Orville H. Platt High School

Location: Meriden, Connecticut
Area: 255,000 Square Feet
Completion: 2017

Orville H. Platt High School was built in the 1950’s. A renovation and expansion was necessary to bring the school up to the standards of a modern, 21st Century educational facility. Multiple design schemes were prepared and evaluated. Factors considered included overall project cost, the educational program, and the construction phasing impact on the school while occupied. The final design option that was developed addressed all factors.

Thanks to extensive coordination with the school, a strategic schedule, synergy with Architectural Design Consultant ArchiChord LLC, and efficiency from the contractors, the project was completed on time and under budget.

Given the extensive amount of demolition, renovation, and new construction that was part of this $112M project, it was built in four major phases beginning in 2013. This 1,200 student high school features a new two-story freshman academy and a three-story upper academy wing with a dramatic glass-walled library conveniently located to serve the needs of all the students. The existing gymnasium, auditorium, and pool spaces were completely renovated while a new cafeteria was constructed to the rear of the school to take advantage of the vistas overlooking the athletic fields. Site improvements also included revisions to the traffic flow – separating car/bus traffic and directing students to two main entry points at the school, simplifying the arrival and departure process each day.

Complex design techniques are the cornerstone of our work at Antinozzi Associates. Employing bridge construction strategies including heavy structural foundations as well as welded trusses and bracings, the two-story media center was entirely cantilevered off the NW corner of the building. High-level craftsmanship in the auditorium achieved the desired aesthetic featuring corrugated metalwork and custom woodwork at numerous angles, curvatures, pitches, and intersections – acoustical accents that complement the upgraded lighting and sound systems. Additional site improvements included revisions to the traffic flow, a dramatic glass-walled library, a monumental floating staircase featuring terrazzo treads, and a new cafeteria that utilized vistas overlooking the athletic fields. Native boulders were carefully set into place in an adjacent courtyard to replicate the natural rock formation on the west side of the City of Meriden. Emphasis was also placed on hiring local laborers for this project, with over twenty percent of the construction hours performed by Meriden residents over the course of four years.

Sustainable design is another factor that has come to be synonymous with the Antinozzi name. Minimizing environmental impact is an important part of the construction of facilities that aim to stand the test of time, and we pride ourselves on incorporating design elements that will achieve this ideal. The facility now performs at 24.5% better energy efficiency than code and reduces potable water usage by 30%. A number of improvements were made to the pool as well. Aside from potential health risks, chlorine can have a negative effect on aquatic life if not disposed of properly. Conversion to a saltwater pool with a UV light filtration system eliminated the need for chlorine, and by using returns from the heating system to warm their water, the school is able to conserve energy in yet another way.

2018 Best in K-12 Education, Engineering News-Record
2018 Merit Award for Project Team (K-12 Schools), Connecticut Building Congress