Ben Franklin Charter School
Charter School with a Modern U-Shape Design
The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School is a free, high-achieving, kindergarten to eighth grade, public charter school. In order to reduce its waiting list and potentially double its enrollment within 10 years, the school that has never had a building of its own, chose a Nucor Building Systems pre-engineered metal building for their facility. The project consists of a 3-building complex designed in a U-shape, including two classroom wings and a center connecting section housing the cafeteria and auditorium with general offices located in the front of the building.
Construction entailed the use of metal stud framed walls, with a combination of wood and metal siding. In the classroom wings, two full mezzanines were incorporated, and a half mezzanine was integrated in the connector building. In addition, Nucor suspended mezzanines were used in the attic hung from the roof steel, which were utilized in order to support and house HVAC units. This allowed for all the mechanical units to be supported internally, offering pleasing aesthetics for the steep roof.
The structure features unique aspects including acoustical cloud ceilings and the use of natural light. Large punched windows and opaque walls permit the educational and social spaces to be flooded with natural light. Metal was exposed in some locations in the building as a design element. Several types of metal cladding were used on the exterior of the building, including corrugated sheet steel and aluminum composite metal panels on the walls and standing seam roof panels.