Project statistics

General Contractor:
Vrana Construction

Total Sq. Ft. Of New Addition:

Design & Planning:
RDG Planning & Design, Kylan; Block (Project Architect)

North High School Project Director:
Jan Christensen

Vrana Project Manager:
Bill Krebs

Concrete Contractor:
J.B. Construction

Electrical Contractor:
Hiller Electric

Mechanical Contractor:
Ray Martin Co.

Painting/Coatings Contractor:
Pearson's Painting

Concrete Provider:
Ready Mix, Lyman Richey

SGH/Husker Glass

Steel Erection:
Davis Erection Co.

L&M Polished Concrete Products Used

FGS Hardener Plus: Chemical Hardener and Densifier

PermaGuard SPS: Stain Protector

Project Profile: Omaha North High School, Omaha, NE

L&M's FGS PermaShine Polished Concrete Floors Help Omaha North High School Win “Silver” LEED Award

Omaha-based Vrana Construction recently announced that Omaha North High School earned LEED 'Silver' certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The recently completed addition is the first facility in Nebraska to receive this certification under the LEED for Schools rating system, which was implemented by the USGBC in 2009.

Omaha North High School is a magnet school serving students in grades nine through twelve and specializing in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Faced with an expanding enrollment, the school, which was built in 1922 and has had major additions and renovations throughout the decades, was once again in need of new learning areas. This addition was funded by donations from local citizens and foundations.

The project architect, RDG Planning & Design, encouraged North High students to participate in the preliminary design. Many of these design ideas were incorporated into the final plan. The project also incorporated sustainable building materials that produced a productive learning environment. Omaha Public Schools hired Vrana Construction as the construction manager for the project. The four-story, 32,092 square-foot addition primarily consists of science classrooms and labs but also serves the school's media technology and engineering programs. Specific features of the addition that helped garner the Silver certification include:

  • The installation of 81 percent wood harvested from FSC-certified sources
  • A two-story greenhouse, which opens onto a green roof that is completely covered by SRI-compliant material and can be used as a secondary teaching space
  • Water-efficient landscaping where rainwater provides 100 percent of the irrigation needs
  • Low-flow sinks and dual-flush toilets that help further reduce the school's potable water use by 43 percent
  • The use of low-emission paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and flooring materials
  • FGS/PermaShine Concrete Floor System reduces VOC emissions and improves indoor air quality
  • Development and implementation of an indoor air quality program to reduce the amount of contaminants released during the construction phase
  • FGS PermaShine Polished Polished Concrete Process was used on the ground-polished sealer-hardening for the concrete floors in the engineering department, biology department, labs and general traffic hallway areas. On-going floor maintenance is estimated to be reduced by more than 50% by going to the FGS PermaShine polished concrete floors.

Jan Christensen, project director from North High School, worked on the new addition. Jan commented, “Eight years ago we asked ourselves 'why' something had to be done after assessing this school's potential and the fact that, in this city and this country, engineers and bio-tech students were not going into this line of study as they had in the past decades. We wanted to build a school and curriculum that got students in high school excited about pre-engineering, bio-tech, math and science. We aligned ourselves with the 'Project Lead The Way' (PLTW) leadership team. PLTW is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S. STEM education is at the heart of today's high-tech, high-skill global economy.

“To remain economically competitive, our next generation of leaders (the students of today) must develop the critical reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them the most productive in the world. We felt this project was vital to the future of our students, the City of Omaha, and our global economy for America.”

Over the years, Gene Haynes, principal of North High School, has seen much change to this magnet school. Haynes said, “We were very pleased with all the cooperation from all the entities working together. This was a great learning experience for everyone here at North High School. Sometimes projects like this can be very challenging and difficult because the very nature of LEED building is different. Our school won the award because of teamwork and tenacity to detail. We had to think out of the box and I witnessed great cooperation. Working with good people always makes a difference. The winners of this award will really be our next generation. We want to give this to our present and future [generations] so that our students and graduates can meet the demanding future expectations of this competitive global human resource market.”

Kylan Block from RDG Planning and Design, project architect on the North High School job said,”I found that working on this project was very stimulating and fun to watch others get involved in the planning. The students and instructors actually got involved in the planning stages. As a class project, the students were given an assignment to come up with a working plan. I found this a very unique project for RDG, in that the instructors and students were involved on every level. They took part in several design and planning meetings and a lot of what was originally discussed came to fruition as the end result of the finished building. The 'open' plan the students came up with showed and labeled each steel girder, each air-handling duct, each glass window, etc. to show future students all the parts that go into a building. It was inspiring and exciting to be part of this entire project. ”

Bill Krebs, project manager from Vrana Construction, the general contractor on the project said, “This project was a real team effort, with a lot of local talent working well together to make this happen. Vrana enjoyed working with some very talented people and the final product turned out to be an award-winner!”

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© 2013 L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. | ConcreteNews Spring 2013.

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