Projects: EducationNext Project

Anthony Community Middle School
Safe and Welcoming Entrance

The Anthony Middle School 4,000 square foot, phased renovation and addition creates a safer, more welcoming entrance for students.

In phase one, the existing entry vestibule and retaining wall was removed and a new stair tower constructed. New stairs between the lower parking lot and the upper South Entrance will also being added. A state-of-the-art digital sign welcomes visitors and provides news and updates to students. Inside, a solid partition wall will replace the folding partition wall in the auxiliary gym and the former wood shop was renovated into additional classroom space.

In phase two, the existing interior south stairwell will be removed, and the new safe and welcoming entrance will be integrated into the existing building, near the main office. A new conference room will also be added.

Innovation in Action

Geofoam Backfill Results in Shorter Schedules, Less Concrete, and More Stable Construction

On the Safe and Welcoming Entrance project, the biggest challenge the team had to tackle was grading the site—which had a 14-foot drop along the east side of the building. The architects and structural engineers at TKDA created a plan to utilize geofoam backfill and engaged TR Concrete to install it.

Geofoam is a lightweight fill material that reduces the ground load and minimizes settlement. On an addition project like at Anthony Middle School, where traditional fill materials such as soil and rock, would be heavy, geofoam mitigates the need for structural steel support and uses less concrete. It is also easy to install.

“We installed approximately 4,500 cubic feet of geofoam at Anthony Middle School,” said Randy Becker, President of TR Concrete. “Geofoam is easy to handle and quick to install. Its lightweight nature makes it easy to cut, shape, and position.”

Despite how lightweight it is, geofoam has excellent load distribution properties, minimizes differential settlement, and provides consistent support across construction areas. It is not susceptible to erosion or decay and has long-term stability.

“Geofoam is also environmentally friendly,” said superintendent Brian Hillestad of Stahl Construction. “It is made of recycled material, contributing to sustainable construction practices. It also helps with insulation, trapping hot and cold air, helping to control temperatures at the building foundations.”

Minneapolis Public Schools


Minneapolis, MN

Renovation & Addition

4,000 SF