Case Study:
Avant Garde Academy

School prototype.

Our Client

Avant Garde Academy® Westchase, is a public charter school located in Tampa, Florida, that prides itself on implementing an innovative, creative student-centered environment; providing a nurturing and safe climate that promotes the development of the total child; and where students are challenged intellectually, artistically, and personally.

Additional client: Demidovich Engineering, Inc. (Structural Engineers).

Our Challenge

Increasingly, educators are recognizing that the right physical environments can have positive effects on learning outcomes. This, coupled with the need to provide safe and sustainable buildings within fixed budgets, can be very challenging. These challenges are further compounded for many schools and education authorities by fluctuating student populations, curriculum planning, and defined deadlines for the start of a school year.

All of these challenges led the Avant Garde Academy and Demidovich Engineering to choose MgO Systems, and our C3 Engineered Wall System, as the construction solution for the Avant Garde Academy Westchase Campus (Tampa, Florida).

Our Solution

The C3 Engineered Wall System was chosen for exterior walls and roof spans because of its superior strength characteristics, and ability to provide a healthier learning environment by building with environmentally friendly materials with no chemical off-gassing.

Most importantly, however, and the critical decision factor for this client, was speed. Working towards a hard deadline of the first day of school meant that this building needed to go from first shovel to the Principal’s opening day address in less than a year…and it did.

Utilizing prefabricated construction techniques throughout the project — including a C3 Engineered Wall System with integrated structural elements — saved months off of a traditional construction schedule. From when the exterior walls arrived on-site to final enclosure of the roof panels was an amazing 4 weeks. Furthermore, the integrated steel beams allowed for a 42-foot clear span for the new gymnasium. All delivered without a single change order.

Passing the Ultimate Test

While speed, quality, cost certainty, and design were all critical elements of this project, perhaps the greatest attribute wasn’t known until September, 2017, when Hurricane Irma made landfall on the Western side of Florida. While other nearby structures suffered damage from the 130-mile-an-hour sustained winds, Avant Garde Academy® suffered only minor cosmetic damage. The strength of the C3 Engineered Wall System (Cast Composite Cement) proved up to the task of protecting the school’s investment, and allowing them to reopen within in a short time frame following the storm.

End Results

  • The Avant Garde Academy® is built to stand the test of time, and provide a healthy environment for learning and gathering.
  • Resistance to moisture and mold in a very humid environment, through the use of environmentally-friendly building technologies such as the C3 Engineered Wall System.
  • Improved fire-rating over conventional construction gives administrators and parents added peace of mind for our most valuable asset…our children.
  • Built to a higher standard of strength to help protect against stronger and more frequent storms, and subsequent property damage or losses.
  • This school has already stood up against one of Mother Nature’s greatest tests…Hurricane Irma, in 2017.
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