A New Facade for the Home of the Cougars

May 30, 2019 | Case Histories

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Home of the Cougars, Salina South High School educates approximately 1,200 students each year. In 2017, the school board called upon DLR Group to spearhead renovations and campus updates, which included two major classroom wings, a gymnasium and an improved front entrance to the school.

DLR Group sought a sunshading solution for the new entrance that would also preserve the school’s open courtyard. The solution was transparent signage that would allow the school to showcase its brand, without closing off the courtyard. Through partnership on previous projects, DLR Group knew GKD Metal Fabrics could create the ideal façade solution.




“We worked with DLR Group on previous high school projects and the results were fantastic,” said Jeff Abbott, Customer Service Manager, GKD. “They came back to us for Salina South because our fabrics are a perfect fit for etched graphics, which DLR Group specified for the new design.”

Through close collaboration during initial design and concept development, DLR Group and GKD create an etched design that would breathe new life into the school’s appearance.




To achieve a striking look with consideration for the transparency of the facade, Omega 1510 was specified for the project. Durable and flexible, Omega 1510 offers superior sunshading ability, protection from the elements and is an ideal weave for applying etched graphics. Using the fabric’s flat design to its advantage, GKD creates a high contrast image that in this case, brought the image of a cougar to life.

“The beauty of etching is that it remains maintenance-free throughout its life,” said Abbott. “Etched graphics will experience no deterioration because the image is literally etched into the stainless-steel surface rather than using paint. Really, it can outlast the building that it’s attached to.” This can be a significant consideration for schools, which often operate under tight budgets and may not have the ability for continued maintenance on aesthetic improvements.




A 15-foot-tall cougar now greets the students at Salina South when they arrive for the day. Five metal mesh panels were combined to create a 54’ wide façade. Though composed of multiple pieces, the panels were installed tightly together to let the cougar image flow uninterrupted throughout the façade.

Salina South had spent many decades developing a reputation for transformative education and athletic success – a point that current and former students take pride in. Now, the new façade helps the students, faculty and staff display that Cougar pride in in a big and bold way.


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