Project Description


Rockmart, GA

Precision Planning Inc.


Haines, Gipson & Associates, Inc. provided the Structural Engineering services for a 2-story, 17,000 s.f. renovation to an existing 1970’s Rockmart High School building that has become part of the City’s New Municipal Complex. The existing structure consisted of a precast upper level sitting atop a cast-in-place concrete podium slab. The Rockmart City Police Station was relocated to the lower level before the design of this renovation commenced. All of the ensuing construction needed to be carried out while the City Police force was in operation.

The primary Structural challenges were to evaluate whether the existing elevated floors could handle Library stack loads / Assembly status, removal of a major portion of the exterior shear walls to allow light to penetrate the existing “bunker” like structure, and remove segments of the roof DT’s to allow skylights for further light enhancement in the space.

Original Structural drawings were not available. Throughout the course of field surveys and partial destructive testing, it was determined that the existing floor was originally designed to support a mere 60 psf of live load. Structural upgrades were designed to bring the floor up to 100 psf Assembly capacity, but further strengthening added exponential cost; therefore stacking heights were limited. The existing non-reinforced masonry shear walls removed were replaced with small segments of reinforced concrete walls that adhered to today’s seismic requirements. The skylight additions were positioned between webs and near the ends of the DT’s to prevent flexural weakening.

The finished product created a well-lit space with the necessary below floor electrical / data service. The interior stacked stone accents used match local architecture including the pleasant stacked stone fireplace added on the new rear wall. Shade screens are not seen in the photo below, but were added to diminish transient heat.