Learning Resource Center

Bates Technical College, Tacoma, WA


Higher Education


Civil Engineering

Structural Engineering


New building & campus expansion

New parking areas and truck driving circuit

Grading, drainage, and water and fire protection

Conventional post-and-beam steel framed building

This new building, located in the center of campus, serves as the heart of campus activity and home to the departments of biotechnology and home and family life.

The new 44,000 sf, two-story building houses a library, alternative technologies/meeting center, classrooms, computer labs, and a student commons area. The project also involved expansion of the South Campus with new parking areas and a truck driving circuit in the northern portion of the site, including re-striping the existing parking lot in the southern portion of the site; and an additional parking area associated with the new building and plaza construction. Other site improvements included grading, drainage systems, and water and fire protection.

The structural system is a conventional post-and-beam steel framed building, with a combination of open web joists and wide flange beams (depending on available floor-to-floor heights and building cost issues). Typical exterior walls and perimeter columns are tilt-up or pre-cast concrete with infill of steel studs and storefront window systems. At the library, the entire structural system is steel framed, with an exterior brick veneer. Lateral loads for the entire structure are resisted by concrete shear walls and steel braced frames, which are exposed on the building exterior.

A primary design feature of the building is the second floor hallway, which slices through the classroom building at a skewed angle. The hallway consists of a cast in place concrete slab with inset glass block supported by cantilevered wide flange steel floor beams. The skewed hallway element runs the full width of the building, and penetrates the exterior walls in the form of cantilevered exterior canopies.