The Construction Industry Training Council of Washington (CITC) is a state-licensed, vocational trade school for the construction industry offering training throughout Washington State. CITC provides a four-year training program for construction apprentices in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, hvac, and site safety, building code, and document familiarity. Apprentices already in the construction industry advance their training and certification through this program which is supported by the general contractors employing these apprentices.
Our team of custom-building designers in Seattle was selected as Architect, working closely with CITC to build the next generation of construction training facilities that reach out, energize, and influence the next generation of builders. We designed the Marysville campus to be a spark that is carried into the buildings that CITC’s students build in the future and to “brand” CITC through their completed facilities.
The Marysville campus was designed to express its building materials, details and processes, influencing and impacting young construction apprentices and their active general contractor supporters. The building was thoughtfully developed to surround students in hands-on training while invoking a tactile interest in building technologies. This design philosophy lead to an approach that sought to deliver a clean, modern facility with an abundance of light and interconnected classrooms, administration facilities, and hands-on laboratories while exposing and expressing the building’s many parts and details. The building itself is a celebration of building and the building trades, connections, and materials being taught within.
At the same time, Rhodes Architecture + Light created a Marysville campus that advertised CITC as a leader in construction training, with an environment that is a fun, playful place to learn, and a model of how humble materials, well joined, make great space. Creating a celebration of the building trades highlights and attracts the General Contractors who rely on CITC Washington to train their next generation of builders.
The 26,080-square foot facility that CITC leased in early 2017 was an antiquated tilt-up concrete and heavy timber manufacturing building that did not meet the City of Marysville land use, building, energy, life-safety, fire, plumbing or mechanical codes required for a vocational school. Design work required completely re-planning the facility for new parking, landscaping, exterior student lounges, administrative offices, classrooms and board room, four large high-bay training laboratories, toilets and bathrooms, and included new structural, envelope, storefront, interior spaces + finishes, and mechanical, electrical, low-voltage, fire sprinkler + alarm, and lighting systems. A completely new layout, circulation, and egress was required.
The overall construction budget for the CITC Marysville campus was very frugal and the project planning, engineering, design and the permitting had to be completed in about four months. Our team of Seattle based custom-building designers rose to the challenge and created a new home and brand for CITC.
The CITC campus includes substantial new parking for apprentices and staff, a new entry axis and approach, and entries accented by plate steel canopies with the CITC logo lettering “punched” out and expressed. Extensive re-landscaping of the grounds was critical to creating a natural environment outside the building with which interior spaces interact. Wood and plumbing pipe trellises shelter three new outdoor student lounges accenting building corners.
New glass and aluminum storefront at the entry and classrooms opens instruction space to extensive new landscapes and light. The glass and clear anodized aluminum storefront is continued into the core of the building allowing open views across all classrooms, administration offices, and library into the rear training lab spaces. The interiors of the new facility encourage interconnections between academic learning spaces, board room, and circulation and the hands-on laboratories, involving students and visitors in the on-going construction being taught in the open labs.
The use of the building in the branding of CITC was emphasized by CITC’s program. Entry steel canopies, the terrazzo tile entry foyer floor, signage, and a punched steel counter at reception all feature and celebrate CITC in their colors and design while drawing attention to the simple materials out of which they are built. Construction details are emphasized and connections, fasteners, and expressed building materials expose apprentices to the beauty of the building and its detail and joints.
Storefront glass, skylights, and glass overhead “garage” doors introduce natural light into building spaces. However,
the majority of the CITC classes are taught at night since construction apprentices work in the industry during the day. The old facility was dark and spaces opaque to the outdoors and to each other. Lighting was critical and was developed to accent the building, entries, and the circulation path. Theatrical projectors light the CITC terrazzo logo at the entry floor, plate steel canopies are lit with LED strips to provide landmarks and way-finding, the landscape and outdoor student lounges are lit with low-light-polluting ground-mounted lighting. Classrooms utilize high-efficacy linear LED fixtures and the large open laboratories are lit with industrial high-bay LED fixtures. The lighting exceeds the Washington State Energy Code requirements for high efficiency and light-harvesting. Interior finishes and materials selected use light colors and materials to maximize reflected lighting levels.
CITC Marysville materials and finishes were chosen by Rhodes Architecture + Light to be clean, hardy, low-maintenance, contemporary, and to express their composition. An existing 12-inch concrete floor slab was ground to express the aggregate in the concrete, then sealed. Public spaces are floored with a colored, long-wearing terrazzo tile that allowed the custom creation of CITC’s logo in the entry lobby floor. Terrazzo “Ice Stone” counters and porcelain wall and floor tile were selected in the creation of long lasting, bright, clean restrooms. A custom wood trim and base in classrooms and administration spaces and heavy galvanized steel base trim with exposed fasteners in labs expresses the use of these spaces while protecting walls for many years. Dropped acoustic ceiling “clouds” in administration and classroom spaces incorporate advanced lighting and acoustics while exposing the electrical and mechanical systems at the perimeter above. The existing heavy glued-laminated structure was retained, cleaned and sand-blasted to express the original structure and the history of that structure’s finishes while contrasting the old structure with the newer, clean, contemporary finishes.
Though our team of Seattle custom building designers created all interior and exterior plans working closely with Coffman Engineers (Electrical + Lighting), Shutler Engineers (Structural), CFM (Mechanical/HVAC), Skyline Communications (Low-Voltage) and the builder, Alegis Construction, to complete the state-of-the-art CITC Marysville Campus in later 2017.
Tim James Rhodes RA. AIA.