Northwest Arctic Borough School District Kivalina School

Kivalina Replacement School
RSA proudly provided mechanical and electrical design and construction administration services for the new Kivalina K-12 School Replacement Project, which replaced the existing McQueen School in the village of Kivalina. Due to lack of available space to build in Kivalina, and concerns about the long term effects of coastal erosion, the new school site is located seven miles inland from the village and requires self-contained utilities.

RSA provided mechanical and electrical services for a conceptual new school layout and worked with agencies to research potential grant funding opportunities, targeting projects that would help reduce energy costs. During this conceptual phase RSA consulted with AEA, the Denali Commission, and private funding organizations, as well as researched energy saving opportunities through the use of solar power, microturbines, wind power, and energy recovery. Most of these technologies were not included in the final design, but gave RSA a better understanding of the site conditions and stakeholder priorities.

The new site includes a 39,935 SF school, mechanical building, 2,500 SF water and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), school bus parking building, teacher housing, bulk water storage, and bulk fuel storage. Water, wastewater, and heating glycol are moved between buildings using arctic pipe.

The mechanical design included fire sprinkler protection, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and control systems for the new site. Sanitary sewer and domestic water piping were designed for the school, mechanical building and WWTP. Sewer lift stations at each building send wastewater to the WWTP to be treated and discharged offsite. The domestic water system includes a bulk water storage tank designed to maintain a minimum volume needed for fire sprinkler protection. Water is distributed to the site using water pumps in the WWTP (pumps designed by the civil engineer). The mechanical building includes a boiler plant, heat trace heat exchangers, fire pump and sprinkler risers, standby electric generator, and fuel oil day tank for boilers and the generator. The boilers provide heat to most of the buildings on site as well as glycol heat trace for arctic piping. The fire sprinkler pump is part of a NFPA 13 fire sprinkler protection system that serves the mechanical building and the school.

The heating circulation pumps use variable frequency drives (VFDs) to reduce energy consumption, and the school and WWTP ventilation systems include energy recovery technology. All mechanical equipment in the school, mechanical building, and WWTP are operated and monitored by a direct digital control (DDC) system.

  • Categories: Educational
  • Owner: Northwest Arctic Borough School District
  • Architectural Firm: Burkhart Croft Architects
  • Photographer: Kevin Smith