Big Sky’s New Elementary SchoolSep 03 2015 · 0 comments · Educational, NISHKIAN MONKS ·0
The new Ophir Elementary School in Big Sky, Montana opened its doors to new students on August 31, 2015. Designed by Prugh & Lenon Architects, the new 50,000 square foot school was constructed by Martel Construction. The new elementary school was the third project since 2007 in which, Nishkian Monks had teamed with Prugh & Lenon Architects and Martel Construction to successfully complete a project on the Ophir School grounds.
A deep foundation system was required at this site due to the presence of challenging soil conditions. The site consisted of fine grain deposits (floodplain and windblown), which were susceptible to significant settlement when wet and the presence of highly plastic clays, which were susceptible to both shrinkage and swelling with moisture changes. To solve the poor soil issues Nishkian Monks used a geopier system to support the structure, which consisted of 24” diameter rammed aggregate piers spaced approximately 10’-0” on center at the exterior of the building and at interior bearing walls. Grade beams were designed to span between geopiers and supported a two way mildly reinforced slab at grade as the soils at the site were not suitable to support a traditional slab on grade. Ophir School sits in a region of high seismicity and heavy snow loads with a typical roof snow load of 123 psf with drift loads approaching of 300 psf. The super structure of traditional wood framing with wood shear walls and pre-manufactured trusses was analyzed and detailed to transfer these loads down to the grade beams spanning between geopiers. CMU walls were utilized to support open web steel joists spanning the gymnasium. Nishkian Monks completed the concrete, CMU, and wood special inspections for the project, and teamed with Allied Engineering to complete the material and soil testing required.
Our entire project team worked together to get this project built quickly in time for back-to-school. On September 5, Big Sky School District #72 will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Big Sky’s new elementary school. There will be school tours, free pizza, bouncy house, inflatable games, football games, and other activities. For more information about Ophir Elementary School, click here.