Spanish Immersion Academy
Columbus City Schools
Founded in 1987, the mission of the Columbus City Schools' Spanish Immersion Academy is to bilingually educate students in grades K-6 and foster awareness of the various cultures living in the English and Spanish-speaking communities in the area. When classes began for the 2016-2017 school year, students returning to the school entered a new 66,600-square-foot space filled with natural light and loads of new technology. This new building includes a classroom wing, gymnasium, cafeteria with a raised stage platform and extended learning spaces.
This project included the demolition of an existing school building on the project site and construction of the new facility. As the structural engineer, our challenges included designing a building that was functional, within budget and met all programming requirements of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, while achieving the architect's vision of creating an open, inviting interior space that is conducive to learning.
Every project brings its share of challenges and this one was no different. With multiple trades on site and coordination of the setting of certain precast wall panels before or after steel installation, construction sequencing was a challenge, but was vital to keeping the project on schedule and budget. In addition, the design team was able to streamline the design and construction with the use of exterior load-bearing precast concrete walls (in lieu of traditional CMU), which was a financially-viable option and allowed the construction to move along faster.
This project achieved LEED Silver certification.