Dee Zunker

HOUSTON, Texas – River Oaks Baptist School teaches students ranging from Pre-K through eighth grade, combining academics with robust character and spiritual development in the heart of Houston. The school is dedicated to preparing students to meet life’s challenges and to be future leaders with superior education and Christian principles.

To keep up with a growing student population, River Oaks embarked on a 10,000-square-foot expansion project, constructing the Mosing Middle School Building and Sarofim Leadership Center, and creating room for 10 additional students per grade.

With a special focus on sustainability, the design was based on a 21st-century approach to learning rooted in STEM education, and included new media and art rooms, performance spaces, and a robotics lab.To empower students and to create a sense of community, the design needed to deliver dynamic and creative learning spaces. The architects turned to CENTRIA for a building envelope that helped embody the school’s mission.

To create the unique aesthetic they were looking for, the architects used CENTRIA’s INTERCEPT ENTYRE modular panels in alternating Silver Gray and Dove Gray colors. The architects also wanted to use an exterior façade that departed from the existing brick palette to better express the school’s innovative learning environment.

Dee Zunker

The metal-clad building was grounded within the existing brick buildings, but it was designed to twist out as each floor rotated to expose a roof garden for each grade-level learning community.

CENTRIA panels allowed for differing joint sizes–standard and oversized–to help define and delineate the overarching pattern and provide a color palette to match the aesthetic.

“The building is optimized for the middle school-aged student, a child in transition,” says Jose Rosales, an associate at Jackson & Ryan Architects. “While much of the school’s curriculum seeks to challenge the student, the community seeks to support students and reinforce the area as a whole. The new building does the same with hyper-flexible spaces where risk-taking-learning can occur, and students can find their comfort zones.”

The panels were shipped to the construction site in small batches to reduce time in the elements before being installed. The design of the building envelope required the installation of special trims in certain areas, which fell to Underwood Sheet Metal, the installer on the job. Underwood was able to make all adjustments on site, contributing to greater efficiency in installation.

“The building is really sharp and has great unique colors used for the design,” said Jeff Underwood, president of Underwood Sheet Metal. “It’s the only time I’ve seen those colors used, and I think it was a game changer.”

Dee Zunker

Underwood Sheet Metal installed the CENTRIA panels around stucco and ledges using a ledge flashing on top to ensure water rolls off and away from the building.

CENTRIA Intercept is a modular metal wall-panel system that incorporates different substrates, depths, tapers, slopes, and perforations to allow design versatility and easy installation.

The Intercept system is ideal for all industries and provides optimal air, water, thermal, and vapor protection. Clean lines, tight corner bends, and simple installation without sealants make for low-maintenance design and better structural integrity.

The Intercept Entyre line offers continuous engagement extrusion and concealed fasteners that work in conjunction with sequentially installed modular panel units. These panels create dramatic aesthetics with smooth planes, clean sight lines, and an extensive palette of colors and finishes.

The new middle school and leadership center opened to students in August 2020 after 18 months of design and construction work. The CENTRIA panels were installed over six months as construction progressed.