Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is this?

Something I have never seen used that was pretty interesting to me was this structure.

It is an hydraulic scaffolding system. This device allows a team of masons to work an entire row of block simultaneously!
It can be uplifted row by row which helps with the continuity of the wall construction, the consistency of drying time, the safety and ergonomics for the workers.
The entire length of this wing (as seen below the scaffolding in above photos), was blocked in by a team of about 10 workers in one days time.
Our brick has begun to arrive. Notice the coloration is not bright red, but varied in tone with some striking flash glaze that creates darker bricks.

More on the construction technique for our brick veneer can be seen here:

Our Masonry Walls

You may recall that we have metal stud exterior walls. Here is how the exterior masonry wall is constructed and attached. The glass board (no paperboard) is drilled and screwed into the metal stud.
Upon that the 2 inch insulation board is attached with hangers that are also drilled into the metal studs.
The hangers have clip ends that will allow the masonry hooks to tie into them.
In this photo below you can see the masonry wall sits two inches off of the insulation board and is hung or "clipped" into the hanger pins.
Block is added and row by row our masonry block walls are constructed.

Rain Water Roof Capture

Here is further explanation of how we will capture the rain off of our roof for reuse as graywater and irrigation. Just like on a regular home roof there will be gutters at the perimeter that will feed into downspouts along these steel columns.
Each downspout will tie into underground drainpipes that feed into the 12 inch roof drain leaders.
The leaders circumvent the building and travel underground to the back side between the classroom wings.
These leaders then tie into our cisterns that are buried there.
These cisterns are huge. They are 10,000 gallon storage tanks.
At any given time we can have up to 60,000 gallons of reusable water stored on campus. This is good for the environment, a good model for our future, and a component of our LEEDS certification.
click here for more on the cisterns

Stadium Field is now Rolled

The main stadium track and field have now been completely prepped. This means the drainage systems are in, it is at grade, and has been rolled. Under this field there are french drains and water retention systems in place. click here to see
Rolled is compressed and flattened. This is so that as it winters over, when it rains water will stand on it rather than soaking in. It will also allow study of the surface for drainage and settling. This is the north west end nearest the school.
This photo shows mid field area. You are on the home side facing the visitor side and hillside behind. The drain is actually between the track and the playing field. You can also see the retaining wall on the home side.
This is the south end, looking toward the second field and the green way trail. The home stands will be on the left side of this photo. This field will be artificial turf. Isn't this a beautiful place for our stadium?

What a Gym!

Oh my! Now that the roof is shaping over our Main Gym it is truly a great space. This view is from the south end looking the north across the court.

From inside this is a huge space. Of course you will not be able to see the open length of the building once the second story walls are up. But in this photo there is a sense of the scale of the length of our main building.
The main beam in the center of the gym roof is amazing. I had seen it laying on the site before erection and could not imagine how they would ever set such a beam in the ceiling. According to Mike Kesterson, it took two cranes to lift it and on the first try the beam lifted the rear end of our 36 ton crane off the ground! Mike said, " I knew it was unique when I saw the steel workers taking photos of it!" And it is. These next three photos show an interesting feature of modern design. If you will notice, you can see through the roof decking in the center of this photo. (note the silhouette of the man)
Here is a close up, you will see one side of the steel roof decking appears opaque or solid, the section beside it light passes through. In fact in the next photo I have zoomed in and you can see a worker working on the deck, screwing the steel sheets in place. This is a unique view that you will not get to see once the roof is completed.
And what is that all about?

This is sound dampening acoustical roof, or ceiling deck. It is actually corrugated steel perforated with pencil sized holes. These holes allow sound to penetrate and gives it somewhere to absorb and flow rather than bounce back around inside of the gym!

It actually traps sound leading to less reverberation and racket within the gymnasium.

But nothing will dampen the sound of our Pioneer volleyball and basketball teams winning and owning this gym!

ps....Of course it will all be covered above with additional roofing elements.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Where we are Today

If this is not inspiring then you are not paying attention. We are now seeing areas 4, 5, and 6 under roof! The magnificent Radial roof is beginning to take form. It is an amazing roof structure that is designed to be a 50 year roof!
This is the best possible view of the main building and the photo was taken from the Hilltop Drive observation point. To help you orient, the end of the building on the front closest to the middle of the picture is the band room. The very center of this photo is the Theater. The columns lead up to the main entrance at the middle of the school. Next is the Main Gym and last and on the far end is the auxiliary gym.
This is an end view looking south. The bus drop off will be about where the trailer is by the porta john. The bus parking lot is just in front of that . You can see the radial of the roof from this angle. Clearly this is not a "barrel"roof. A barrel roof is a full 180 degree arch. As you can see, we are closer to a 30 degree arch. What a beautiful site for our new high school.
And to think, just a few years ago, this was a working farm.
Readers alert, "foreshadowing"~~~~
soon to come a series of "heritage" posts on the "farm"
as remembered by Joe Edmisten.
Readers and attentive citizens will recall the bulk of our site was known as the
Edmisten Property.

New Aerials from August

Well, here is what you can see from above on August 19, 2008.
These aerial photos are taken each month by SkySite Aerial Photography
North Carolina's most consistent and reliable source for aerial photographs!
In this photo you can see the main campus with the main building on the upper right, parking lots will be in front of that, and baseballm and softball at the lower middle.
Looking south, you can see the entire campus under construction. The second or auxilliary field is at the top and the stadium is just below that in the middle of the picture. This photo is take from a fly over approaching from the east looking west over campus.
In this image the plane was flying due north and we see our campus from the south end by the greenway trail to the north end at Hilltop drive and Old 421.

This is a significant aerial photo in that is will likely be the last that will show any new areas of construction around the main building. By the time the September flyovers are posted we will have the entire area in front of the three classroom wings under roof. At that point you will not be able to see "inside" the building.

We will be under roof and in the process of working on the interior.

Of course this blog will continue to update you on progress from within the building on a timely sequence.

SkySite Aerial Photography - based in Raleigh/Durham, NC - specializes in high quality custom aerial photographs throughout North Carolina.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Old New WHS ~ 1965-2009

Five schools closed their doors and histories that a larger institution might be born. In order to create a large dream, it is necessary to sacrifice smaller ones; such was the case with Watauga High School when five dreams for educating tomorrow’s leaders became one.
We, the students, created the school and gave Watauga High School its meaning; our spirit established its valor.
The past, as always, paved a new road to the future. We can never forget the experiences the past held; they prepared us for our future.
As we cannot forget the past, we cannot reject the future, for it holds life.

So, with the death of five wonderful histories, we gain the birth of a magnificent future.

With the passage of the bond issue on September, 1963, the massive project of building a new consolidated high school was begun. The five existing high schools – Appalachian. Bethel, Blowing Rock, Cove Creek, and Watauga Consolidated- merged into one.

Then overnight the finishing touches were being added to an ultra-modern building and the major portion of it was ready for its occupants.

Time marched onward.

This is in tribute to the past. In this blog I will try to capture the Pioneer Spirit of WHS over the years. Over the next 100 weeks I will explore the heritage that is the Old Watauga High School.

I am sure I will miss something important, not see someone who made a difference, or make mistakes in this story. And I am counting on you, the reader, to send me your suggestions, let me know what I should try to learn, and help me tell our story.

click here to visit the Old New WHS

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One Year Ago Today!

One year ago today, September 19, 2007

we officially broke ground for our new school and campus.

We've Come a Long Way in 365 days!

At that time, the property was without recognizable features of the campus. Standing in the pasture just off Daniel Boone Drive gave no actual references for our campus.

A crowd of nearly 200 guests gathered for the ceremonial groundbreaking. Twenty five shovels and fifty people made the symbolic gesture toward a dream of our future.
In this photo we see teachers, students, a principal, a superintendent, parents, board of education member, and state legislators.

Guest speakers included Lowell Younce, Bobbie Short, and Jim Deal.

In one year much has changed in this valley. At that time it was hard to imagine even where our main building would be located. The site of the ground breaking is seen in the left photo. That location was on the south side of Daniel Boone Drive which would have crossed approximately between the 1st two wings in the photo on the right. The actual spot was approximately where the theater will be built. Daniel Boone Drive is/was in the center of this photo along the trees between the two pastures.

This pasture view is now the location of the Stadium.

Our entrance to our property was not even open and two streets had yet to be closed to gain access to Old 421.

Now our drive is open and curbed and clearly a new landmark on Old 421.

These two aerial photos are from the same point of view, looking north and east across campus, you will notice how much progress we have made under the management of Mike Kesterson and Barhill Vannoy Construction. It is the goal to have our main building under roof and walled in before winter rolls into these mountains.

Our future is a dream becoming a reality.

The past is a memory we hold forever in our campus heritage;

an archived reminder of the way we were.

Monday, September 15, 2008

WHS Heritage Linking Our Past to Our Future

WHS has a rich community heritage. Since the school year of 1965-1966 we have built a Tradition of Excellence on our campus on Hwy.105. Many Donors, Honorees, Recognitions, Memorials, Gifts, and Art Works identify our heritage at the old school.

Royce and Sterling Carroll Sports Complex ~ Carrol Leather Fieldhouse

In the news recently our Board of Education, with guidance from the 2010 Development committee, has begun to look at our future with a heartfelt goal of maintaining our heritage of the past.

Jack Groce Stadium ~ Dee Triplett Track

In so doing they have made a wise decision to allow our new school to retain the heritage names from our old school. Lentz-Eggers Gymnasiun ~ William Ross Auditorium

Follow this link for more information:

link to WataugaDemocrat article

There seems to be three categories in which we recognize individuals with naming rights in our school. We have "Donor" naming for monetary contributions, "Service" naming for distinguished service, and "Memorial" naming in recognition of tragic loss of life.

Bobby Wellborn Baseball Field ~ Drew Newell Outfield
In this post I have tried to identify as many of the named facilities on our old campus as I could. I am sure I have missed something, some memorial, some dedication, some honor recognition.

Milton's Square ~ Milton Hodges

I hope you the reader, will send me any feature I have not included.
You may do so by posting to this link via the comment button below or by emailing to me shelton.wilder@yahoo.com or wilders@watauga.k12.nc.us.

There are numerous Academic and Athletic Trophies and Plaques to archive or exhibit
Plantings and features such as this tree in honor of Bobby Wellborn, a McCauley tree, a 9-11 tree.

In addition to named memorials, there are numerous other heritage features~~~~
There are art works that have become a part of our heritage such as "The Way We Were" mural by Lauren Sumrell in the foyer inspired by the Walt Whitman verse, "Oh Pioneer".
And the stained glass Columbine Tribute at our lobby entrance
It will take our community to help us create our new community on our new campus. This community Heartwork project is in our old Lobby. Through preserving the memories of our past we can find a way to fulfill our hopes and dreams for the future.

Thanks to the readers who pointed me to these additional tributes:

Coming soon!~~~~~~~~~

Watch for a new blog site going public in the very near future that will be dedicated to our Pioneer Heritage; the students, the teachers, and the community that has made the years we have spent at the Old WHS the foundation of our community and the inspiration for our future.