Jim Kirtland, construction superintendent from Bradbury Stamm, was in the hot seat on The Bobcast, a regular podcast produced by Ms. Waidler’s 5th grade News Radio Club at Barranca Mesa Elementary:

“Why do the trucks with concrete in them always spin?”

“Why do you make mountains of dirt and big holes and then fill them back in?”

Jim takes the kids’ interview questions in stride and warmly explains the construction process, starting with the trucks coming from across town. Their spinning drums mix materials to create concrete that will support the new school. A personal connection and clear understanding of the process go a long way towards making the often long and messy construction phase more bearable. Students see first hand how piles of dirt, big trucks and metal beams become new classrooms, computer labs and playgrounds.

Projects like this illustrate why FBT Architects has made educational work the backbone of our practice for the last 45 years. Working with schools and communities to realize their vision is incredibly satisfying.

Supportive teachers and tools like The Bobcast help bring the construction process into the classroom. The school maintains a dedicated web page with Site Tech, Joyce Haven’s, construction diary describing what’s happening on the site along with drone footage, photo galleries and FBT’s architectural renderings.

A Lasting Mark

Staff and students at Barranca Mesa embedded their names into the new school with a beam signing in November. Superintendent Dr. Steinhaus, Los Alamos Public Schools staff and district members, Bradbury Stamm Construction and FBT Architects all signed the beam and wrote notes of gratitude and support. Afterwards everyone watched and cheered as the beam was raised into position.

The Barranca Mesa Elementary School community is looking forward to a brand new 20,819 sf two-story building for 1st through 6th grades and a new cafeteria. An existing wing will be renovated to house early childhood classrooms, and another wing will be renovated to include administration, art, music, computer lab and an updated library. Portable buildings will be eliminated, and the dedicated early childhood center will include pre-school, kindergarten, and a playground. A single secure point of entry will welcome students and visitors.

Projects like this illustrate why FBT Architects has made educational work the backbone of our practice for the last 45 years. Working with schools and communities to realize their vision is incredibly satisfying. Barranca Mesa principal, Gina Terrazas, has played an important role since the beginning. “It has been an exciting time for us as we go through each process of the design for our new school. I am impressed with FBT’s performance and commitment to ensuring our voices are heard.” We are honored to be a part of creating environments where children and teachers can thrive.

Go Bobcats!

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