Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy

Commercial Projects

Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy

Location:Town of Windham
Architect:
 id3A

An architect bidding to design a regional science/technology/engineering/mathematics (STEM) magnet school for the Town of Windham envisioned a campus that used ample stone throughout. They called on the O&G Masonry Division to help flesh out that vision.

Kathyann Cowles is a principal of id3A, the architectural and interior design firm awarded the project. “By all accounts the stonework and design has been well received. We’ve gotten lots of compliments on quality and how well it was executed.” The Academy, in fact, received a Blue Ribbon Best Overall Project from CREW CT/The Real Estate Exchange and a Project Team Award for Extraordinary Collaboration from the CT Building Congress.

Collaboration was central to the project’s success. “The first step was to select stone at O&G’s showroom in Hartford,” says Cowles. “Then they made a mockup on site for us. When we saw it in the environment we asked them to change the look to be more random and to lay a little differently. The changes they made were quite good. O&G was very accommodating all along the way.”

O&G’s Scott Lockwood, an architectural sales representative working out of the Hartford showroom, worked closely with the designers from id3A. “We got together numerous times in Hartford and ultimately decided on stone from the Liberty Hill quarry. Knowing what they were imagining, we put together a blend of two stones from Liberty Hill that they liked. We named it the Windham Blend. We’ve got the formula for their future needs should they arise.”

The team took it a step further. The facing stones coming from the quarry needed to be thinned to allow masons to create a drainage cavity between the stones and the block wall beneath that would permit moisture to weep out. O&G was able to slice the stones in its Bridgeport stone cutting facility before delivering them to the project’s mason contractor, Connecticut Masons, at the site. “It was a challenge keeping up with production because of the labor required to make the stones to tolerance,” says Lockwood, “but we did it.”

Aspiring technology students in eastern Connecticut are pursuing their passions in beautiful facilities, the fruit of collaboration and capability.

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