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New Allegany High School

Cumberland, Maryland

Retaining Wall

Contractor:

Proscape

Keystone Producer:
York Building Products

Installation:

Fall 2016

Technical Description:

• Keystone Compac® — Regency Retaining Wall System
• Walls: 5
• Total Wall Area: 25,219 sf
• Maximum Height: 26 ft

The community of Cumberland needed a new high school—one that would replace a 93-year-old building known as the oldest continuously operating high school in the state of Maryland. The project would be built on Haystack Mountain, the site of a former hospital. This site had many fine attributes but required extensive grade-leveling to adapt it for a secondary school structure, parking lots and athletic fields.

To prepare the property for the $51 million project, large sections were graded to flatten major
grade changes—50 feet in elevation—across the site. The use of five retaining walls, a total area of 25,219 sf, aided the endeavor. The civil engineering firm, SPECS, Inc., selected Keystone’s pinned segmental retaining wall (SRW) system based on the positive results of past experiences. The largest wall is installed at a 26-foot grade change and is a terrace design of 14- and 12-foot-tall walls. The tiered design has the dual benefits of maximum structural stability and superior visual appeal with landscaping.

Two of the walls have stairs that provide access from the main building and parking level to a lower parking level and the athletic field. The top elevations of these walls had to closely follow the rise and run of the steps.

The five walls vary in height, from one foot to sixteen feet. The terraced walls combined are 26 feet in height.

The design team wanted to use a wall system with several sizes of block that could generate a random design pattern. Keystone Compac®—Regency is just such a wall system, with its scored unit options as well as a straight split unscored unit. When these faces are combined, the result is a sophisticated ashlar-like pattern: the decorative blend of different-sized blocks creates the look of hand-laid stone.

Keystone Compac wall is a nationally-recognized pinned-connection system that uses fiberglass alignment pins. In addition to proven structural and durability performance, it is considered a cost-saving alternative to other wall systems. Installers prefer the lighter weight and a tail design that is shorter than standard wall block. Unit dimensions are 8 inches h x 18 inches w x 12 inches d; the weight is 71-76 pounds. Tight radius curves and vertical core alignment are possible because of the shape of the unit.

Grimm and Parker of Calverton, Maryland was the architect. The firm has a long and illustrious track record for their work on many of the schools in the state, and is one of only two to receive all three of the nation’s top awards for educational design. Grimm and Parker was instrumental in approving Compac-Regency for the project.

Technical Description:

• Keystone Compac® — Regency Retaining Wall System
• Walls: 5
• Total Wall Area: 25,219 sf
• Maximum Height: 26 ft

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