IS 34 Richmond, also known as Totten Intermediate School was designed by Architect Walter C. Martin in 1934 and was erected between 1935 and 1936. The building is comprised of a concrete-encased steel frame structure and solid brick masonry wall, with a limestone exterior veneer extending from the water table at grade to the second floor.
In its many decades of use, moisture ingress began to jeopardize the school’s structural stability. Nelligan White was commissioned to examine the damage and propose a strategy for long-term flood elimination in response to these concerns.
After a thorough firsthand examination, our team attributed the school’s extensive water damage to previous projects’ failed attempts to resist surrounding ground water’s hydrostatic pressure against the foundation wall and cellar slab perimeters. We concluded that, as a result of these unsuccessful flood elimination strategies, the waterproofing barrier at the foundation wall was discontinuous and therefore deficient.
To correct these failings and protect I.S. 34 from future flooding, our team executed a full excavation around the perimeter of the foundation and areaway walls. This allowed full exposure and removal of the original terra cotta foundation drain-pipe system, sections of which had collapsed, clogged, and become misaligned. By applying a waterproofing membrane directly to the concrete foundation wall and continuing it over the building joint between the wall and continuous footing beneath, we made a truly continuous barrier against water infiltration. Nelligan White’s comprehensive, successful restoration of I.S. 34’s structural stability was imperative in securing the school’s ability to function as an educational asset for the community and its youth.
This project was substantially completed in January 2015.