Last month Antinozzi Associates was honored to be featured in the Engineering News-Record as part of their 2018 Best Projects. Our work as the design firm for Orville H. Platt High School in Meriden, CT garnered us the “Best in K-12 Education” distinction in ENR’s end of year publication. Superior architecture makes a difference in the lives of students and educators by providing a stimulating learning environment. The existing structure was built in the 1950’s and was in dire need of upgrades, and the entire team that worked on this $110 million project managed to build and renovate 265,000-sq. ft in four phases without interrupting daily operations at a school with an enrollment of 1,100 students. One judge noted the “rigorous execution” of the project. 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.

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.

The overall artistry and efficiency of the design and construction led to this achievement and we are honored to be featured in ENR, not to mention the additional recognition we received for this project from the CBC Project Team Awards and the AGC BuildCT Awards. Antinozzi Associates hopes to complete more projects in the coming years that exemplify this level of design and sustainability.