Maryland School for the Deaf, New Elementary School

Henry Adams provided MEP design and construction phase services for a new, $20.2M, three-part school totaling 76,130SF for Maryland DGS and Maryland School for the Deaf. The first part, the Elementary school, is a new 47,900SF structure designed to serve pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-5 with a total capacity of 130 students and 40 staff members. The second part is a new 11,955SF Student Support Services Building which is attached to the Elementary school. The third part included a 16,275SF Family Education & Early Intervention Building.

The Elementary School includes classrooms, administrative space, a media center, a gymnasium, cable TV/Broadcast room, a satellite kitchen and cafeteria with a stage.

The Student Support Services Building houses the Communications Department, the Counseling Center and the Infirmary, which serve the entire campus around the clock. The facility connects to the Elementary School by a shared lobby and is comprised of staff offices, counseling and meeting rooms and therapy rooms for an approximate capacity of 40 occupants. A major design focus is placed on creating plans for each building that is flexible for future growth.

Henry Adams was responsible for HVAC, electrical, fire alarm, and security system design.

The buildings required special attention to acoustics primarily to reduce background noise, which can profoundly interfere with the concentration and learning skills of deaf and hearing-impaired children. It became extremely important to limit interference from background noises in order to maximize the teaching “signal-to-noise” ratio. Henry Adams worked with acousticians to incorporate early concepts for isolating noise and vibration producing equipment.

The central HVAC system consists of a centrifugal chiller and cooling tower. Air handling units were contained in mezzanine spaces and supplied air distribution through a VAV system with individual room thermostats. A new 1600 amp, 480Y/277V service was coordinated with Allegheny Power, the local utility company. A 60kW/75kvA natural gas emergency generator was provided.

The fire alarm system incorporated a number of unique features and the security system was designed to integrate with the existing campus Galaxy access control system.

Information technology and telecommunications systems comply with Maryland State Department of Education requirements and include cable TV, closed-circuit TV, computer and internet access systems and a visual paging/messaging system. All buildings include a card key access system and other measures to provide for student security. Coordinated work with the IT and AV consultants.

Lighting was designed to carefully enhance the mostly visual communication used by students, staff and teachers. Henry Adams worked with a lighting consultant to create a fresh vibrant learning atmosphere. They provided calculations throughout all steps of the design to check that light levels met requirements for sign language. Lighting control achieved energy efficiency through the use of occupancy (or motion) sensors and a design philosophy of using energy efficient lighting sources.

The site required demolition of an existing farmhouse and several sheds. Other site-related work included parking and roadway lighting.

Additional Information:

LocationFrederick, MD
Construction Value $20,000,000
OwnerMaryland DGS / Maryland School for the Deaf
ArchitectHord Coplan Macht
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