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Project Highlights

Nanaimo’s Wellington Secondary School was built in 1967 and has been a thriving school to students from grades eight to 12. With over five elementary schools feeding into the high-school, Wellington has had additions to the building in 1973, 1979, 2001 and its most recent upgrade in 2015.
This $23M Seismic Assessment project proposed several constraints to work with including budget, renovation and seismic upgrading of an existing space, and ensuring that the school remain in operation while under construction
As part of a team with KMBR Architects, Herold Engineering was faced with all these requirements and challenges all within the final vision of delivering a design that would be much more flexible, adaptable and durable to today’s way of learning. Because the structure was designed to earlier and less demanding seismic standards, it lacked ductile connections between the elements and lateral restraint in the radial direction

Wellington Secondary is a two-storey school with a circular central block (Block F) with a small open courtyard at its centre, from which five other blocks radiate. Block F was a challenge to upgrade. Its roof structure consisted of radially arranged concrete T-beams resting on inner and outer concrete ring beams supported on concrete columns. The columns were supported on concrete walls at basement level. Lee Rowley from Herold Engineering Limited noted that the foundation work could have been very disruptive and difficult to do as a result of limited accessibility to that section of the school. Instead the team was able to replace the central section of the school with a new light wood structure, which avoided the need to seismically upgrade the foundations in that location. Due to the new seismic codes, Herold Engineering believes that this challenging yet rewarding upgrade has set the bar high for other high-school upgrades in that we can create pleasing learning surroundings for the children of Nanaimo while ensuring that they are in a safe environment.

Wood was more aesthetically pleasing, as well as strong, light, easy to work with and sustainable.– Lee Rowley, Principal.

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