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Long & Associates Architects/Engineers, Inc. and BECK

BECK, Long & Associates Architects/Engineers, and Hillsborough County Public Schools worked successfully on this award-winning educational facility to meet the project’s challenges head on while meeting the delivery date for opening day for the 2009/2010 school year.

Pre-construction and site challenges were resolved by the installation of over 1,800 in-ground stone columns (each about 25 to 40 feet in depth). This process, called vibro replacement, purposefully forces the soil to unravel and condense, thus preventing future disturbances under the buildings. High quantities of water are required in this process to wash down the aggregate at each column. BECK’s concern of runoff into neighboring residents, wetlands, and other agriculture fields resulted in building temporary land berms to divert the runoff water into specially constructed holding ponds where the water eventually was absorbed back into the ground.

A Value Engineering Team put in place by BECK worked together with the School Board staff, the architects and engineers, and many of the trade contractors and suppliers. BECK’s Ryan Toth, Project Manager for Strawberry Crest High School commented, “Long & Associates pulled out all the stops in the value engineering process. During value engineering, Long’s team designed and offered up to 6 different versions of a large element of the project, the north/south connector “plows” to the upper walkways in the courtyard. We were able to guide the team to make educated cost decisions without sacrificing pieces of the iconic design”.

In order to achieve new levels of efficiency, this new prototype started as blank slate that made it possible to rethink every possible way to maximize the resources at hand, setting a new standard for future area schools.

Unique to a high school project, a central utility plant was built that not only provides domestic water services up to 900 gallons per minute for this school but also for two other annex schools, Bailey Elementary and a future middle school. This central plant includes a self-sustained potable water system that begins with two 600 foot, municipal-style wells, a complex, multi-tank filter treatment system, an above-ground, 150,000 gallon, pre-stressed concrete water tank and a series of distribution pumps that rival any small town’s operations.

Strawberry Crest High School has exceeded all expectations in part to the close collaboration of all involved. “We truly had a dynamic and committed team of subcontractors in addition to Long & Associates as partners during the construction. As is always the case, there are some that stand out in our mind as carrying the job on their shoulders and collaborating to make this a truly great project,” said Toth. “Cocoa Masonry and Advanced Masonry Systems, along with the M.E.P. team of JRLong, Inc. (HVAC), McLain Plumbing, and Borrell Electric.”

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