Missouri School for the Blind Facility Study
St. Louis, Missouri
- State of Missouri, Office of Administration
What initially began as an assignment to bring playground sensory experiences to the Missouri School for the Blind soon morphed into a campus-wide facility condition study. While inspecting the East and West Courtyards to prepare for developing concepts for a new playground area, our engineers discovered and reported structural, drainage and other infrastructure concerns that needed to be addressed before the recreational facility could be constructed.
To better understand the condition of the entire campus, which is over 100 years old, the State of Missouri commissioned Oates Associates to review the 195,641 SF campus. A visual assessment and cataloging of major components within the campus were performed. This included interior and exterior components of the buildings, site elements, such as pavement and utilities, and an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) assessment. The team identified structural, ADA, building envelope and other site code compliance deficiencies and safety concerns. From the study, which was completed in 2017, Oates identified a $38M long-range maintenance and demolition plan including identifying short-term, high priority deficiencies that needed to be addressed immediately.
Now that the study is complete, the originally intended playground design documents were completed with the peace of mind of knowing underlying infrastructure needs are being addressed.
Health and Life Safety improvements are being completed throughout the campus. The sidewalk to the entrance of the school and curb ramps are being replaced and flashing beacons are being installed. A security station is being relocated to the main lobby, requiring new security doors. Existing walls are being removed and new walls are being constructed to modify office space in the administration building and to extend a protected stair enclosure at the Health Center. Portions of the masonry veneer in 5 buildings/wings that were considered to be severely in need of repair during the facility assessment are being addressed with the playground improvements. As funds become available and future projects are planned, façade and structural masonry repairs will continue to be incorporated in design documents.
Oates Associates provided civil and structural engineering services and we are currently providing construction administration.