Smithfield Middle School, K12 School Design

Best School/Educational Building K-12

Smithfield Middle School - Gymnasium Addition


Smithfield Middle School will be getting a storm shelter in the form of a new gymnasium thanks to a bond package passed in 2018. Primarily, using precast concrete accommodated the budget. Second, it afforded minimal site disruption while the existing school was occupied. Lastly, it reduced the construction schedule and met the hardened structure requirements.

Key gym design features

Overall, the 70-piece precast structure erected in five days beginning on a weekend while the existing school was unoccupied. Now one of North Texas’ largest storm shelters, the new gym occupancy is 1,000 replacing one that held 170.

Innovations or accomplishments using precast concrete

The vestibule, lobby, concessions and bathrooms area of the structure is unique in that the roof deck consists of metal joists and beams. As a result, this required coordination with the steel manufacturer to provide embeds in the precast at the necessary elevation and frequency to allow for erection. Additionally,  this area has a mid-height mezzanine deck in the concession area. As a result, this made for a unique precast wall panel layout due to the beam location and connection in combination with the required openings. Also, the lower panel provided is a traditional precast member with no pre-stressing. However, this required additional design due to the concession stand windows located on either side of the school personnel door.

Altogether, the owner, design team, construction manager, mechanical subcontractors and precaster collaborated to make this a successful project. In the end, they finished on time and on budget.

Design Challenges of Smithfield Middle School Gymnasium

Notwithstanding, one of the challenges over come on this project was the delivery of the 103’-9” long x 80,000 pound double tees to the site through a residential area.

The Smithfield Middle School Gymnasium has long span (103’-9”) roof double tees supporting live loads of 100psf for debris loading. Also, it has a 260plf live load for a roll-up dividing curtain located at mid-span of the double tee. In addition to the live loads are dead and collateral loads consisting of 4” topping @ 150pcf, basketball goal, and RTU point loads spread along the roof. The downward wind pressure of 118.7psf, and an uplift of 261.1psf have been applied per the load required for IBC 2015 and ICC 500-14. Indeed, the 12” thick wall panels and 48” deep double tees makes this school storm shelter capable of withstand an EF-5 tornado.

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