Yelm Middle School


This new 99,000 SF middle school includes two stories of wood-framed classrooms, a single-story commons, and a reinforced masonry gym with steel framing. The school's second-floor library features large windows that showcase incredible views of Mount Rainier. The school has a very irregular shape both in plan and vertically, with multiple different pitches, elevations, and steps throughout the roof. This created opportunities for a large number of atypical wood framing details and a somewhat complex lateral analysis relative to most wood-framed buildings.
Because the building consisted of two different primary lateral force resisting systems, masonry walls and light-framed wood shear walls, a seismic gap between the two systems was required to allow them to drift independently of one another during a seismic event. This posed a challenge for several canopies that needed to be attached to both the masonry and wood portions of the building. PCS provided slip connections that were able to move freely in the horizontal direction where the canopy was attached to masonry, and by using the wood side to resist the lateral force, ultimately the team was able to achieve the desired design.
Photo Credit: Aaron Locke / BCRA