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Alcoa High Wins Two TSBA Awards

Alcoa High School has been named the state’s best designed new school.

During Monday’s awards luncheon at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Alcoa High collected two awards from the Tennessee School Boards Association. It received 2015 School of the Year for Excellence in Architectural Design for the high school division, in addition to the People’s Choice Award.

The awards program honors new school construction in three categories — elementary, middle and high — and remodeling/renovation. Architectural entries are judged on several criteria, including cost efficiency, aesthetics, space relationships, flexibility, community use, safety, site development and adaptation to site and size. TSBA doesn’t make on-site visits, and awards are based solely on material provided to the judge.

TSBA members choose the People’s Choice Award, which is similar to the program’s best in show. It is the only design award selected by members.

“Both awards validate the dedication and hard work of our project team,” said Alcoa Director of Schools Brian Bell. “We set out to build the best school in Tennessee. We also wanted it to be functional, because it is our belief that this building will be there for a long time. They accomplished what we set out to do.”

“We’re excited and honored to receive this recognition,” said Doug Shover, Lewis Group Architects’ vice president of primary and secondary education. “However, we’re always pleased when a facility meets the needs of our clients.”

Alcoa High is the third Blount County school and fourth local school to be recognized in the program’s 13-year history. In 2014, Greenback School collected first place in the high school division. In 2012, Coulter Grove Intermediate obtained third place in the elementary division. In 2011, Prospect Elementary received second place in the same division.

Collaboration Hailed

“The new Alcoa High was a great project to work on due to the direction of our school board and the collaboration between all stakeholders,” Bell said. “We got the three best firms in East Tennessee — the Lewis Group Architects, Merit Construction and Lawler-Wood — to assemble our ideas and fully implement them. Everybody put forth a considerable amount of effort and it shows in the finished product.”

The new Alcoa High’s design was inspired by the architecture of former ALCOA Inc. buildings and Alcoa schools. The project team reviewed the former West Plant headquarters and Bassel, Charles M. Hall and Springbrook schools.

Alcoa High’s exterior carriage lights are inspired by area architecture and finishes. The clam-shape poles are inspired by Maryville College’s light poles, and the carriage lanterns are close matches to the original Alcoa High School’s lights.

The 180,000-square-foot facility’s cross-hatching is also reminiscent of the original building. It pays tribute to the district’s namesake with a 40-foot tall, 20-ton aluminum dome on the structure’s rotunda.

In addition to the dome, a dozen ALCOA Tennessee Operations employees helped manufacture an 1,100-pound aluminum medallion that is located in Myrtle Coker Wilkinson Student Commons. Crews also installed a diagram of the aluminum atom in the commons area’s floor.

More than 800 people worked directly on the 25-month construction project. Lawler-Wood served as Alcoa City Schools’ project representative.

The Lewis Group Architects and Merit Construction served as architect and general contractor, respectively. Subcontractors included Al Blankenship Enterprises, Blount Excavating, Cherokee Millwright, C2RL, DFA Solutions, Dixie Roofing, Gallagher & Associates, GEOServices, Glenn E. Mitchell & Co., Massey Electric Co., Quality Machine and Welding Co., Shoffner Kalthoff Mechanical Electrical Service, Southern Glass and WASCO Inc.

Third Award

In the past six months, Alcoa High has received three state-level awards. It even started collecting awards before it opened in July.

In May, Alcoa High won the Land Use category in the 2015 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards (GESAs) program. It was recognized with 10 other winners at an awards ceremony held June 23 in Nashville.

The energy-efficient building is located on the former ALCOA West Plant site, a 375-acre property bounded by Hall Road, Alcoa Highway, Hunt Road, Mills Street, and Faraday Street.

Alcoa City Schools obtained a a brownfield voluntary agreement for the site, which provides liability protection to potential purchasers of contaminated property and ensures that the future use of the property will not pose a risk to the public.

“In 2008, ALCOA began to look for firms to redevelop the site,” according to a media release issued for the GESAs program. “Data was compiled from environmental studies and reports to form a mixed-use development plan. (The) West Plant, (which) occupied the site for 69 years, had byproducts from their manufacturing processes that were disposed of in several on-site landfills.”

Crews had to address a landfill area that included various contaminants, the release said. They also had to remediate a 2.5-acre storm water management area, which had once contained settling ponds, to make green space for the school campus.

“We took a dead, unused piece of land and transformed it into a vibrant property,” Bell said.

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State OKs Design for UT Audiology Building

NASHVILLE — After years of delay, a new University of Tennessee audiology and speech pathology building should begin rising out of the ground at the UT Medical Center complex off Alcoa Highway in Knoxville by next summer.

To read more, please follow the link provided by Knoxville News Sentinel

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Jefferson County Creates Sustainable Change Across Their Organization

In order to change the way that the world sees aging, it is important to not just implement The Green House model, but also to sustain it.  Through experience and research, we have found that this occurs most successfully when culture change exists throughout the organization, not just within The Green House homes.

Jefferson County Nursing home in Tennessee opened their three Green House homes in 2010, and have experienced successful outcomes and stories of transformation.  As they look to the future, they have decided to partner again with The Green House Project on a process called, The Legacy Blueprint.  This program is offered to Green House organizations when they also have a legacy home to promote alignment of the core values and essential practices of The Green House model.  All elders, regardless of where they live, deserve a small, flexible and warm environment with opportunities for choice, and a sense of purpose.

Roger Mynatt, Executive Director of Jefferson County Nursing Home, shares, “We chose work with The Green House Project on the Legacy Blueprint because it will create the perfect bridge between the Legacy Building and our Green House homes.  We are taking the best of our mission and complimenting it with the Green House Core Values to create staff empowerment and person-directed care.”

To learn more about The Green House implementation process, click here to download Homes for Success

New Alcoa High School Welcomes Students

Almost 2,000 students head back to class to at Alcoa City Schools, which includes the opening of the new Alcoa High School.

The $33 million building is new this school year, and has been in the works for three years.

The 180,000 square foot building can hold up to 1,000 students, whereas the old high school could hold about 600.

To read more, follow the link provided by WBIR

Alcoa High School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Over 10 years ago, LGA called on Alcoa City Schools with the hopes of developing a long lasting relationship. With a strong dedication from our Business Development Leader, we continued to build on that relationship and as of yesterday morning, Alcoa City Schools celebrated their ribbon cutting for the brand new Alcoa High School. LGA is extremely proud to be the architect of record for such an unbelievably dedicated school system. Check out the article from The Daily Times

Tom Rinehart 3/11/51 - 5/25/15

LGA lost a member of the family over the weekend. Tom Rinehart had been with LGA since 2006 and was one of the best spec writers in the entire state of Tennessee. He will be missed by many in the architectural and construction community. Our deepest sympathies go out to his entire family. Tom Rinehart 3/11/51 - 5/25/15

Born in Mansfield, Ohio Tom Rinehart graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1974 and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee shortly after. He worked for Cooper and Perry Architects on projects including the new Henderson Hall for Carson Newman College and the Renovation of Hodges Library for The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Tom became a Certified Construction Specifier in 1986 while at Bullock Smith & Partners, Inc. where he maintained the office master specification and provided specifications for projects. He became a Certified Construction Contract Administrator in 1999 while at Architectural Services Group, Inc. where he also provided project administration for numerous projects.

Tom joined The Lewis Group Architects, Inc. in 2006 where he maintained the office master specification, wrote specifications for projects, provided construction administration, and reviewed projects for zoning and code compliance. He achieved LEED AP BD+C accreditation in 2012. He was also a member of American Institute of Architects, Construction Specifications Insitute, and the U.S. Green Building Council.

First Ford dealership in Cleveland named to the National Register

A building that held the first Ford Motor Co. dealership in Cleveland, Tenn., and one of the earliest such businesses in the state, has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The structure, located in downtown Cleveland at 125 Inman St., housed the long-running C.C. Card Auto Co., said Sybil Argintar, owner of Southeastern Preservation Services, which helped prepare the nomination to the National Register.

To read more, please follow the link provided by Times Free Press

LGA’s own Christina Pint Honored at the “Bernhard Hoesli: Collages”

LGA architect, Christina Betanzos Pint, visited University of Texas at Arlington on February 24 for a reception celebrating the recent opening of the exhibition titled “Bernhard Hoesli: Collages” that she originally curated in 2001.  Thanks to a renewed interest in the Hoesli’s work, the exhibition is traveling again.  Bernhard Hoesli was a Swiss architect who taught in the United States in the 50’s and 60’s and later practiced and taught in his hometown of Zurich, Switzerland until his death in 1984.  Along with Colin Rowe, John Hedjuk, Werner Seligmann, John Shaw, and, Robert Slutzky among others, Hoesli came to be known as one of the “Texas Rangers” – the group of young professors who began their teaching careers at the University of Texas at Austin and whose collaborations identified and defined key concepts of Modernist architecture and urbanism and revolutionized the way architecture, specifically Modern architecture, is taught in the United States and abroad.  Hoesli’s collages, directly influenced by the trajectories in art made possible by Cubism, demonstrate the concept of phenomenal transparency developed by Rowe, Slutzky, and Hoesli, and first described in the now classic essay, “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal”.  The collages are also closely linked to the Hoesli’s concept of the “dialogical city” and Rowe’s concept of “collage city”.  The exhibition is open until March 10 in Arlington, TX (Click here to see exhibition announcement.) and will then travel to Cooper Union in New York where it will be shown until April 30.  To learn more or to obtain a copy of the exhibition catalog write to

Visit our Facebook and LinkedIn page to see photos from her trip.

Ben Atchley State Veterans’ Home Rated 5 Star

The Ben Atchley State Veterans' Home was rated a 5 star nursing home facility for the second straight year! LGA is extremely proud to be part of such a great facility!

To read more about this, please follow the link provided by the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Employment Opportunity

The Lewis Group Architects, Inc., P.C. (LGA) with locations in Knoxville and Cleveland, Tennessee, is an architecture and interior design firm with over 30 years of history working in East Tennessee. LGA provides services in architecture, interior architecture, interior design, and master planning for project types including; healthcare, higher education, K-12 education, commercial, senior living, and civic.

LGA has an opening for an intermediate level architectural drafter with a minimum of 5 years of experience in architectural production (SD through CD phases) and proficiency in REVIT and AutoCAD.

Qualifications and Skills:
• Proficiency in AutoCAD and REVIT
• Working knowledge of construction document preparation
• Working knowledge of ADA and building code requirements
• Ability to prioritize and manage tasks against deadlines
• Ability to handle more than one project at a time
• Ability to communicate effectively with others
• Good organizational skills and attention to detail
• Resourcefulness and strong work ethic
• Bachelor of Architecture degree required
• Architecture licensing completed or in progress preferred, but other qualified candidates may also be considered
• LEED AP preferred, but not required
• Legal U.S. work status only

Submit resume via email to Craig Lewis at Please provide references.

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