Alameda Unified School District


Alameda, CA

Scope of Work

The 100,000 square foot Historic Alameda High School opened in 1926 and closed in 1977 due to structural issues, and reopened in the Fall of 2019, after an extensive seismic retrofit and modernization.

Brelje & Race performed the design level surveys and fire protection upgrades, including addition of three new fire hydrants along the Central Avenue frontage. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements incorporated multiple ramps, guardrails/handrails, as well as accessible paths of travel. (Project in partnership with QKA - Quattrocchi Kwok Architects).

Project Challenges

  • ADA compliance with multiple levels of building access
  • Uncertain locations of underground utilities
  • New fire code requirements

Solutions and Successes

  • Graceful sloped walkways avoided handrail use and provided attractive ADA access at the main frontage locations
  • Careful review of historical documents along with existing surface features provided necessary information for modernization of wet utility services
  • Close collaboration with Alameda Fire personnel resulted in a design satisfying both the local fire authority and DSA (Department of State Architect)

Other Notes of Interest

  • The nearly 100-year-old building is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
  • Project has been honored with four industry awards:
    • California Preservation Foundation - 2020 Preservation Design Award & Trustees Award for Excellence
    • Engineering News-Record – Best Projects Award
    • San Francisco Business Times – Real Estate Deal of the Year Award
    • Alameda Architectural Preservation Society – Preservation Design Award

Project Team