Academic - K-12

Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan

SK&A provided structural engineering services for the modernization of the existing 50,734 sf facility and introduction of new 54,000 sf additions, which include new classrooms, gymnasium, and rooftop turf field to improve the school’s current operations.   

The superstructure for the new additions consists of structural steel framing with composite steel beams, open web joists and long-span roof construction.   Steel framed full story trusses support the elevated walkway bridge between the new and existing buildings on the west side of the existing school.   Indoor common spaces were created by enclosing existing courtyard spaces between existing buildings with new steel framed roofs, supported by the existing building bearing walls. 


Benjamin Banneker High School

SK&A provided structural engineering services for a new 200,000 sf, four-story, innovative high school facility that aims to inspire academic and civic excellence within the student body of 800 students.  A new learning commons area is centrally positioned within the facility’s four-story atrium and will host interactive and collaborative activities.  The new school is constructed on the Shaw Elementary School site, which was demolished and replaced by the new structure.  The site also incorporates public recreational facilities, including a skate park, dog park, and basketball courts.

The project features indoor and outdoor classroom spaces, rooftop terraces, an outdoor plaza, a new outdoor athletic field, and a new gymnasium, which cantilevers over the floor below.  Long span roof trusses cross the length of the two-story gymnasium’s perimeter.  The columns and braced frames offset vertically from the perimeter frame through to the recessed cafeteria floor below.  The building is aiming for LEED BD+C Schools - Gold certification with a goal to be Net Zero Energy ready.

Ron Brown College Preparatory High School

SK&A provided structural engineering services for the renovation of an existing school building into a modernized facility for a new all-male high school, particularly for young men of color.  Originally constructed in 1966, the building was shuttered due to decreased enrollment in 2013.  The project is located in northeast DC on a site adjacent to a community center/library.  The project was implemented over two phases. 

Phase 1 included the modernization of the building’s main entrance, which is centrally located and connects the structure via two wings—an academic wing and a multi-purpose wing.  Additional modifications included: a new main office and administrative suite; a new, expanded library/media center; a cafeteria/multi-purpose room, music room, lab spaces and classrooms.  Phase 2 of the project entailed renovations on the second and third floors, including the gymnasium and auditorium. 

Structural work included introduction of new rooftop mechanical equipment and screen enclosures, new entrance vestibules and lobby, removal of a portion of the second floor to create the two-story media center, and extensive crawl space repairs to address significant deterioration.

Murch Elementary School

SK&A provided structural engineering services for the modernization and expansion of the historic two-story Murch Elementary School building, originally built in 1929.  The renovated building and new addition is approximately 100,000 sf and serves a student body of 700 students.

The school’s renovations include updated classrooms, “pull-out” instruction spaces, a full-size gymnasium with stage, media center with “maker space,” laptop laboratory and small group instruction spaces, an administrative/welcome center, an art and kiln room, cafeteria, and a parking garage.  The building is expected to achieve LEED for Schools Gold certification.  

The project’s superstructure primarily consists of structural steel framing in combination with a limited area of cast-in-place concrete construction. Structural steel framing within the project includes composite steel, open web joists, and long-span roof construction.  The project’s concrete construction is limited to the floor framing above the garage and plaza.  The existing buildings were analyzed to support new mechanical equipment and provide large openings in the existing bearing walls at the connection between the old and new building.  

Bancroft Elementary School Modernization

The old Bancroft campus consisted of five adjoining buildings totaling 94,000 sf.  Originally constructed in 1923, numerous modifications were made to the base structure: three buildings were added in 1932, 1961 and 1973, along with an addition constructed in 1938.  Due to the site’s topography, the buildings adjoined at various misaligned levels.  

Integrating ideas from a completed feasibility study (which SK&A also contributed to), the modernization of the campus included the demolition of two of the existing buildings as well as the previous expansion.  A new unifying building addition was constructed, knitting together the remaining historic structures with the new facility and providing a simplified circulation pattern within the reconnected campus.  

The completed project features multiple courtyards; a new multi-purpose “Curiosity Center” media area; and new outdoor playing fields.  The project’s superstructure primarily consists of structural steel framing in combination with a limited area of cast-in-place concrete construction.  Structural steel framing includes composite steel, open web joists and long-span roof construction.  Concrete construction is limited to the floor framing above the garage and plaza.

The existing buildings to remain were analyzed to support new mechanical equipment and provide large openings in the existing bearing walls at the connection between the old and new building. The modernized school will serve over 550 students and is LEED for Schools Gold certified.    

Brookland Middle School

Replacing the existing outdated and shuttered school, the new Brookland Middle School provides a 21st century learning environment for 540 students.  The facility includes a three-story academic wing, a full-court gymnasium, black box-type performance hall, outdoor learning space above the gymnasium, media center, and administrative support spaces. 

In order to accommodate the project’s aggressive schedule, structural documents were released well in advance of other disciplines, to permit early engagement and the mobilization of structural trades, which allowed the contractor to meet the project deadline.  The project is also slated for LEED Gold certification.

Roanoke Catholic School Gymnasium Evaluation

In August 2011, immediately after the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that originated in central Virginia occurred, Roanoke Catholic school contacted SK&A for assistance in evaluating the condition of the school’s gymnasium.  A co-educational, college preparatory institution, Roanoke Catholic serves students from Pre-K through the 12th grade.

Originally constructed in the 1960’s and designed by another firm, the gymnasium’s structural system and roof is based on a sophisticated hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped, concrete shell design. The three-inch thick, concrete shell roof is supported on four concrete crucifix columns, one at each corner, arranged in a square grid pattern.  In addition, the roof shell is supported along its edges with edge beams of varying thickness.  Horizontal thrust generated from the unfolding of the shell structure is balanced with bonded, post tensioned, tie beams around the perimeter of the structure, located at the top of the crucifix columns.

SK&A’s Design and Repair & Restoration Divisions collaborated to provide two stages of evaluations, through the use of 3D modeling and analysis followed by an on-site visual condition survey.  Using SAP2000, an advanced 3D modeling software system, SK&A modeled the entire structure, checking against the facility’s original drawings.  Analyzing the “true-to-form” model, our engineering team assessed seismic, wind, gravity and snow loading conditions, comparing results to current code and loading assumptions.

Following the modeling analysis, SK&A performed a visual condition survey of the facility, took photos and prepared a report of the corrosion-related deterioration due to age and past water leakages at the roof of the structure.  No major structural deficiencies were identified from the limited visual inspection, but the completion of recommended repairs would restore the structure’s appearance as well as extend its projected life well into the foreseeable future.

St. John’s College High School Modernization

The modernization and expansion of the St John's College High School Campus was executed over multiple phases:

  • Cafeteria and Library Expansion – The expansion of the existing classroom building provides an enlarged, open cafeteria, an expanded library on the second level, with an adjacent roof terrace and new bookstore.  SK&A worked closely with the design team to integrate systemic mechanical upgrades of the central plant, new mechanical equipment, and a new loading dock.
  • Field House – The existing field house was replaced with two new one and a half-story buildings.  New construction was integrated into the existing stadium layout, providing space for concessions, restrooms, a team room with lockers as well as second floor interior and exterior viewing areas for coaching staff overlooking the adjacent football and baseball fields.
  • 27th Street Entrance Addition – Replacement and expansion of a primary building entrance feature, involving modifications to the existing elevation, addition of a new covered entry area and a new vestibule.  The entry improvements provide a more prominent visual impact creating a true sense of entry.

Dunbar Senior High School

Replacing an outdated 1970’s facility, the new Dunbar High School is designed to provide a sense of clarity and purpose that honors the school’s original traditions.  The two-story open hall, known as the “Armory,” is located in the heart of the school, as originally built in 1917.

Accommodating 1,100 students, the new facility includes a four-story academic wing with flexible learning spaces for four different “academies,” a two-story library and administrative area, and a two-story athletic wing housing the gymnasium auditorium above the natatorium.  The LEED for Schools Platinum certified project includes over 300 geothermal wells, a 500,000 kW solar panel array, two 20,000 gallon cisterns for reusing rainwater, enhanced acoustics, and low VOC materials.  The project was developed under the DC Department of General Services’ (DC DGS) modified design-build program on a fast-track schedule.

Ballou Senior High School

A new 310,000 sf replacement high school designed to provide a state-of-the-art learning facility with flexibility for the ever-changing demands of the education environment.  Located in Southeast DC, the project includes: gymnasiums and fitness center; a natatorium; a collegiate-level, theater-style auditorium; a light-filled library/multimedia center; and a three-story, off-hill classroom wing.

The components are tied together with a “Main Street” concept and wrap to form an interior courtyard.  The project was developed under the DC DGS modified design-build program on a fast-track schedule and is slated for LEED Gold Certification.