Individual school districts and the state continue to improve the educational facilities throughout California. KNA Structural Engineers has established its reputation for designing educational facilities for more than twenty years. Architecture firms and schools districts continue to turn to KNA’s deep expertise and collaborative style to make their projects “happen”. They are grateful to see these schools in the neighborhoods and cities throughout California.
The Hemet Elementary school is no exception. First built in 1927 and closed in 2009 due to poor soil conditions, the school underwent a complete rebuild and reopened in August of last year. The main building was sinking and doors were becoming difficult to close. At the time of the school’s original construction, Hemet had fewer than 2,000 residents and one elementary school. Today, the city of 80,000 residents has 37 schools in the Hemet Unified School District.
PSWC Architects chose to redesign the new school in mission-style architecture, featuring the Heritage Gate Tower entryway reminiscent of the campus in 1927. The campus is situated on 12.5 acres and is located in the center of the City of Hemet. The new school includes major technology upgrades (of course!) and KNA made the school seismically safe. PSWC repurposed the school’s old wooden floor and used it in the main office, media center and multipurpose room.
“I was blown away,” Hemet Unified School District Trustee Stacey Bailey, said of the school, which she attended as a child in the 1960s. “I’m so incredibly touched that they were so thoughtful and they [PSWC Group Architects] tried to do an homage to the old school.”
It is the first Hemet Unified campus to offer dual immersion education — where kindergarten children learn in both English and Spanish. It also is a STEAM campus (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) and features AVID, a college-readiness program, for all grades.
“It’s one of a kind,” Bailey said of the campus. “It’s going to be our showpiece in Hemet.”
HEMET ELEMENTARY TIMELINE
1893 — First campus opened
1927 — Moved to current location on Kimball Avenue
1965 — Ramona Elementary opens, joining “Hemet El” as the only grade schools in Hemet proper
2009 — Campus closed because of unstable foundation
January 2015 — Old buildings torn down, work begins to stabilize the soil
January 2016 — Construction begins on new buildings
August 7,2017 — Classes begin in new facility
Hemet Elementary School is a completely new campus, featuring an administrative office, multi-purpose room, multiple classroom buildings and the Heritage Gate Tower, which serves as the link from the past to the present. Due to poor soil conditions, the original school was deconstructed to allow for the use of the deep-mixing method (DMM) to mitigate site settlement for the new construction. The site was excavated up to fifteen feet in depth, and native soils were blended with cementitious materials to create a material that has increased strength and lower compressibility. The improved soil conditions and building design will allow for the new campus to serve the community for many generations to come.
KNA Services Provided:
Equipment Support and Anchorage
Quality Assurance Review
Owner: Hemet Unified School District
Location: Hemet, California
Architect: PSWC Group Architects
Project Manager / Project Designer: Jim Stinson, President
KNA Project Manager / Engineer: Travis Culp
Project Size: 58,000 SF
Project Cost: $25M
Besides KNA’s expertise in designing for educational environments, they also excel in civic and healthcare. What structural problem can we solve for you? Talk to an engineer at 949-462-3200.