Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Career & Tech High School earns second design

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Thursday, March 27, 2008

MAT-SU -- The MAT-SU Career & Technical High School earned its second design award this year. Only 11 national applicants out of 100 were chosen to receive the most recent award from the American Institute of Architects.

McCool Carlson Green Architects designed the building. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough manages the construction of new schools in the Borough. Public Works Director Keith Rountree was impressed with the first award, let alone a second.

"McCool Carlson Green has set the standard in designing this remarkable building," Rountree said. "They have redefined the terms "customer satisfaction" and "teamwork," and they have positively shown how our school buildings can very much compliment the educational process."

The AIA committee on Architecture for Education awarded the project the 2008 Educational Facility Design Citation Award.

Bob Bechtold was the Borough's project manager for the school. "McCool Carlson Green Architects is the consummate architectural firm," Bechtold said. "MCG Architects demonstrate superior technical and communication skills. They listen to the owner and provide the requested design services to meet our requests or a logical and well-defined reason why our requests are possibly not in our best interests. MCG also repeatedly selects an engineer consultant staff that has an established track record with the Borough and School District. They have proven their value in the design of the MAT-SU Career & Technical High School and Shaw Elementary School. And they continue to prove their mettle with the South Palmer Elementary School and the new Su-Valley High School designs."

The Mat Su Career & Technical High School, capacity 625, houses under one roof, many of the much-acclaimed career and technical programs in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, which were previously located in various facilities. There are five major educational pathways at the school:



Health Sciences/Nursing

Culinary Arts/Hospitality/Tourism

Physical Fitness/Sports Science.

This project was completed in August 2007 after significant outreach to the community, including business leaders and the School District. Part of the 76,000-square foot building offers an expansive two-story open area. It's a building design that teaches. Throughout the building, the buckling restraint braces and the HVAC ductwork are exposed. Cable trays were left exposed overhead in the halls to guide the Ethernet cable throughout the building, while simultaneously allowing students to see how a building works.

In December 2007, the Career & Tech school won the Len Mackler Award, which recognizes excellence in design and functional planning of educational buildings and programs. The Council of Educational Facility Planners International sponsors the award.

MAT-SU voters approved bonds for the project in 2003. The state is reimbursing the Borough 60 percent of of the construction bonds. Collins Construction was the builder. For more information contact Bob Bechtold at 907-746-7417 or Barnes, with McCool Carlson Green Architects at 907-563-8474.

The school is located at 2472 North Seward Meridian Pkwy.

Photos credited to Kevin G. Smith. Photos can be seen on the Borough Web site at