Arizona State University, which rented space in the Washington, DC, area since 2010, wished to establish a permanent presence downtown. After a lengthy search for the right building in a desirable location, they purchased the building at 1800 I Street NW, two blocks from the White House. In March 2018, following a $35 million renovation, the doors to the eight-story, 32,000 sf Barrett & O’Connor Center opened.

The center is named for noteworthy female Republican Arizonans, Ambassador Barbara Barrett and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The acquired building’s historic nature dictated careful protection of the façade while gutting the interior so it could become the home for programs in four ASU schools, multiple think tanks, a policy journal, lobbying operations, and collaborative ventures with other organizations.

Modifications consisted of expanding the below-grade level, adding a ninth floor, and comprehensive interior renovations. Schnabel Engineering DC (SEDC)* provided geotechnical engineering, construction observation, and materials testing services on the project. Our geotechnical engineering recommendations addressed new and existing structural elements, which included spread footings, micropiles, and underpinning with a combination of traditional hand-dug piers and micropiles.

During construction, we observed the installation of micropiles, earthwork and foundations (spread footings and wall footings), underpinning pits, cast-in-place concrete, masonry prisms, and Windsor probe testing.

*SEDC is an affiliate of Schnabel Engineering, Inc.
Photo: © Arizona State University