PHOENIX HIGH SCHOOL
MMI provided structural engineering services for the construction of a 150,000 square foot high school in Braithwaite, Louisiana. The new facility replaced the previous school, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The structure is elevated almost 20 feet and includes 30 classrooms, a cafeteria, media center, gymnasium, and an auditorium. Design activities include cast-in-place concrete design for thousands of linear feet of floor beams and joists, steel design for roof trusses and copies and concrete masonry design for all interior and exterior walls. Some of the design features include using a 3-D computer program for the design of the foundations, columns, and floor framing, exporting the design into drafting software for complete accuracy and efficiency, and high wind and flood design loads acting on a structure elevated 20 feet above grade.
Design features include a treated timber pile foundation, conventionally reinforced cast-in-place slabs, beams, girders, columns, and pile caps. One of the unique design challenges is designing walls below the second floor as “break away” in the event of a significant flood.