Modular Building Institute

Murray Middle School

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Meehleis Modular Building Inc
Ridgecrest, California
Building Use:
Middle School
Gross Size of Project:
68243 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    A joint project between Sierra Sands School District, the Department of Defense and the Navy, Murray Middle School is a complete campus that includes standard classrooms as well as science classrooms, a media center, gymnasium, cafeteria plus kitchen, and administration facilities. With the site so close the Naval Weapons Station China Lake the campus also needed to meet Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) standards. Designed with protection in mind the campus layout, while doubling as environmental protection, provides a defensible space and the simple exterior features reduce damage from potential threats. The site was planned to provide not only protection for students but protection from the harsh climate Ridgecrest and neighboring Death Valley are known for. The horseshoe layout of the campus shields the students from the winds which can be high during certain parts of the year and ample shade structures were employed to combat the heat which can reach over 115 degrees.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    A groundbreaking achievement, the campus at Murray Middle pushes what modular construction can do. Meehleis Modular partnered with Protective Technologies and EXL Structural Engineers to design a structure that meets Division of State Architects (DSA) requirements but also the Department of Defense's ATFP (UFC 4-010-01) blast requirements. The result is one of the first blast resistant modular campuses in California. Roof overhangs were omitted to reduce blast forces on the buildings and specialty doors and windows were implemented to provide the upmost security. Murray Middle School’s site was also carefully selected to provide the greatest distance from nearby structures allowing for a large "defensible space" around the campus required in blast protection. Additionally, special care was taken to choose materials that will not only look good but will provide longevity in the harsh climate of the high desert.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Originally designed to be a site-built conventional project, Murray Middle School came in astronomically over budget resulting in a reassessment and redesign. Meehleis Modular stepped forward to undertake this immense challenge and after a short period of time was able to significantly reduce costs and bring the budget back under control. By fabricating large portions of the project in our Lodi facility we can nearly eliminate material waste, and increase quality control directly resulting in cost savings. The remote location of this campus also influenced the original pricing, our off-site construction methods enabled us to limit travel time and work in tough field conditions resulting in the drastically reduced budget versus site built.
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