Historic Alameda High School consists of five buildings constructed prior to the Field Act in 1925. They are early twentieth century Neo-Classical Revival in nature and were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
This project began with a request by the Alameda School District to help determine the Field Act compliance of one of these buildings. While the original building in question was compliant, it was determined that three other buildings were not compliant. This was in spite of the fact that the District had several DSA-approved retrofit drawings completed but never built due to lack of available funds.
Due to student safety concerns and language within the California Administration Code, the non-compliant buildings were abandoned and fenced off. ZFA attended several community outreach events and board meetings to discuss this sensitive topic with the community. ZFA’s work was reviewed and discussed with the local Historic Society and an engineering firm that they hired. In the end of the process, all parties agreed with the direction recommended by ZFA along with the general retrofit schemes. This information was used to help the district pass a school bond to pay for the rehabilitation.
Due to the seismic deficiencies, the retrofit qualified under the state Seismic Mitigation Program. Under this program, the district expects to recoup half the replacement cost for the buildings. The building exterior was not altered as part of the proposed retrofit scheme. A new lateral system was provided within the building interior consisting of steel braced frames. Due to the existing conditions, the new foundations include the use of helical piles to help resist overturning forces in these frames. The existing concrete wall, while no longer a lateral-resisting element, was augmented with improved anchorage to the floor and roof. Another challenging aspect of the project was a shallow liquefiable layer in the upper seven feet of the site that required injection grouting of the soil around all foundation elements.