The CAA team has been providing on-call engineering services to St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (SAES) since 2008. Founded in 1978, SAES is a co-educational independent day school, enrolling approximately 585 students in preschool-grade 12.
On September 14, 2016, SAES dedicated its new 43,000-square-foot LEED Gold Student Center. The center comprises two gymnasiums, a fitness center, a dance studio, a student commons area, a café, indoor and outdoor meeting and gathering spaces, a display space for student artwork, dedicated locker rooms for coaches and fitness staff, a sports rehab center, and a new home for the nationally-renowned Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning
CAA’s role on this project was to add stormwater management to the site; reconfigure traffic and parking; add sidewalks; and provide ADA accessibility. Site design services provided by CAA staff included the design of eight micro-bioretention areas for stormwater management; relocating an existing drop-off loop to allow for the construction of a pedestrian-friendly plaza; the design of a ring road which allowed parallel parking on one side and alleviated traffic and parking issues; the addition of a sidewalk to provide connectivity from the main campus parking area and Student Center; and the design of retaining walls to tie into existing grades and provide ADA accessibility around the redeveloped area
The Student Center has transformed the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School campus into a more integrated student experience. It provides improved recreational facilities and welcoming common areas where students can mingle during free periods and where students, staff and the community can gather for public events. The new Student Center helps the school achieve its mission to inspire children in an exclusive community dedicated to exceptional learning.
“In my 15 years, nothing has required more effort or brought me more joy then the Student Center Project.”
Robert Kosasky, Head of School
Montgomery County Public Schools has been at the forefront of helping Montgomery County retrofit its public facilities with Environmental Site Design (ESD) techniques to achieve the County’s goal to treat 20% of existing impervious areas. At Cold Spring Elementary School, new stormwater management facilities were added on site as part of a gymnasium addition project. This project was one of the most challenging and rewarding for CAA staff.
The CAA team completed the design of the project within the original schedule and delivered site permits and approvals more than one month prior to project bidding and more than three months prior to the start of construction.
The project site was constrained by a 100-year floodplain to the north, limited parking areas that could not be affected, and substandard playing field sizes that could not be reduced. Underground stormwater management facilities were not feasible, so the CAA team designed a bioretention facility within an existing slope while maintaining a portion of the hill for community sledding during the winter. Grass weirs were provided at each tier where the stormwater collects and percolates and is treated for pollutants by bioretention media. The overflow runoff is collected at the bottom tier and ties into an existing drainage system. NPDES, floodplain district, and erosion and sediment control permits were obtaine
This project was met with challenges during design and construction. The site constraints limited the available area for stormwater treatment to an existing 3:1 slope. A series of retaining walls needed to be constructed to create “steps” in the hillside Designing the system to be stable on the hillside required the use of HDPE liners at each biofilter to prevent saturation issues around the wall footings.
The replacement of Glenallan Elementary School is one of Montgomery County Public School’s first LEED Gold projects, having obtained certification in 2014. By using local and recycled materials and constructing a new bioretention facility onsite for stormwater management, the project surpassed its goal of LEED Silver certification.
CAA staff were on a multi-disciplined team for the design of the replacement project which entailed the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a new school building including significant site improvements for bus access, pedestrian access, parking and play areas. On-site traffic circulation was improved to provide safe access to the school by pedestrians and to maximize on-site stacking to minimize the overflow onto nearby streets. Sidewalks were designed to connect the residential communities to the school and improve safe access for students walking to school. Athletic fields and play areas were relocated.
The CAA team’s site design involved Environmental Site Design for stormwater management including three bioretention areas, the design of driveway access points, a bus loop and play areas, providing ADA compliance, and connecting WSSC water mains and sanitary sewers adjacent to the site. A green roof and a water quality swale were also added. A WSSC site utility plan was prepared and processed, and permits were obtained through Montgomery County DPS for erosion and sediment control and right-of-way. To gain LEED credits, some of the existing trees were harvested and made into furniture to be used in the new school. Recycled concrete was used for base material for the parked areas.
In addition to design, CAA provided construction services including submittal and shop drawing review, responses to RFIs, preparation and processing of WSSC as-builts, construction inspection for the stormwater management facilities, and preparation of stormwater management as-builts. The design was completed within budget and permits were obtained prior to the project bid and more than four months prior to the start of construction.
“This [project] is a real game changer for our community.” Peter Moran, Principal and 2016 winner of the Mark Mann Excellence and Harmony Award
Clark | Azar & Associates is designing a new nursery and primary school for the French International School, which will be developed from existing office buildings on eleven acres in an urban area along Rockville Pike in Bethesda.
To maintain the historic character of the site, most of the buildings including the primary office building, the parking garage and an old mansion house will remain. The site also boasts many large significant trees, including four county champion trees.
This project entails significant zoning and permitting requirements including:
• M-NCPPC Special Exception Amendment
• M-NCPPC Preliminary Plan Amendment
• M-NCPPC Forest Conservation
• M-NCPPC Record Plat
• MCDPS Sediment Control and SWM
• SHA Right-of-Way
• WSSC Site Utility
Because of these pre-existing conditions, this project has been unique and challenging when designing the programmatic requirements for the school and the regulatory requirements for stormwater management and forestry. We have been able to provide the school with a synthetic turf field, multiple play areas and a separate parent and bus drop-off area, while maintaining a large open lawn area for unprogrammed activities. Construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2019 with school opening in August 2020.