Category: Institutional
Location: Bradenton, FL
Size: 71,200 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: Over 100 profiles and 2,700 pieces of precast, 300,000 units of brick, 170,000 units CMU, and 1,200 cy grout.
Submitted by: Masonry Builders Inc.

Project Description

This project involved a building systems and envelope study to determine the feasibility of restoration versus replacement of the 1926 Paul F. Davis Building on the Manatee High School campus. Long and Associates, the architect, provided multiple design options for Owner review, keeping in mind the historical nature of the facility. This high political debate ensued within the community. Based on the findings and presentations, on 1-27-08 the school board voted to replace this building with a new facility. The 71,146 sq. ft., two-story facility includes an 800 seat auditorium for the state of the art performing arts program. The building also includes dressing rooms, 25 classrooms, 2 music labs, multiple practice areas, band and chorus rooms, orchestra room, a two story interior atrium, and an outdoor amphitheater.

The exterior design uses classical elements to resemble the original design while improving the aesthetics, proportions, and details. The original Corinthian columns were cast and recreated for the front entry and stepped plinth. The symbols or "strength," "integrity," and "tradition," were incorporated in the stone and brick detailing throughout the building design with cast medallions and cornices. The Corinthian columns and capitals were directly cast from the original 1926 columns with custom made forms for an exact recreation. White precast concrete details provide a water table based around the building as well as classical elements at the entries and parapets also recreated from the original design. In addition, the brick features included corbels, pattern corbels, arches, and soldiers.

The masonry contractor selected was Masonry Builders Inc., a company stepped in masonry heritage. The owners are Tom and Todd Bradley, who are fourth generation masonry contractors. Their great grandfather had started the masonry tradition back before this building was even designed as a stone mason in England in the early 1900's. Two veterans with Masonry Builders, Bill Mitcheltree and Rich Chivari, with 70 years' experience between them, chose a young foreman Josh Guy to run this project. Having only a few years removed from the Masonry Association of Florida Apprenticeship program, young Josh was up to the task. Anther past MAF apprentice graduated and former three time winner of the nati0nal apprentice competition, Chris Sutherland, was Josh's right hand man. Josh took to heart the workmanship required to satisfy the community and moreover himself from the less0ons he was taught by Ed Robertson, his instructor from apprenticeship school. The project demanded quality and intricacy to combine the over 100 profile shapes of the precast intertwined between the 300,000 brick veneer units.

The architect, Lex Long with Long and Associated, and Gus Pardo, the project manager for the general contractor Creative Contractors, were very instrumental in making this project a total success.

The end result is a masterpiece any masonry craftsman would be proud of.

Project Participants

Owner: Manatee School District

  • Architect/Desinger: Lex Long, Long and Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Lex Long, Long and Associates
  • General Contractor: Gustavo Pardo, Creative Contractors
  • Masonry Contractor: Todd Bradley, Masonry Builders, Inc.
  • Masonry Supplier: Jim Ruck, Oldcastle Ruck Brothers Brick
  • Masonry Supplier: Al Heindorf, Cemex
  • Masonry Supplier: Terry Gillis, Commercial Concrete Products