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Kraus-Anderson to build biological station at Itasca State Park

BEMIDJI – The University of Minnesota has selected Kraus-Anderson as construction manager for the 11,800-square-foot Campus Center at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories in Itasca State Park. Construction is expected to begin in April 2013, with completion in December 2013.

The project will replace three 60-year old obsolete buildings with one facility providing year-round classrooms and technology-enabled laboratories. The new facility will accommodate a 20 percent increase in capacity at peak season and address a growing demand for year-round use.

The building will include laboratories, classrooms, a multipurpose gathering room accommodating 150 people, library/computer room and administrative offices.

Created to serve as an educational tool for teaching sustainability, the facility is being designed to meet Minnesota B3 requirements and anticipates LEED Gold status (with goals to obtain Platinum) through a substantial reduction in energy use. Sustainable design elements include:

– Maximum daylight entering into laboratory classrooms.

– Operable windows and skylights to take advantage of natural free cooling.

– Southern exposure for access to the winter solar gain.

– Geothermal heating and cooling serving the occupied areas.

– Composting toilets.

A geothermal well field will be installed under the adjacent athletic field, which will be restored. Site soils will also be balanced, eliminating the need to bring in corrective material.

In addition, the site design and landscape will incorporate new accessible pedestrian routes to the building from two directions of campus. New native plantings will be strategically placed to provide solar shading of the building and water filtration of the site.

The exterior design of the building will respect Itasca State Park’s rustic aesthetic while incorporating sustainable design strategies. The building will consist of three gabled roof portions with a low-sloped roof between. Sky lights and strategically placed windows will provide daylight and solar radiant energy for the building. Materials will include painted wood siding, field stone, wood windows and asphalt shingles. The architect is Minneapolis-based Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd.

Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. is headquartered in Minneapolis and has a regional office in Bemidji.