Mt. Vernon Old Main High School & Fine Arts Building

Degenkolb completed the seismic evaluation and designed the seismic retrofit for two buildings on the Mt. Vernon High School campus in Washington. The Old Main and Fine Arts buildings were built in 1922 as the original high school and gymnasium for the District. Both buildings are unreinforced masonry construction and underwent a significant renovation in 2020-2022. The renovation created new educational spaces, restored the auditorium to its previous configuration, and improved circulation by adding new stair towers and replacing an elevator.

The new stair towers help visually connect the building to a new campus commons and were used to locate new concrete walls as part of the seismic retrofit. In the theater, the seismic retrofit consists of new concrete walls and new steel columns to brace the tall exterior walls and support the long-span roof trusses. The steel columns are concealed within existing historic finishes, including original plaster column capitals, to preserve the historic character of the enhanced theater. Natural daylight is maintained in the classrooms by detailing the concrete walls around the window openings. At the upper floor, this required a concrete beam to extend above the roofline, this creative solution was developed through detailed coordination with the architect and general contractor.

Degenkolb initially assisted the District with a successful FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant for $3 million to complete the proposed seismic upgrade. Old Main reopened for students to start the 2022-2023 school year.

Project Stats
Client Mt. Vernon School District, TCF Architecture,
Completion Date December 2022
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