MINNEAPOLIS - The Metal Construction Association (MCA) 2014 Chairman’s Award honored The Valspar Corp., Minneapolis, for its contribution to Chaffin Junior High School’s colorful renovation and addition in Fort Smith, AR. Recognized in the category of “Educational – Primary and Secondary,” the project features metal wall panels and custom, aluminum accents finished in five colors using Valspar’s 70% PVDF Fluropon® products.

Matching the school’s colors – Hunter Green and Vegas Gold – Valspar’s coatings playfully distinguish the fresh façade, complementing and transforming the 45-year-old brick exterior. Opened in 1969, Chaffin Junior High School has continued to serve its growing community with little change to the original, brick box-shaped building. As enrollment doubled and teaching technology evolved, more space was required to serve the 872 students plus faculty, staff and community.

Fulfilling the Fort Smith Public Schools’ mission to provide “students a promising transition into the 21st century,” Architecture Plus Inc. designed Chaffin Junior High School’s renovation and expansion. As part of this project, G.A.G. Builders Inc. constructed 37,500 square feet of additions for administrative services and for music and fine arts. Completed in May 2013, total construction fees for the project are estimated at $9 million.

Modernization of the school also included blending a creative learning environment with the security and accessibility requirements of today’s k-12 facilities. Balancing visibility and vision, the exterior was updated with a secured entry tower and a bright and colorful metal façade.

Cladding the new addition and entry, the metal wall panel system was manufactured by Citadel Architectural Products Inc., and installed by Architectural Glass and Metals. With respect to the school’s colors, the metal trim is finished in Valspar’s Kendall Green.

Further defining Chaffin Junior High School’s distinctive appearance and entrance, Equus Metals Inc. created the aluminum tube “baguette” system to accentuate the main entrance and public face of the school. These colorful, custom, ornamental metal elements also were finished by the Texas Finishing Co. using multiple colors from Valspar’s Fluropon palette: Gold Watch, Harvest Gold, Seawolf, Coronado Red and Dark Green.

The annual MCA awards selected the Chaffin Junior High School project as an example highlighting innovation and creativity, while showcasing how metal products help achieve exceptional building designs. Valspar and the other building team members were presented with the MCA Chairman’s Award during the METALCON Conference in Denver on October 1.

Valspar’s contributions to Florida’s Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral's color-changing, metal-clad exterior also were honored in the category of Institutional Projects. Valspar previously was recognized with an MCA 2013 Chairman’s Award as part of the Central Arizona College, Maricopa Campus project team.

The MCA awards are selected from among the entries submitted to Metal Architecture Magazine's annual Design Awards Program. A judging panel comprised of experienced architects and industry professionals make the selections. Learn more about the MCA and its awards at www.metalconstruction.org.