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High Point Academy

Located in Aurora, Colorado, High Point Academy (HPA) is a Pre-K through eighth grade charter school currently serving 565 students. Their mission is to provide a strong foundation of academic excellence in partnership with family and community in which each individual is challenged to achieve his/her highest potential academically, socially and personally.

High Point Academy opened in 2006 and spent the first four and a half years of its existence in a temporary campus made up of 14 modular classrooms. "Our motivation for building the facility was simple," said Annette Sloan, Director of Communications at HPA. "We needed a well-made, permanent facility in which to educate our growing student population."

The designers at SLATERPAULL Architects were challenged to push the boundaries of school design with a space that could be arranged and used in a multitude of ways, while also considering the school's limited budget. "Charter schools have great goals and creative energy, but their budgets are limited both for construction and maintenance afterward," commented Cheryl Bicknell of SLATERPAULL Architects. " Product cost and then care were major considerations for this project. We wanted to provide an easy-care product, that would maintain its beauty for the long term, while also meeting our sustainable design goals."

Taking advantage of the building's tilt-up concrete construction, the designers were able to create textures and shapes with changes in the structure's form work and liners. With manipulations to shapes and sizes of panels and added texture, they were able to add playfulness to the design and bring colors and shapes from the exterior of the building in. These elements are reflected in the hallway floors, ceiling soffits, classrooms and paint colors.

For the flooring, Bicknell turned to Johnsonite. "We wanted to create an interplay between texture, color and light with the flooring and lighting design. The color availability with Johnsonite's Optima was immediately exciting. As a no-wax, no-finish for life product, its' ease of care and initial cost also factored into its' selection. Because of these factors, we are also specifying this product on other projects where we may have previously used a competitor."

SLATERPAULL's commitment to sustainability led to other design highlights including low V.O.C. paints and finishes, daylight optimization with classroom orientation, window selection and placement, energy efficient light fixtures and occupancy sensor lighting controls. Native seed grasses were also incorporated into the landscaping to reduce irrigation needs and water consumption.

Bold colors are also used throughout the facility for way finding and identifying student age levels. The excitement for the school's colorful interiors has been a constant theme for students. "The floors get a lot of attention," added Sloan. "During our first few weeks, our students couldn't stop talking about the colors on the floors and the corresponding wall colors. They love the look."

Project Facts

Country: USA

City: Aurora, Colorado

Type of Project: New Construction of School

Installation Period: 2010

Architect: SLATERPAULL Architects, Inc.

Service Provider: Commercial Flooring Services

General Contractor: Shelco

Total Flooring Surface Installed: 17,000 Square Feet

Products Installed: Optima