Historic Alameda High School
Alameda, Calif.
Best Project

Owner: Alameda Unified School District
Contractor: Lathrop Construction Associates
Lead Design Firm: Quattrocchi Kwok Architects
Structural Engineer: ZFA Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Brelje and Race
MEP Engineer: Costa Engineers Inc.
Electrical Engineers: O’Mahony & Myer
Landscape Architect: Carducci Associates
Subcontractors: Axiom Engineers Inc.; D. Bartlett Consulting Inc.; Dohn & Associates Inc.; Larry L. Locuson; McCracken & McCracken; Sol Data Inc.; Terracon Consultants Inc.; Van Deusen & Associates Inc.; Miller Pacific

When the 95-year-old buildings that comprise Alameda High School could not meet California seismic standards, the Alameda Unified School District decided to tackle a major upgrade and retrofit that would also provide a 21st-century learning environment.

Improvements to the two- and three-story neoclassical buildings included 600 hundred tons of new steel bracing, 1,200 cu yd of soil-grout injection for stabilization, miles of new wiring and piping, and fire sprinkler systems to improve safety. Additional techniques to safeguard against strong earthquakes included removing the roof and using a crane to place steel braces along the walls on all three floors. The braces were in turn bolted to new concrete foundations.

The discovery of weakened existing concrete columns created a challenge and increased the budget. The columns were strengthened with steel column supplements, and expansion joints were positioned between the buildings to allow more independent movement without them crashing into each other during an earthquake.

Historic preservation also was a priority. The team restored 350 wood windows and 6,000 panes of glass. The building’s exterior was repainted to match its original colors, complementing the repaired original exterior columns, terrazzo stairs and bronze and copper detailing.

Back to ENR California's 2020 Regional Best Project Shine