The Nipomo High School is constructed on an 80-acre site in Nipomo. The project comprised the phased construction of approximately 80 buildings including administrative support, media/library, lecture forum, multi-use, science, industrial technology, fine arts, music, drama, gymnasium, technical control, covered lunch area, relocatable classrooms, and maintenance buildings. Grass playing fields, hardcourts, a swimming pool, and parking lots were also be constructed. Most of the permanent buildings are of wood or steel-stud construction; the multi-use building and the gymnasium is of masonry construction.
Earth Systems provided peer review of previous geotechnical and environmental studies of the site. As a result of this review, it was determined that a more economical means for grading the site and founding the structures might be possible. To verify this conclusion, a soils engineering investigation entailing site reconnaissance, subsurface exploration, laboratory testing, and geotechnical analysis of resulting data was performed. Cone penetrometer data were analyzed to determine the potential for liquefaction at the site. Additionally, a geologic hazards study was conducted by our personnel. This study included the evaluation of geologic characteristics such as groundwater, faulting, slope stability, and flooding. Potential seismic hazards such as ground shaking and surface ground rupture were assessed as well. The cone penetrometer data were also analyzed to determine if a trace of the Wilmar Avenue fault crosses the building area. Earth Systems concluded as a result of these investigations that the more economical means of construction using conventional foundations with slabs-on-grade may be utilized.
Earth Systems also performed a preliminary endangerment assessment (PEA) for which borings were drilled and soil samples from the borings were analyzed for chlorinated herbicides, selected metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons. The results of the PEA indicated that the site did not pose a hazard to public health or the environment. The PEA was approved by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the high school entered the construction phase in December of 2000, during which Earth Systems provided construction observation and testing, and special inspection of concrete, masonry, and steel.