CIVIL ENGINEERING

Élan Design Lab
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Brooklyn Center Middle/High School Addition, Brooklyn Center, MN
Élan joined with TSP Architects in the remodeling of the existing secondary high school along with a 2,250 SF addition, as well as reconfiguring Earle Brown Elementary School that included a 25,000 SF addition. Élan provided Civil Engineering and Landscape Architecture for both projects. The project will dramatically transform the joint middle/high school facility, effectively separating the age divisions to form two schools within the same building. The work will encompass nearly 80% of the existing 195,800 sf structure. Each school will get a new, secure entrance and learning areas designed around the age-appropriate student experience. The high school/middle school building work is part of a district-wide effort to upgrade buildings and programming. Élan provided the connectivity from the existing parking lot to the new entrance addition that included incorporating ADA parking stalls, bollards, landscape screening, and proper drainage. The elementary school also received much-needed repairs plus a significant, two-level addition and remodel. To keep construction moving during the latter half of the 2018-2019 academic year, the project was phased so middle-schoolers could remain in place while high-school students attended some classes in leased space within a former college building.
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MPS Loring Community School Renovations, Minneapolis, MN
The Loring Community School Renovation project involved interior upgrades to the lunchroom and kitchen facilities, as well as enhanced student safety through the relocation of the school office and redesign of the main building entrance. Élan worked with LHB and Adolfson & Petersen Construction on the site and landscape design. Site demolition involved removing some concrete walkways and the maple tree in front of the main entry. In coordination with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the wading pool in Victory Park was also demolished. Multiple options were explored to maintain the maple tree, however the goal to provide a safe and welcoming entrance to the school prevailed. Enhanced landscaping was provided as part of the project, including screening of the parking lot from the residential homes. Site work started early to facilitate the start of construction and minimize changes during the school year. During the summer of 2020, work continued with building and ground updates. Repairs were done on the north parking lot, sidewalks, and playground area on the northwest corner of Loring Community School. Work is scheduled to be complete in time for the new 2020-2021 school year. As a new and separate project, a new monument sign will be placed just to the west of the current sign. While the current monument sign on 44th still has the original sandstone plaques from the building, it was removed to re-align the crosswalk in a safe manner.
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Sabathani Senior Housing & Garden, Minneapolis, MN
The Sabathani Community Center is South Minneapolis will be building 50 units of affordable housing for seniors on the northwest corner of the Sabathani campus. The project incorporated the existing community gardens into the design. The community gardens became the central feature of site design as a focal element for the campus plan. The design includes walkways, site seating, lighting and other site elements that allow all the citizens of the Sabathani community to interact with the community gardens. The design created new focal point entryways into the campus and community gardens.
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Phillips Community Aquatic Center, Minneapolis, MN
Working with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Steve Johnston was the lead civil engineer for the renovation and redevelopment of the Phillips Community Center. The project includes a 9,550 sf building addition to add a teaching pool, renovation of an abandoned pool, and all new parking lot to service the new entry and plaza. The site is designed to Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines B3 standards and will accommodate stormwater management with a combination of a surface infiltration basin and an underground detention facility. Steve worked closely with the Minneapolis Park Board to develop the plan to accommodate multiple building users, as well as pedestrians and vehicular traffic. The building housed the Community pool, but was also utilized by outside vendors, as well as Minneapolis Public Schools.
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Blue Line Blue Line Paver Replacement, Minneapolis, MN
Élan’s Marcie Weslock was the project manager and lead civil engineer on the Blue Line Paver Replacement project for Metro Transit. The original design on the platforms includes pavers that have not held up well to the Minnesota winters. The goal of this project was to replace the pavers with fiber-reinforced colored concrete. This project was distinctive due to the need to perform the construction over a single shutdown weekend. The construction logistics required many unique details and readily available materials to ease construction. Construction has taken place on five platforms. Three additional platforms were designed and built in 2015.
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BarOle Trucking Facility, Hudson, WI
Élan was engaged to provide site design and engineering services for this commercial trucking, warehousing and storage, cross docking and transloading facility in Hudson Wisconsin. The 33,000 sf building includes service and loading bays with drive-in doors as well as four 4-foot loading docks, and approximately 3,000 sf of office area. A large parking/maneuvering area is provided for trucks/trailers/containers. A parking area in front of the office area provides space for 19 designated employee and visitor vehicles. The stormwater management system provides for infiltration of approximately 70% of the annual rainfall and over 90% removal of total suspended solids.
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North Loop Apartments Project 1, Minneapolis, MN
The North Loop Project 1 building is 6-stories tall and includes first floor retail and five stories of residential apartments with two floors of underground parking. The 0.99 acre project site extends for a full city block and required significant coordination with the City relating to the reconstruction of the sidewalks and alley, along with an intersection curb extension at N 2nd Street and N 2nd Avenue. Élan worked closely with the project architect and landscape architect to integrate a central four-season plaza that provides ground level connectivity to the retail spaces, streets, alley and adjacent properties. The site was formerly occupied by a service station with leaking fuel tanks, requiring additional coordination with the environmental engineers and contractor for remediation of the contaminated soil.
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Manning Avenue Park & Ride
Marcie Weslock was the lead civil engineer for the development of a 550-stall park and ride concept plan in Lake Elmo, MN. The site was part of a larger subdivision and Élan worked with Metro Transit to ensure the proper layout of the site for vehicle and pedestrian circulation, as well as the City of Lake Elmo zoning code. The plan included relocation of Hudson Blvd, as well as layout of a roundabout to provide access to future development. The site includes additional amenities for both the rider and driver, such as shelters and restrooms. Élan also performed preliminary hydrology calculations to ensure the project would meet local and state regulations for stormwater management.
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MPS Twin Cities International School, Minneapolis, MN
The Twin Cities International School is a vibrant part of the downtown Minneapolis community. This 22,300 sf expansion is vital to its continued success. The landscape design is consistent with the school’s urban neighborhood and enhances the function and beauty of the site. The planting design is focused along 12th Avenue, the building’s main entrance, and the vehicle/service entrance from 3rd Street. The existing parking lot was renovated to improve the bus drop-off area and ultimately student safety. The landscape design aims to meet the school’s goals of safety by incorporating low maintenance plants, thoughtful screening, and plants free of any berry or fruit.
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White Pines Supper Club, Grant, MN
Élan was engaged to develop the site plan for this unique entertainment venue near Stillwater, Minnesota. The owner envisioned an active sports themed bar/restaurant where their patrons could enjoy onsite competitive athletic activities. Facilities incorporated into the site include volleyball, softball, bocce ball, mini golf and broomball. The grading and drainage plans maintain the existing rate and volume of runoff at each of the four locations where stormwater runoff leaves the site, including the dual use of the broomball rink as an infiltration facility. Élan developed a landscape plan that incorporates the existing mature spruce and pine trees along with a mixture of new trees, shrubs, perennials and native grasses to create a site that feels well-established and inviting.
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MN Army National Guard Readiness Center, Arden Hills, MN
Élan was the lead civil engineer for a 150,000 sf Readiness Center Complex for the Army National Guard. The site includes 512 POV parking lot that is designed to blend with the existing site topography, as well as the existing wetlands. In addition to the parking lot, the site plan included an access drive connecting the parking area to Hamline Avenue, sidewalks for pedestrian movement, a loading dock, service area within a secured fence, as well as proper fire truck access. A helipad was designed by Élan to be located north of the Readiness Center. The clearances and pavement design were in keeping with the Unified Facilities Criteria Design Guides for the Army. The project is pursuing LEED Silver Certification. The grading and drainage system was designed to work integrally with the parking lot layout and landscape design to give flexibility to earthwork and optimize the stormwater management features. The site had numerous wetlands on site and the site design worked with these natural amenities to ensure hard surface impacts to the wetlands were minimized. Additionally, the site layout utilized surface runoff and rock shoulders to reduce the amount of storm sewer piping. Utilizing the soil boring information, the team placed infiltration basins where the soils were amenable. Where the soils were not appropriate for infiltration, the design utilizes filtration basins. The basin design included forebays to ensure proper pretreatment and longevity of the of stormwater management facilities to ensure the goal of greater than 90% reduction of total phosporus and total suspended solids was achieved.
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333 Hennepin Residential Tower, Minneapolis, MN
333 Hennepin includes first floor retail, surface plaza, 282 residential units, and a 6-story parking ramp in a 26-story tower. Élan’s landscape architect worked closely with the project architect to create a vibrant outdoor plaza for the retail spaces while providing a cohesive ground floor plan to meet the building program at this 32,000 sf urban site. The design of the outdoor space also included site amenities at the street side including street trees, planters, and seating areas complete with charging stations. The primary engineering challenge included incorporating storm water management for this second phase of the redevelopment. Due to significant environmental contamination along with shallow bedrock the stormwater approach utilizes a filtration system located on the first floor of the covered parking area to meet the City requirements for reduction in total phosphorus and total suspended solids.
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Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Dodge Dealership Expansion, Coon Rapids, MN
https://www.projectlink.com This project was a renovation and expansion adding 300 new parking stalls in a newly acquired parcel to the west of the existing dealership. The project increased their lot from 600 to 900 stalls. The new design included incorporation of stormwater management to meet the local watershed’s requirements and site design to accommodate additional parking stalls that work with the existing vehicle circulation without impact to the adjacent wetlands. In addition, the landscape design required incorporation of the City ordinance while maintaining proper circulation of the lot to maximize parking. The main design concern was integrating the requirements of the watershed district without disturbance of the wetland. To meet the volume control requirements, the lot had to be raised to get the proper infiltration basin depth above the groundwater level. Steve Johnston worked with the watershed district to come up with a solution of utilizing the wetland buffer to provide the area for pretreatment of the stormwater before it entered the stormwater BMP and ultimately the wetland. Due to raising the grade, the site had to be designed to sheet flow to the infiltration basin as there wasn’t enough depth to accommodate traditional conveyance in pipes.
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The Capri Theater Expansion
Élan Design Lab provided site design, civil engineering and landscape architecture services for the expansion and revitalization of this last remaining North Minneapolis movie house. Since 1993 the theater has been owned and utilized by the adjacent PCYC, an arts and technology based school. Through the acquisition of additional property from Minneapolis CPED and the vacation of the existing ally and Oliver Ave N the 1927 era theater has been expanded to provide a 256 seat main stage, 125 seat community hall, technology, dance, and recording studios as well as a variety of classroom and creative spaces. The site features two public plaza’s designed by Elan– the upper plaza near West Broadway designed for larger gatherings and daily student small group use and the lower plaza with its bowed amphitheater seating and stairs for outdoor community productions and classroom instruction. Élan’s design team developed a stormwater management solution that utilizes a visually attractive arched biofiltration basin that mimics the shape of the adjacent amphitheater. Other site design activities included the conversion of vacated street into a green space for a future playground, reordering of site access routes and provisions for a bus drop off area on 23rd Ave N.
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Phase II Como Park Transportation Improvements, Saint Paul, MN
The Como Park Transportation Project includes renovation and expansion of a drop off roundabout, garden, pedestrian circulation, and Como Town entryway. The client was St. Paul Park and Recreation Department who was heavily involved in the design. Élan worked with the city to detail the design to ensure it met their budget. Design features included a gateway to the park involving stairs and hardscape to draw the users into the complex. The major concern was integrating stormwater management into the garden setting while maintaining the pedestrian movement. The goal was to enhance the user experience and draw them into the park. The stormwater was accommodated by incorporating 13 isolated infiltration basins versus one or two larger BMPs. Another design issue was sequencing and phasing of construction to keep pedestrian movements open and safe to allow the park to remain open. The resolution included timing of the contract to have the construction begin after school was back in session. Additionally, the design integrates with existing sidewalks and pedestrian walkways to allow the construction to work around these elements without compromising access to the park.
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Ann Bremer Education Center, Minneapolis, MN
The Ann Bremer Education Center expansion project involves the construction of a 30,675 SF Addition including Parking Lot Addition, Student Gardens, Courtyard, and Student Athletic Play Areas in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Élan worked closely with the project architect to create a useable courtyard and expanded play area and parking lot that worked with the building program and existing site features. Challenges included expanding an existing parking lot to maintain grades and meet City code requirements. Élan worked closely with the school and watershed district to incorporate the proper stormwater management to ensure the proper safety for the students while meeting the intent of the District regulations. The stormwater approach utilized infiltration basins designed to drain dry within 48 hours and are located away from core activity areas. The design included gentler slopes for additional safety for the students utilizing the outdoor space. The courtyard was designed as a flexible space to allow for outdoor classes and gathering spaces and connects through the building to the exterior spaces and walkways.
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