Following the 2014 Napa Earthquake, Napa voters approved Measure H, a $269 million bond to fund critical retrofits of existing schools within the Napa Valley Unified School District. With active fault lines running through its campus, Irene Snow Elementary School required improvements to protect its students and faculty.
To keep the campus functioning during construction, a phasing plan with temporary structures located away from the detected fault lines was developed. All existing buildings were demolished except for the library, which stood an acceptable distance from the faults. The library underwent limited modifications, preserving its existing wood shear walls and steel braced frames. Several interior walls and canopy framing members were reconfigured, and mechanical equipment was added.
The rest of the campus was shifted east to avoid fault lines. New modular classroom buildings, designed by a specialty consultant, were built around the existing library. A new multipurpose building at the far east side of the campus was designed to emulate the architecture of the former campus, with a butterfly roof and a combination of wood and steel materials. The lateral system, composed of wood shear walls and steel braced frames, supports the structure’s multi-level roof. Exposed steel framing and full-story glazing at the entry provide contemporary architecture that boasts the building’s robust structural system.
The sloped site also required over 500 lineal feet of retaining walls. These walls frame landscaping and ramped walkways that lead down the west side of the campus to the large playground at the east end.
The new, safer campus celebrated its grand opening in the fall of 2019.
Photo Credit: Tyler Chartier Photography