Stone wool and metal ceiling panels optimize acoustics and enhance aesthetics at school in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s Noble Public School District’s old auditorium was built in 1950 and seated less than 400 people. In the 2020s with nearly 3000 students in the district, this small facility meant that some of the fine arts programs had to be outsourced to other locations. Similarly, the former high school gym was not large enough to host competitive tournaments.
Investing in facility improvements across the school district, a 2017 bond allocated more than half of its total to fund, $19 million, to design and construct new facilities. Respecting the district’s goals and budget, TAP Architecture envisioned a multipurpose, two-story, 50,000-sq.-ft., single structure. It was considered an economical option compared to building separate facilities for a performing arts center and a basketball gym.
Optimizing acoustics for the wide range of activities planned within the auditorium required thoughtful design and high-performance materials.
TAP Architecture selected numerous ceiling solutions to meet the school district’s goals for attractive, comfortable, low-maintenance materials that support the health and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors, as well as the school district’s bottom line.
Meeting all of these needs, Rockfon’s metal ceiling panels can achieve up to 0.90 Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC), and stone wool can meet specifications of 0.95 NRC and higher. Metal and stone wool resist moisture, mold and other microorganisms, and are easy to clean.
The stone wool ceiling panels also are greenguard Gold certified for low-emitting products. Products earning this certification are recognized by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools and other organizations as supporting healthy indoor air quality.
Providing the absorption to make speech intelligible and music clear and comfortable to hear, 17 clouds are suspended above the performing arts’ audience seating area. Rockfon Planostile aluminum ceiling panels were acoustically improved with an Acoutex backer. Their Metalwood Cherry woodgrain finish presents a refined aesthetic with practical durability. Surrounding the stage, Rockfon Artic stone wool panels were installed.
The same Artic ceiling system was used on the lower level’s offices, lounge, hallways and gym locker rooms. The new gym expands the capacity of the former space to approximately 1500 people. The larger gym also elevated the school’s competitive athletic status by allowing it to host playoffs and other sporting events.
Above the common areas on the upper level, 23 ceiling clouds are composed with Rockfon Tropic acoustic stone wool panels.
With a playful nod to the school’s bear mascot, the facility was dubbed “The Den.”