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Corrugated metal creates shady solution for Mississippi children’s museum

Sometimes an important journey begins with asking a question. That’s how it worked for three moms in Meridian, Miss., as they began their efforts to bring a children’s museum to their community. In 2015, they reached out to officials at the Mississippi Children’s Museum with a query for ideas on ways to bring a similar institution to their city – and six years later, the three moms were able to witness the ribbon-cutting of the new MCM-Meridian facility, a $13 million satellite operation of the Jackson museum, offering a total of 25,000 sq. ft. of space filled with opportunities for learning and fun. To support both goals, the building’s design emphasizes natural light, with unique metal shading panels helping to mitigate unwanted glare and heat gain.

When MCM officials first met with the Meridian trio, they challenged the group to raise $25,000 in seed money, to help test their community’s real interest in a new museum. The group doubled that original target in less than a month. A subsequent feasibility study confirmed that local commitment and, in 2016, MCM’s board of directors voted unanimously to move ahead with the new project. Construction began in fall 2019 and the museum opened in March 2021, with both indoor and outdoor exhibits designed to encourage exploration while emphasizing cultural ties to the local community.

Architects with the Jackson, Miss., firm Wier Boerner Allin organized the building in a series of setbacks, with each section’s roof angled skyward to create rows of clerestory windows allowing more indirect sunlight into the interior. Perforated corrugated metal panels follow the outline of each setback to create shading to help further ensure all that daylight doesn’t become a visual nuisance and to help mitigate against solar heat gain.

The building team, which also included installers with the local Meridian firm of Nathan E. Daniels Roofing Co. and general contractor Fountain Construction Co. of Jackson, specified perforated 7/8” Corrugated PAC-CLAD panels from Petersen for the job. In all, 4,000 sq. ft. of the .040-gauge aluminum panels in a mill finish were specified. These exposed-fastener panels help support creative flexibility in a budget-friendly fashion for a wide range of building envelope applications.