Petersen’s Acworth, Ga., plant.

Design for the project was created by Ward Scott Architecture in Tuscaloosa. Jordan Morris, project architect, said, “The theatre portion of the building is a substantial box and the horizontal wall panels help break up the mass. The vast majority of my experience with Petersen has been with their standing seam metal roof products. This was one of our first forays into large-scale use of metal wall panels. Everyone is really pleased with the aesthetics of the building and we look forward to using these materials in the future,” Morris said.

Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Paul McKendrick likes the looks too. “It’s a beautiful building,” McKendrick said. “I’m glad we took our time in deciding what we were going to put here and carefully planning everything from the design of the building to how it fits in with the community.”

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