Montana State University at Billings – Vertical Expansion of Education Building


Adding additional stories to an existing structure is never easy, even when it was planned for with the original construction. This building was already in service as a two-story building when this vertical expansion project began. Most of the existing foundations were originally designed to accommodate the loads from additional floors. The existing roof level was made into a floor, and another two stories were built above. The new construction was framed in steel and fitted to the existing cast-in-place concrete frame. Masonry veneer was extended upwards as well. The new lateral force resisting system uses chevron braces anchored to the existing concrete shear walls. Isolated areas of the foundation required underpinning. When it was completed, 60,000 square feet of new space had been added. The project was designed by JGA Architects and Whitten & Borges provided structural engineering.

College of Technology Health Sciences Building, Billings, Montana
This 55,000 square foot, two-level building is a part of the Montana State University College of Technology. JGA Architects designed this facility, which houses health care services education. It has a central entrance and two wings. The central part of the building houses a large dividable multi-media lecture room. The wings house mock-up emergency, patient and radiology rooms, as well as classrooms. Our firm provided structural engineering services for this project. Roofs are framed with steel joists and steel beams. Floors feature composite steel and concrete construction for maximum quality. The lateral force resisting system uses a series of concentric braces. The projects was completed in 2008.

Lincoln Elementary School, Riverton, Wyoming
This 57,000 square foot elementary school, designed by JGA Architects, was built to house grades K through 6. The structural system consists of a roof framed with I-joists, walls framed with steel studs, and a conventional spread footing foundation. A tall gymnasium, which features exposed steel trusses, uses CMU walls. The lateral force-resisting system consists of steel tension braces concealed within the stud walls. The project construction was completed in 2008.

Sheridan Early Childhood Development Center.
Sheridan, Wyoming
This wood-framed building was designed as a series of small, interconnected buildings to keep an intimate, residential character. The project comprises about 13,000 square feet of floor space, 1,000 square feet of which was adaptive re-use of a vintage structure. The floors are concrete slabs on grade, and the walls are conventional wood studs. The roofs are a combination of pre-fabricated panels, wood I-joists, and wood trusses. Much of the roof structure is exposed to allow the children to see how buildings work. Armstrong Design Studio of Sheridan, Wyoming and CTA Architects of Billings, Montana jointly provided the architectural design, and Whitten & Borges provided structural engineering. The project was completed in 2009 at a cost of $2,800,000.