Tucker High School


Tucker, GA


DeKalb County School System Design & Construction, Tucker, GA


Milton Pate Architects, Tucker, GA


Bennett & Pless, Atlanta, GA


Turner Construction Co., Atlanta, GA

Project Scope

Sq. Footage:

340,000 sf (32,000 sf in two phases)


3 floors

Architectural Precast Elements:

• 1,144 CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels



• Thin brick veneer a thin brick veneer


• lightly sandblasted areas to mimic limestone


$53 million


2010 and 2011 ACI (American Concrete Institute) Awards, “Low-Rise Building” category (both phases)
2011 PCI (Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute) Design Award Winner — “Best All Precast Solution”
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School
Tucker High School

Design Challenge:
Construct the new facility around existing buildings on the same site as the original school built in 1963.

Unique Innovations:
The $53 million, 340,000 sf, Tucker High School, Tucker, Georgia, is a 1,800 student multi-level facility constructed in multiple phases. It uses 210,000 sf of CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels that are thermally efficient and fully structurally composite while offering outstanding aesthetics.

Phase one included two-story and four-story classrooms and a separate two-story administration building, media center, art and science labs, additional classroom spaces and three-level parking facility. The second phase of construction includes technology classroom labs, a 600-seat auditorium, a 1,200-seat gymnasium, a renovated cafeteria and kitchen space, athletic fields and landscaped courtyards.

By using a total–precast concrete structural system, including wall panels, double tees, spandrels, columns, and beams, the construction team on this high school could erect portions of the building within 2 ft (0.6 m) of the existing, and still occupied, campus buildings. This approach resulted from community input, which indicated citizens wanted the new facility to retain the original high school’s presence as an architectural anchor for the town’s Main Street.

Because of the proximity to ongoing activities, the project was completed in two phases. In the first phase, the existing gymnasium was demolished, utilities were rerouted, and two total–precast concrete classroom buildings were erected. These facilities consisted of classrooms, labs, a media center, and administrative offices. Students could then occupy the new classrooms, after which the original building was torn down. The second phase completed the campus with technology classroom labs, an auditorium, a gymnasium, a kitchen, athletic fields, and landscaped courtyards.

The design features load-bearing exterior precast concrete walls with continuous insulation that allowed the building to achieve a steady-state R-value of 19. The components were shipped from only 40 mi (64 km) away and included all local materials:
• aggregates
• cements
• sands
• fly ash
• strand
• reinforcing
• insulation.

A variety of postconsumer and preconsumer recycled materials were used in fabricating the precast concrete materials. These included fly ash, reinforcing bars and mesh, cement, strand, foam insulation, connections, and steel shapes. Recycled materials were used throughout the project. For instance, concrete was salvaged from the original school building and reused.

The owner, design team, and construction manager at risk agreed that erecting the 210,000 sf (20,000 sf) precast concrete shell in only 52 working days was the key to achieving the overall schedule and ensuring that the students made a swift and smooth transition to the new school.

“This project used precast in a unique and innovative way, combining many concepts into one panel. The tight site lent itself well to precast concrete construction, allowing panels to be erected within a few inches of an existing building, which many other materials would not have been able to accomplish. The school also is quite compelling aesthetically. This building excelled in providing textural variety and wedding exterior materials. Its scale fits the community perfectly. The design represents a very efficient method and the future of how to use precast concrete.”

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