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Socorro High School’s Journey to a State-of-the-Art Campus

by Brian Uhlrich, PE, LEED AP, CxA, CEO

DBR is proud to have worked with VLK Architects and Socorro ISD on the reconstruction of Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas. The reconstruction of the school was part of the SISD 2017 Bond program, approved overwhelmingly by voters. The state-of-the-art facility includes open spaces flooded with natural light and innovative learning environments for over 2,500 students.

DBR provided MEP engineering as well as security and technology consulting services for the 523,242-square-foot high school, which included the renovation of 136,967 square feet and new construction of 386,275 square feet. The reconstruction project includes the replacement of a majority of the campus to provide 310,000 square feet of new academic, health profession, Early College and Career & Technology classrooms, labs, and shops as well as renovation of 170,000 square feet of the existing fine arts and athletics areas.

The project included all new HVAC systems. At the beginning of the design process in the fall of 2018, DBR modeled the energy consumption and the life cycle cost of various mechanical systems. The team settled DX cooling and natural gas heating with variable volume packaged rooftop units and a new building automation and control system. We coordinated with the electric utility provider to re-route overhead and underground primary conductors to feed four new service transformers. One of the four electrical services was dedicated to a fire pump, in conjunction with a 250 kVA natural gas-fired generator. In addition to the electric fire pump, we specified a domestic water booster pump system to control water pressure.

The reconstruction was accomplished in multiple phases, with careful coordination of relocation of services, demolition, and new construction. The project was completed in the Spring of 2023.

Project Team

Owner: Socorro ISD
Architect: VLK Architects
General Contractor: BTC Construction

Brian C. Uhlrich
Chief Executive Officer