Stalco Construction is proceeding with the $16.5-million expansion and renovation of the Long Beach High School in Lido Beach, N.Y. New York City and Islandia, N.Y.-based Stalco serves Long Beach City Schools as general contractor for the high school project. CS Arch is the project architect.
“The expansion and renovations to the Long Beach High School comprise a large portion of the district-wide capital program valued at $98.9 million,” explains Michael I. DeVito, Esq., Long Beach City School’s chief operating officer. “The existing structure suffers from deficiencies and has not received any significant updates or renovations since the early 1970s. Construction of the addition and interior renovations will address these issues and create a very modern, visually attractive school with state-of-the-art educational facilities that will serve the local community for years to come.”
According to Stalco principal Kevin G. Harney, “The Long Beach High School project encompasses construction of a new, three-story, 20,000-square-foot addition to the main building, renovation and reprogramming of the existing three-story school structure, demolition of the separate pre-K building, and construction of new outdoor sports facilities, including six professional-grade tennis courts and a football field with FieldTurf synthetic sport surface, lighting and spectator bleachers.”
The high school project is scheduled for completion in 2014 and will be completed in 10 phases. In addition to Stalco and CS Arch, the project team includes construction manager Savin Engineers, P.C.; structural engineer Ryan-Biggs Associates, PC; mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) engineer Lewis Engineering, P.C., civil engineer The Chazen Companies; and athletic facilities consultant HMH Site & Sports Design.
“The construction crews face numerous logistical and technical challenges related to the location of the site and work taking place in and near an occupied school,” adds Alan Nahmias, Stalco president, outlining the complexity of the project. “For example, the addition is located a mere 30 feet from Reynolds Channel, which causes a very high ground water level that needs to be remediated continuously during the excavation and foundation phases.”
Architecture and Engineering
“CS Arch began work for the Long Beach City Schools district in 2007 by developing a comprehensive needs assessment study. It encompassed a review of space deficiencies in existing facilities, future needs, and infrastructure upgrades necessary to address the long-term instructional, programming, spacial, technology, safety and environmental health needs of the district,” explains Dana Hochberg, a CS Arch associate. “Although the district’s enrollment remained stable, the existing school facilities were outdated and no longer supported current educational needs and programs.”
The expansion and upgrades to the existing high school will resolve numerous issues caused by the outdated design and poor physical condition of the original high school structure. According to Hochberg, “The idea behind the architectural design of the high school addition was the creation of a contextual, but distinct structure. The addition will present a similar massing and façade flow as the original building, but it will appear less monolithic and more contemporary than the old structure. The renovations to the original building’s exterior will also improve the appearance of the complex. These will include replacing the deteriorated concrete shades with aluminum screens.”
The Chazen Companies developed the civil engineering design, including new site and roadway layouts, parking areas, retaining walls, ramps, stairs, drainage and, in collaboration with HMH Site & Sports Design, landscaping. HMH designed the athletic fields.
“One of our goals was to create a pedestrian-friendly area within the campus,” explains Chazen’s director of landscape architectural services, James ‘Andy’ Rymph. “We reconfigured the roadways within the high school’s campus, relocated the main entrance from Laguna Drive West to Blackheath Road, and revised the layouts and locations of surface parking spaces. These changes allowed us to create a mall-like, pedestrian area on the former roadway running between the main high school structure and the gymnasium building. The mall will feature decorative pavement elements, including stamped and colored asphalt areas, and new sidewalks. The only mechanical traffic allowed on the former roadway will be school buses during drop off and pick up times.”
Another area intended to encourage interaction among students will be located near the new entrance to the athletic fields. Designed in a plaza setting, it will feature benches and bicycle racks.
The most extensive landscaping work will take place along the western and southern edges of the campus in order to eliminate the light pollution and screen off the nearby residential properties. The area will feature extensive earthen berms three to five feet in height as well as 75 large evergreen trees. The trees, to be planted at a minimum height of twelve feet, will include fir and blue spruce species.
“The existing school, adjacent to the new addition’s site, remains fully occupied and functional as the construction work proceeds. In the coming months, renovations will also begin inside the existing high school. Our team is undertaking very extensive measures to ensure the safety of the students and staff as well as to prevent interruptions to education activities,” says Joseph M. Serpe, Stalco vice president.
On school days, all noisy and disruptive work takes place only after 3 p.m. The entire construction site is extensively fenced and protected. The security personnel patrol the site 24/7 and access to both the school and the construction area is very closely controlled. All crews and team members, including the architects, are required to wear ID badges at all times and are not allowed to enter the school without prior notification to the school’s management. Smoking is banned on the school property.
In the initial phase of the project, Stalco is undertaking the ground-up construction of the new addition, including the auger piles. The construction process for the piles calls for grout corks to be installed at the bottom of each auger-drilled, 60-foot-deep hole. Corks are attached to the augers prior to the beginning of the drilling of each hole. Once the auger reaches the desired depth, a #10 rebar is inserted through the auger’s central tube in order to disconnect the cork from the auger and provide reinforcement for the entire pile. Following installation of the corks and central rebars, the crews pump in a 5,000psi compressive strength grout mix to create 12-inch diameter piles. With the grout in place, the crews drop re-bar cages 30 feet deep into the piles, installing them around the central rebars. The rebar cages will later provide lateral force resistance on the grade level by ensuring rigid connections between the addition’s structure and the piles below. The cages, fabricated onsite, consist of four vertical #4 rebars and approximately 40 horizontal perimeter stirrups spaced at 8-inch intervals throughout the entire length of the cage.
“The proximity of the addition’s site to Reynolds Channel requires the crews to continuously dewater the excavated areas,” explains Christopher Caulfield, Stalco superintendent. “In order to address this obstacle, we divided the site into smaller areas within which the water level is easier to control. The excavation and construction of piles proceeds in stages, which encompass sections of approximately 30 by 30 feet. Once construction of piles and caps in each section is completed, the area is refilled with soil and the work begins in the next section.”
The addition’s second and third floors will house regular and special education classrooms, media and audio-visual facilities and offices. Parking spaces will occupy the first floor. The addition’s façade will feature colored architectural cement board panels as a rain screen and high efficiency curtain wall and windows with anodized aluminum frames. On the building’s roof, the crews will install the ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) membrane.
In the following phase, Stalco will replace the deteriorated 3-foot-wide concrete outriggers with sunshade panels installed on the south and east sides of the existing high school. The renovations will involve cutting 14 inches off the existing outriggers, repairing the remaining concrete, and anchoring new steel supports in the repaired concrete outriggers. New, clear anodized aluminum shade panels will rest on the steel supports. The color and look of the sunshade aluminum will match the color of the new window frames for architectural consistency. The sunshades, custom manufactured by Atoms Architectural Products, will feature extruded aluminum, airfoil-shaped blades with bullnose fascias. In total, Stalco will install in excess of 1,400 linear feet of new sunshades.
The two buildings will be connected through expansion joints on the second, third and roof levels. Concrete sunshade outriggers on the west side of the existing building, adjacent to the addition, will be removed prior to the construction of the new structure. The crews will install new steel framing anchored in the concrete wall of the original building’s second and third floors. The framing will support new concrete slabs, protruding out by two feet and eight inches. The concrete protrusions will allow seamless internal connections between the two buildings.
Once the addition is completed, a number of classrooms and offices will be relocated from the original building and the crews will begin interior renovations inside the old high school. The work will be phased in order to allow the school to continue its educational programs despite the ongoing construction activities.
The renovations and functional re-programming to the existing school will include the conversion of the math department facilities and classrooms into chemistry classrooms; renovations to the special education rooms; and conversion of the 12 existing general science rooms into four biology, four earth science, and four physics classrooms.
Stalco will also refit the administrative, guidance counselor’s and nurse’s offices within the existing structure. The work will encompass a complete renovation the entire administrative section that will result in a significant improvement of the school staff’s working environment. Despite being located near the building’s core, the new offices will provide daylight access throughout the entire space. This will be achieved through installation of glazed corridor and divider walls. Occupancy sensors will control the lighting in the office area.
The science rooms will feature custom-fabricated millwork cabinetry and lab stations with epoxy tops, data connections and water, power, gas and dedicated chemical waste lines. The waste lines will terminate in a new acid waste tank filled with limestone chips. The administrative area will feature pre-manufactured cabinetry and furniture systems.
In the upcoming phases of the project, Stalco will demolish a freestanding former pre-K building, which originally served as army barracks. Once the structure is demolished, Stalco will proceed with construction of the sports facilities, including six professional grade tennis courts and a full-size football field. The field will feature the FieldTurf synthetic sport surface and new, 50-yard-wide, 30-foot-deep spectator bleachers. The bleachers’ structure will consist of micro piles and reinforced concrete columns.
To ensure the uninterrupted operations of the school and safety of the students during renovations inside the existing building, Stalco will institute strict safety measures. These will encompass demolition and other noisy activities performed only after 3 p.m., erection of extensive dust barriers and temporary walls, extensive dust control measures such as protection of air ducts, and strict access control procedures.
Stalco will also perform site work that will include extensive landscaping and new sewer and water utility connections.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: STALCO CONSTRUCTION, INC.
ARCHITECT: CS ARCH
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: SAVIN ENGINEERS, P.C.
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: RYAN-BIGGS ASSOCIATES
MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING ENGINEER: LEWIS ENGINEERING, INC.
CIVIL ENGINEER: THE CHAZEN COMPANIES
Wilk Marketing Communications