Mesa Valley School District unveils a new Middle School

At the beginning of 2018, Mesa Valley County School District 51 in Grand Junction, Colorado, began construction of the Orchard Mesa Middle School, a greener more energy-efficient educational facility than any in the past!

Orchard Mesa Middle School is one of 39 schools in this district, which serves well over 22,000 students in the area. In order to provided much-needed educational expansion and facilitate a safer, and more environmentally-friendly atmosphere for students, the school needed this project fast-tracked—and a steel detailer who could keep up.

Under the guidance of project manager Jeremy MacFarline, Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing worked with Western Slope Iron & Supply, FCI Constructors, Inc., and Blythe Group + co. to help expedite the design phase and eliminate steel related issues as quickly as possible. The challenge was twofold; not only was this project extremely fast-tracked, but the design for this 605-ton building wasn’t yet complete at the start of detailing. This is what design detailing is all about!

This scenario required efficient, open communication between Anatomic, the designers, and the fabricators from the project’s outset, but our solution was simple. To ensure easy and instantaneous communication throughout the detailing period, we utilized our online RFI collaboration system for instantaneous problem-solving between stakeholders. We also conducted regular GoTo meetings with the fabricator, design team, and the general contractor to pinpoint and address steel issues that came up during detailing. The resolution of these issues often within 1 day ensured the aggressive project schedule was maintained.

The main design challenge was the inclusion of several “tree” columns and trusses. These tree columns were branching steel assemblies of round, hollow sections built to look like trees with limbs. These tree columns supported the roof beams, with large built-up trusses spanning the common area inside the school. Without careful 3D modeling and BIM coordination with the design team and steel fabricator, there would have been no efficient way to accurately detail and fabricate these items within the aggressive schedule.

Thanks to teamwork and adaptability, we met the deadline for the new Orchard Mesa Middle School’s scheduled opening—just in time for the 2020 spring semester. After combining seven buildings into one, a new structure was produced that is safer for students and requires less electrical energy to operate. Orchard Mesa Middle School’s new building is part of a continued district effort to make schools safer and more energy-efficient in the community. With innovative new features built for energy conservation and increased school security, Orchard Mesa students can now thrive in a place that supports not just their education—but their environment.

If you want to learn more about how Anatomic Iron Steel Detailing can assist you with your next fast-track project using our collaborative design detailing process, reach out to Cliff Young for more information today: