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Performing arts school rises from tornado’s devastation

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Four 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 as well. The K-8 school has a citywide enrollment capacity of 540 students studying various aspects of the performing arts including theatre, dance, visual arts, instrumental and vocal music.

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 Aluminum profiles were selected as a key part of the design. Approximately 27,000 sq. ft. of PAC Precision Series horizontal wall panels and 8,000 sq. ft. of PAC corrugated panels work in conjunction with brick masonry and EIFS trim to clad the building’s 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 Aluminum’s Acworth, Ga., plant.

Design for the project was created by Ward Scott Architecture, Tuscaloosa. According to Jordan Morris, project architect, “The theatre portion of the building is a substantial box and the horizontal wall panels help break up the mass.” Morris continued, “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.”

Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Paul McKendrick likes the looks, too. “It’s a beautiful building,” McKendrick said. “I’m glad we took our time 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.”