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Administrators of Old Redford Academy Preparatory High School, a public school academy located in Detroit, Michigan recognized the need to better prepare their 9th grade students for the rigors of high school. Their challenge was to create a “school within a school” developed around the concept of a small learning community, designed to meet the specific needs of incoming high school freshman. They wanted a building that was attached to the existing high school while still allowing the incoming freshman more personalized interaction with teachers and their peers.
The school approached IMS in early 2009 with their concept. IMS, Stevens Architects, and Whitley Manufacturing designed the 9th Grade Academy utilizing hybrid construction, which combines premanufactured modular and traditional site built construction. The IMS team built the modular addition to the current high school that included 9 classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, administrative space, a cafeteria, a warming kitchen, storage space, 2 restroom modules and 10 ft wide corridors. The cafeteria features a ceiling height of 91/2 ft.; this was achieved through the creative re-routing of the mechanical system to one end of the building.
Eco-friendly features include low E tempered glass windows, recycled carpet tiles, low energy electronic ballast lighting fixtures with T-8 bulbs, room occupancy sensors, sensor activated toilets, faucets and hand dryers and a hot water recirculation system for the restrooms. Two covered walkways were site built to provide students with covered access to the existing building. The addition has a brick facade, allowing it to blend in with the existing 50 year old high school. This project was completed in 87 days, on schedule and under budget.