The bleachers and field house at the Murry Bergtraum High School Athletic Facility have experienced distress as a result of excessive settlement. Severe distortions of the steel frame bleachers as well as nearby ground settlement were observed. Extensive cracking of the roof parapet at the field house prompted the school to shore up the overhang roof at the building entrance.
YU & Associates, Inc. (YU) was called in for an emergency inspection of the structures as an urgent project per New York City Board of Education/School Construction Authority procedures. Subsequently, a subsurface investigation involving a historical record search, ground penetrating radar survey, and test pit excavation was conducted. Our investigation indicated that the bleachers settled over former basements filled after demolition. The problem at the field house was due to the thermal stress/strain effect of the roofing material. Remedial alternatives were evaluated and a unique, economic solution involving relieving and preloading was recommended for the bleachers. Special corrective measures involving roof coping strengthening and the addition of thermal expansion joints were recommended for the field house.