Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2014

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Established in 1949 by the consolidation of several rural school districts, North- side Independent School District spans 355 square miles of urban landscape, sub- urban growth, and rural Texas hill country. Though it began with just 823 students, Northside is now South Texas' largest school system, with 115 schools and 101,477 enrolled students. This growth has been sustained by about 2,500 students enrolling in Northside each year. The growth of the district led to the construction of Bonnie Ellison Elementary School in San Antonio. A voter-approved school bond funded school construction on a site that consisted of large wooded home sites and pastures. Preparation for construction required the demolition of home sites and extensive grading to main- tain as much natural landscape as possible. This included maintaining the majority of the existing mature trees, including the transplant of a giant live oak that stands adjacent to the school's main entrance. Challenges A panoply of significant site conditions, including natural contours that move water runoff from west to east through the new school's location, led the construction team to devise a range of goals that included maintaining natu- ral areas, preserving native trees and maximizing usable space for the children of the fast-growing San Antonio area. This obligated the civil design team to be extremely creative in maintaining the landscape, while addressing the neces- sary concerns with the impervious cover challenges. To overcome these hur- Top: Bonnie Ellison Elementary School, a new addition to the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, included a total of 3,000 square feet of retaining walls during construction to maintain the landscape, preserve native trees and maximize usable space. Left: Available backfill depth behind a retaining wall can vary even within the same wall installation. In this case, at the front of the picture, there is enough room for geosynthetic reinforcement; as the wall gets closer to the trees, however, space is limited and thus better suited for a porous structural backfill material. (Continued on page 16) Hardscapes PAVERS•MASONRY•BLOCKS•ROCKS By David Hasness, P.E., Regional Sales Engineer, Pavestone, LLC Retaining Walls Spur San Antonio School Construction 14 LC DBM 014-017.indd 14 2/27/14 11:10 AM

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