Spotlight on Tucker High School

Replacing two high schools simultaneously within a two-year period is no small feat, just ask Henrico County. Schnabel provided geotechnical engineering and construction materials observation and testing for both 265,000 sf, two-story schools, which included a new Highland Springs High School and Tucker High School.

Construction of the new J.R. Tucker High School building (pictured) was completed in 2021. Then, the original school building was demolished to make way for new athletic fields and ancillary buildings in the second phase of the project, which were completed earlier this year.

As with many of the county’s facilities, Schnabel’s experience working on past projects at Tucker High School helped in the preliminary planning of the project and helped to target areas of concern for additional exploration. Schnabel worked with the project team to evaluate the best foundation solutions for addressing the deep, questionable existing fill soils at the site. We also designed a methane venting system to mitigate methane fumes that could be generated from decomposing organic debris present in the existing fill.

During construction, Schnabel helped resolve issues that arose due to the need to use wet onsite soils as compacted structural fill during cold weather and complications during aggregate pier installation. Schnabel provided construction materials observation and testing for the new school and acted as the Special Inspector for the new segmental block retaining walls added at the end of the new school construction. Schnabel’s construction monitoring of the methane venting system assured the County that the venting system would perform as intended.