Burbank Elementary School in Hayward, Calif. Right image courtesy Steve Whittaker Photography.



Burbank Elementary School is a key element in the City of Hayward’s Cannery Area redevelopment plan, an undertaking that involved four public agencies and included street realignments, demolition of existing school buildings, and development of a new park shared by the school and its community. The hazardous soil abatement qualified this site as a brownfield redevelopment.

Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design of the new 80,000-squarefoot, two-story school. Its unique L-shaped floor plan, the mission tile roof, and the close proximity of the site to the Hayward Fault led to a creative framing system to resist seismic forces, including collector ties that weave around the building bend, and the use of both wood shear walls and steelbraced frames. Special structural features include a 29-foot-tall multipurpose room with a clear span of 62 feet, a vaulted roof over the library wing, a 42-foot-tall clerestory atrium space over the front lobby, and a 47-foot-tall tower embedded within the center of the building bend.

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