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Large curved metal walls rejuvenate renovated community center

The renovated McDonald Hughes Community Center in Tuscaloosa sports curved metal walls that are drawing rave reviews from visitors and the public as well.The main entry area to the brick structure is now highlighted with 4,000 sq. ft. of PAC-CLAD Precision Series HWP wall panels.The 22 gauge steel panels were finished in Petersen’s Cool Color Metallic Silver and installed vertically by F.L. Crane & Son in Fulton, Miss.Approximately 500 sq. ft. of PAC-CLAD .032 aluminum Flush Panels also were utilized in soffit applications.

“The HWP panels were installed vertically to create the radius that was a prominent part of the design,” said Justin Parker, project manager with F. L. Crane.“The vertical panels returned to the soffit panel below and that was a bit of a challenge.Renovation projects are always somewhat challenging because you never know exactly which issues are going to pop up.The aging brick and concrete walls required a lot of attachment shimming to get the nice straight lines we wanted.But the Precision Series is a really good product and the end result was a nice modern look.”

In addition to the redesigned entrance, the renovation included rearrangement of office and community space and the expansion of exercise and workout areas.An important part of the project was the construction of a FEMA-rated “safe room” addition that will hold 1,700 people.The addition of the safety shelter was prompted by a 2011 tornado that touched down nearby.

Architectural design for the project was provided by Safe Communities LLC of Indian Springs, Ala.The PAC-CLAD panels were fabricated at Petersen’s plant in Acworth, Ga.