West-MEC Aviation Center5487 N 99th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85305
Design Achievement - Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) is a dynamic public school District that formed a unique partnership with 12 school Districts in Maricopa County in 2003 to enhance Career and Technical educational opportunities for students and instructors. DLR Group's design of the West-MEC Aviation Center provides a dynamic specialty training center for high school and adult students seeking future careers in aviation. The facility supports a program consistent of up to 1900 hours of instruction in general, air frame, power plant, and avionics as prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration. It has a capacity to handle up to 100 enrollees per week. To emphasize its role as a Federal Aviation Administration training center, the design features striping, as found on an airport tarmac, running from the parking lot through the lobby and into the teaching environment. Dramatic super graphics are placed along this path to enhance the wayfinding experience. Due to high visibility from Glendale Avenue, the metal building's bold gesture responds to movement and the unique vernacular of adjacent facilities. The fluid movement in the façade is similar to aircraft's geometry by applying references to the wing profile design and therefore acting as inspiration to the learning environment.
Scope Summary - The architecture comprises a new 47,000 SF pre-engineered metal structure consisting of classrooms, administrative offices, training areas, and workspace. Creative use of material and systems coupled with the economies of a pre-engineered metal building resulted in cost-effective construction. The metal building serves well the need for clear span for an aircraft hangar. Housing an FAA-accredited program, design further fulfilled very specific space and equipment needs as well. DLR Group provided architecture, engineering, interiors, and landscape architecture services in design-build delivery with McCarthy Building Companies.