Okay, so I get that LOTS of people dislike the horizontal steel siding on our new Technology Center. And maybe “albatross around the neck of our school” is a bit strong. Trust me, no-one has spent more time than me looking at that building and the steel siding. Without getting into a lot of detail about how capital projects work and how much latitude I do (or do not) have to make changes at this late stage in the game, suffice it to say any change would have to be relatively minor. All of the design decisions were made back in 2006-2007 and were State Ed approved; the design intent was to have a state of the art, industrial looking tech center.
The architect achieved this goal, right? The problem for most of our community members, and for me, is that it doesn’t compliment the look of our existing building. I’ve always said that this is the most beautiful school ANYWHERE. It truly is and we take great pride in that fact.
Let me just say also that it is a beautiful addition in every other way. The interior spaces for our Agriculture and Technology programs are gorgeous and a HUGE improvement over our current spaces. Despite the confusion in the community, the addition was never meant to be a middle school—the sixth grade was simply going to inhabit the renovated space vacated by the Ag and Tech programs. Since we made the decision to keep sixth grade in the elementary school, now that space will be a high school office, ISS/OSS room, and Adaptive PE/Wrestling Room.
So what do I do about the steel? Do we stick with it, as is? Do we consider painting it? Do we modify or change portions of it? Changing all of it is simply out of the question, it’s too costly and in my mind would just be throwing good money after bad. Painting it seems like a bad idea considering that it’s a maintenance free product now, why paint it and deal with that issue every 7-8 years?
So I’m left contemplating a change to just the steel surrounding the lower half of the addition (the shorter portion). What if we change just the three lower sides to a product called “drivet” that looks like stucco to me? Make it match the entrance way to the high school where it says “Randolph Jr. – Sr. High School”?
Or leave it alone? Come on Randolph Readers, I know you’re out there reading, even though you seldom comment. This blog is intended for a two-way conversation and I need some help with this decision. Comment below and tell me what you think!