FPA provided structural and geotechnical engineering services for alterations and additions to Princeton High School and John Witherspoon Middle School. The high school and middle school required one- and two-story additions; both schools have a basement in some of the additions. Underpinning of the existing foundations was required in the high school. The basic structure for all the schools is steel framed, with exterior walls of veneer backed-up by concrete masonry block. The roof is metal deck supported by steel beams and joists and the supported floors are concrete slabs on composite metal deck supported by steel beams. The additions in the high school accommodated new classrooms, a gymnasium, and a state-of-the-art auditorium. The high school required major demolition with the removal of large sections of the existing building. The additions in the middle school provided space for classrooms, a gymnasium, and swimming pool, and required less demolition. Structural design work was required to support some of the existing structure where the new additions abut the existing building. The design process was rendered more complex due to architectural features such as changing roof lines, entry features, varying exterior façade, and exterior elements at the façade such as sun screens, etc. The goal was to provide a common theme between all the schools, rendering a continuity of design for all the additions.
Our geotechnical services included subsurface exploration at both schools and a report providing recommendations for foundation and slab design. Work also included the design of an underdrain system for the high school and addressed water problems during construction at the middle school and high school.