The original “schoolhouse” facilities for training foreign special operations forces at NAVSCIATTS weren’t adequately sized or configured to support 21st century mission requirements. Construction of a new 25,000 sf, $9.5 million building directly behind existing facilities was planned, and Schnabel was hired to round out the design-build team with geotechnical engineering services and a seismic ground motion study.

Located at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, NAVSCIATTS (Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School) trains and educates foreign special operations forces, SOF-like forces, and SOF-enablers across the tactical, operational, and strategic spectrums through in-residence and mobile training team courses. More than 11,500 students from 100+ partner nations have graduated from this Naval Special Warfare command since 1963.

The new building, a two-story structural steel and concrete masonry unit built on a concrete slab foundation, was necessary to expand class size, throughput, and continuity of training, including riverine and special operations. The project scope covered all relevant site preparation and improvements, including underground utilities, landscaping, irrigation, parking, and exterior lighting.

We conducted subsurface exploration to determine the geologic nature of the site; performed laboratory testing of soils; analyzed groundwater levels; and provided design recommendations for the foundation, floor slab support, pavement, and general earthwork for the construction of load-bearing fill. Our ground motion study involved a 1-D multichannel analysis of surface waves survey at a single midsite location to obtain representative shear wave velocity data integral for calculating the IBC seismic site class. We also developed a shear wave velocity model to a depth of 100 feet.