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The obvious choice for construction at the 45 year-old Smithfield Middle School was precast concrete; an ideal option that accommodated both their budget constraints and limited disruption of the existing school during occupancy. Made up of 70 individual pieces erected within five days, the 103’-9” long x 80,000 pound double tees required a difficult delivery route past residential neighborhoods to reach the construction site. Showcasing a new gym that accommodates 1,000 people versus the existing 170, its double tees feature a combination of superimposed live loads for debris loading, plus roll-up dividing curtain at mid-span, as well as dead and collateral loads.
The vestibule, lobby, concession and bathrooms, in particular, posed a unique challenge for the precaster. The roof deck consisted of metal joists and beams demanding accurate elevation and frequency of embeds that permitted fitter tolerance. The mid-height mezzanine in the concession area added an extra layer of complexity to the precast wall panel layout due to the beam location and connection as well as necessary openings. The lower panel also included no prestressing as required for the concession stand windows located on either side of the personnel door.
This project encountered various challenges but ultimately concluded on-time and under budget, a testament to the successful collaboration of the Owners, design team, construction manager, mechanical subcontractors, and precaster. North Texas now has one of the largest storm shelters to bear witness to it.
Smithfield Middle School – Gymnasium Addition
North Richland Hills, TX
Birdville Independent School District
The gym structure has doubly-loaded 48” deep, 6’ wide Double Tees which span 103’-9″ and support a combination of live loads including debris loading (100psf) and a roll-up dividing curtain (260plf) at mid-span. The double tees are also subject to dead and collateral loads including 4” of topping @ 150pcf and miscellaneous basketball goal and RTU point loading. The roof is subjected to an IBC 2015 and ICC 500-14 specified downward wind pressure of 118.7psf with an uplift load of 261.1psf. Additional wall panels were also installed which are 12” thick and 12’ wide, and extend up to 35’-5” tall..
The Birdville Independent School District was proud to pass a bond package in 2018 that enabled the 45-year old Smithfield Middle School to invest in precast construction for a storm shelter. By opting for precast, the school was able to stay within their budget constraints without sacrificing safety or disrupting current school operations. All 70 individual pieces of the heavyweight 80,000-pound double tees were erected in just five days, despite the difficult delivery route around residential neighborhoods.
With the new and improved 1,000-person gym, the double tees have been structurally reinforced to surpass IBC 2015 and ICC 500-14 standards – capable of bearing upward wind pressure of 261.1psf and a downward wind pressure of 118.7psf – high enough to stand up to even an EF-5 tornado. Additionally, architectural building components like the vestibule, lobby, concession and bathrooms posed a unique challenge in construction, requiring accurate and precise elevation and embedding that would accommodate fitter tolerance.
Under budget and on-time, the successful collaboration of the Owners, design team, construction manager, mechanical subcontractors, and precaster have delivered North Texas one of the largest storm shelters in the region.