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Linda Mah
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Norrix Gets New Look This Summer

Navy Blue Replaces Old Turquoise Sections

Loy Norrix High School is wearing true blue colors.

The school completed a $5.5 million renovation project this summer, which outfitted the building with energy-efficient modifications and replaced the dated exterior turquoise panels with new navy blue sections, voted on by members of the school and public. The work began in the summer of 2017 and is part of a 2013 bond.

The new blue is most visible in the school’s glass tower, where the blue is used alongside a new framework of anodized aluminum.

“We’re trying to bring that forward, and we thought we could use a blue glass there and really help to offset that entryway,” said Shawn Parshall, architectural designer, with architectural and engineering firm Tower Pinkster. “Architecturally, it’s already a focus but through the use of the glass and different materials we can help differentiate it even further. We see the tower as a signature element of the building.”

The remodeling retained much of the building’s distinctive look, which includes the use of wide swaths of glass. The old glass was replaced by an energy efficient alternative: two quarter-inch thick glass panels sandwiching a half inch of air space. While some of the glass elements of the building, such as the floor-to-ceiling windows along the courtyards, were retained, some of the glass was replaced with brick or fiberglass panels, especially in high traffic areas that were prone to damage, such as the ramp corridor.

In addition to the improved efficiency of the glass, some of the old porcelain-coated steel panels seen along the bottom of some walls were replaced by more efficient and better insulated masonry. All of the building’s 92 exterior doors were replaced by doors made of the same steel used for the tower frame.

Other 2018 summer construction projects were:

• Removal of portable classrooms at Edison Environmental Science Academy and Greenwood Elementary School.

• Replacement of flooring in the music room at El Sol Elementary School.

• Installation of a drywell in the north parking lot entrance of King-Westwood Elementary School.

• Removal of ceiling sections at South Westnedge School, which houses the Kalamazoo Innovative Learning Program.

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