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2018 Build Knoxville Awards – Tate’s Multipurpose Building “The Barn”

May 01, 2018
By Tate's School

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Tennessee - Knoxville Branch announced Merit Construction was the distinguished winner of the 2018 Build Knoxville Project Award in the category of Institutional Projects under 5 million for Tate’s Multipurpose Building “The Barn”. AGS’s annual Build Knoxville Awards program honors the Knoxville region’s most impressive construction projects. Award winners excel in the areas of: state-of-the-art advancement, project management, innovation in construction techniques or materials, safety record, client service, community relations, environmental sensitivity, and partnering excellence.

Tate’s School opened “The Barn” in January 2017. The 8,673 square foot facility is located on a recently dedicated area of campus and features a basketball court, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a commercial kitchen where home-made meals are prepared daily for students. 

“The gym looks nothing like a school building at all. With the look of an elegant red Kentucky horse stable on the exterior and heavy timber beams and trusses on the interior, our hope is that it will truly be a signature building in our community,” said Lou L Tate, founder of Tate’s School. The building features barn sconces, the same lighting system used by Disney to create colorful LED displays, an elegant board & batten interior, and a 16’ movie screen.

Merit Construction and Barry Byrd Architecture worked closely with Tate’s to ensure the facility would work well on Tate’s 54-acre campus that is filled with unique, rustic log structures. “This building will make a lasting impression children for years to come,” said Buddy Heins, Vice President of Merit Construction. Working with 80-foot trusses on a 45-foot ceiling required innovation from all parties involved, but the results were well worth the effort. Storm water management and safety precautions were of the highest daily priorities. The project was completed on an active campus, therefore keeping the jobsite clean and safe was a must. Merit Construction was awarded the contract after a competitive bid process based upon their expertise in education related structures.

Fondly called “The Barn” by students, this new building is a part of Tate’s managed growth strategy in which Tate’s has expanded into the middle school grades. Future plans include opening “The Barn” to community events and private weddings.