November 08, 2019
The full-service San Francisco Bay Area commercial construction company began working on the roughly 3,500-square-foot space in November 2018 and completed the project in time for the start of school in August. The main focal point of the $3.75 million project is the band room itself, which features a large open space with a flowered acoustical ceiling. The ceiling has two different pitches to it, creating a blooming effect.
Sisi Meng of WLC Architects, Inc., the architecture firm for the project, says that the ceiling is the soul of the space, referencing “the Heart of Te Fiti,” an ancient gem belonging to the mother island in the Disney film “Moana.”
The sound reflection and diffusion by the ceiling is carefully engineered, crafted and expressed through the aesthetics of the ceiling.
“It’s truly a specialty ceiling,” says Chris Murphy, project manager for Alten Construction. “This was a challenging aspect to the project due to the coordination of all of the trades involved in the ceiling space; you don’t typically see something like this in a school.
In addition to the large open space, the new addition also includes three sound isolated rooms for practice, an office and an AV system with top-of-the-line equipment and concert-type speakers. Each of the sound wall rooms were pre-manufactured and installed by Minnesota-based Wenger Corporation and are completely sound proof.
With the new spaces, students can be practicing different instruments in each of the three rooms and the sound won’t travel from one room to the next or out into the actual band room.
“We would usually install this type of technology in higher educational facilities or venues that have theatrical spaces,” Chris says. This new band room will give students the opportunity to learn in a cutting-edge environment.
More than 100 band students are currently utilizing the space on a regular basis with some students coming in twice a day. In the future, the school hopes to once again offer additional opportunities for students to use the space through guitar, general music and choir classes, as well as drum line, glee club, talent shows and color guard.
“It’s an esthetically beautiful environment that is acoustically conducive to learning,” says Oliver Fraenkle, music director for Lawrence E. Jones Middle School.
The project also included the addition of new planter areas with landscaping, site concrete around the building and an exterior LED sign for the school.