The Orchard Farm School District is a public school district located in St. Charles County, Missouri. Over the years, the district has experienced significant growth in student enrollment, with an average increase of 4% annually for the past 7 years. As the student population continued to expand, the district faced challenges in finding available classroom spaces. To address this issue and to plan for future growth, the district acquired approximately 100 acres of land which would serve as the site for a new high school, initially accommodating around 1,600 students, with the potential to grow as the district expands.
The new high school is an impressive facility, spanning 242,098 sq. ft., with plans for a future expansion that will increase its size to approximately 300,000 sq. ft. It features various academic spaces, including an administration suite, classrooms divided into science/math and general wings, a performance auditorium with an adjoining band and chorus wing, a cafeteria with a large common area for gatherings, a commercial kitchen, a gymnasium with an elevated walking track and support spaces, athletic complexes, and a storm shelter. The storm shelter, constructed using precast materials, also serves as an auxiliary practice gym and provides additional locker rooms.
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection
The high school employs a four-pipe system for heating and cooling. The mechanical plant, covering an area of 3,500 sq. ft., generates chilled water and heating water. The chilled water system consists of three chillers and a cooling tower located on the roof, along with distribution pumps and a variable primary orientation. The heating water system utilizes condensing water boilers and a pump system, also in a variable primary configuration. Four pipes distribute the heating and cooling throughout the building to custom rooftop units. These units are designed to supply 55-degree air to a VAV (Variable Air Volume) system, with hot water reheat for which the custom units were specifically designed.
An important consideration in the design of the temperature control system was ease of use and maintenance. Given the limited staff available to address issues in many school districts, including this high school, a user-friendly and easily maintainable system was essential. Traditional air flow stations often become dirty and inaccurate over time, requiring frequent replacement or recalibration. To mitigate this issue, McClure Engineering devised a custom unit layout that prioritizes energy efficiency and eliminates the need for flow stations, humidity sensors, and carbon monoxide sensors as controlling agents. Additionally, energy recovery systems are incorporated into all airside equipment.
The project also includes the installation of a high-quality recreation facility, complete with football, soccer, baseball, and softball fields, along with press boxes and concession stands. The baseball and softball complex also features a batting cage. McClure Engineering has provided design for the lighting, plumbing fixtures, audio-visual systems (including the PA system), as well as the provision of drinking water and washdown water for all spaces. To minimize the use of city resources, a well system has been designed and drilled for irrigation purposes on the football and soccer fields, with plans for additional wells on the baseball and softball fields in the future. The overall design of this facility aims to enhance the experience of students, staff, and visitors while contributing to the high school’s excellence and fostering a positive environment.
Energy efficiency is a crucial aspect of the project. In addition to meeting the City of Saint Charles’ 2015 International Energy Codes, McClure Engineering is collaborating closely with the district to qualify for utility rebates through Ameren’s BizSavers Program. This program offers cash incentives for projects that effectively incorporate energy-saving measures, aligning with McClure Engineering’s commitment to energy efficiency.
McClure Engineering was responsible for the comprehensive lighting design of the school facility, auditorium, and adjacent sports facilities. Our dedicated lighting team meticulously crafted layouts for emergency lighting, theatrical lighting, as well as general interior and exterior lighting. We also devised efficient lighting control systems, prepared lighting schedules, and conducted precise calculations for both interior and exterior lighting requirements. Throughout the project, we utilized energy-efficient LED lighting solutions to ensure optimal performance and sustainability.
In addition to Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, and Lighting design services for the school facility, McClure Engineering also provided acoustics, audio/visual, and theatrical design for the new auditorium. The audio and video for the space included a digital mixing console and snake audio distribution system, a wired and wireless production intercom, a large number of (RF coordinated) digital wireless microphone systems, an audio-visual control system with touch interfaces, and the stage manager’s panel equipped with simple (automated) control for basic events not requiring an audio-visual operator. Cabling and rough-in infrastructure were included flexible data transport with an audio-visual data patching interface and distributed audio-visual endpoints. The system featured a high-quality stereo pair of column arrays for even coverage across the entire seating area.
Acoustics for the auditorium included the selection of an appropriate design reverberation time based on application discussions with the user group and space volume. The space was modeled to drive the total amount of absorption necessary. Our team coordinated material selections and placement on every surface to support an even distribution of sound for the audience area while mitigating late reflections and performed a reflection study for diffusor placement and angle for live sound support. Additionally, the absorption panel and diffusor locations are fitted out with the audio sound system design in mind. These systems function together to allow for controlled use of the reinforced sound, while also providing stage support for live events.
McClure Engineering provided both general and theatrical lighting designs for the field house. The house theatrical lighting (which included both overhead pendants, entry corridor wall sconces, and low voltage LED seat lighting) was integrated into the DMX-controlled theatrical dimming system. The main theatrical lighting system design is based on a DMX multi-universe controlled lighting console, providing full control over color-changing LED theatrical fixtures installed in the house and on motorized electrical stage battens. A separate architectural theatrical system was designed to be used when the main lighting console was not in operation for general house lighting control and pre-set scene implementation for non-theatrical performances.