Paducah Tilghman High School

Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah Tilghman High School is an exquisite, yet unique institution located in Paducah, Kentucky. Here, students excel in academics, fine arts, and extra-curricular activities. The exceptionality of Paducah Tilghman not only manifests in the students’ achievements, but also in the physical structure of the school.

The original glass blocks used in the building were installed in 1956 when the school was built.  After 50 plus years the glass block and surrounding windows needed a facelift. So when the Paducah school board voted to replace the original glass block, the architect, Craig Thomas of RBS Design Group contacted Pittsburgh Corning.

Although Pittsburgh Corning had not made this product in many years, they were able to recreate it as part of its Collaborative Customization Program. This program allows architects, designers and owners to work with Pittsburgh Corning to design a glass block that meets their design criteria whether it be for historic renovation or to meet their vision for the project.

Pittsburgh Corning went above and beyond to manufacture a replica glass block to match the look of the original pattern used in the building. RBS Design Draftsman, Ryan Wissner stated the project was “simply a renovation of taking out the old and replacing it with the new”. He said the main focus of the renovation was to make sure the existing blocks matched the new blocks, “so Paducah could keep its historic look.” Pittsburgh Corning acknowledges the importance of working with architects when they are in the design stages of a project because it creates an opportunity to provide custom options if feasible.

Approximately 5,000 pieces of 12”x12”x4” ESSEX® AA pattern new glass blocks were used to replace the previous glass blocks on the north side of the building. The new blocks were situated above operable windows in each of the school’s classrooms. In addition to Pittsburgh Corning being able to manufacture the blocks, other product attributes such as light transmission and security also influenced the much needed replacement. Paducah school board Chairwoman Danette Humphrey says it’s important to install new blocks to give the school a clean look and reduce energy costs. Altogether, the project took precisely six months to complete.

Not only is Paducah Tilghman High School intellectually prosperous, but they now boast a sense of architectural richness. After the completion of the renovated windows, Paducah Tilghman High School’s classrooms are now up-to-date and newly furnished thanks to the work of architect Craig Thomas and his partnership with Pittsburgh Corning.