East Hampton High School Weathers Superstorm Sandy

Located in Long Island just miles from the Atlantic Ocean, East Hampton High School is a part of the East Hampton Learning Community and home to more than 2,000 students, teachers and faculty. As the eastern most school in New York, East Hampton High School’s geography means it is frequently subjected to harsh weather conditions; between 2007 and 2012 the school district faced at least 11 severe storms, including Hurricane Irene and most recently, Superstorm Sandy.

School district officials determined in 2009 that significant renovations to the school’s facilities were needed in order to continue to deliver a superior learning environment for its students. Specifically, the East Hampton Learning Community looked to update its high school. This would include a renovation and expansion of the high school from the ground up.

The Challenge
At the beginning stages of the project, a few requirements were immediately identified. All renovations would have to adhere to a strict budget and would need to be completed within the allocated timeline — construction needed to be completed no later than 2011. School officials also faced perhaps a greater challenge: how best to renovate a building that not only needed to meet strict commercial building standards but also withstand the harsh environmental conditions it faced due to its geography. East Hampton High School’s location proved to be an important variable during the decision making process. None of the parties could predict Superstorm Sandy or the devastation that it would cause, but judging from past storms officials agreed that products and materials with proven track records of durability were essential.

Of the utmost importance was protection. East Hampton High School’s façade needed to be impact resistant to protect the students and faculty as well as the structural integrity of the building. Strong ocean wind, particularly during storms, proved to be a real threat as airborne projectiles could be seriously damaging.

Focused on a Solution
East Hampton Learning Community enlisted the help and expertise of Matt Antonucci of Beatty, Harvey and Coco Architect and contractor Edward Simonetti of Action Store Fronts.
After beginning its search for building solutions, project managers for East Hampton High School landed upon YKK AP. The company was able to provide a cost-effective solution to East Hampton High School’s challenge.

“Going with YKK was an easy choice for us,” Antonucci said. “They offer years of trusted experience in the industry, but more importantly they were able to offer us a creditable product we needed and at the right price. Being able to find all the products under one roof substantially reduced the bottom line of the project.”

YKK AP’s fenestrations systems’ ability to protect buildings and their occupants from the strongest of storms and hurricanes proved to be the deciding factor. ProTek product family meets International Building Codes and Federal Standards for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the General Services Administration (GSA). Additionally, the product line also meets the requirements of Miami Dade County (NOA) and Florida product approval and is engineered and tested in accordance with ASTM E 1886 and ASTM E 1996 as well as the South Florida “High Velocity Hurricane Zone” test requirements. Looking to put the safety of its student and faculty first, these were viewed as extremely attractive qualities by the architect and contractor.

The project architect and contractor ultimately decided on YKK’s YOW 225TUH Impact Windows System, the YHS 50 TU Storefront System, the Model 35H Entrance Door, and the YHC 300 OG Curtain Wall, products known for their ability to protect against high winds and projectiles.

Seeing Results

YKK AP’s ProTek products were selected, installed and completed within the allotted timeframe. Its products proved to be a viable solution for a school building that not only needed an aesthetic overhaul but also real, dependable protection from harsh environmental elements, including driving rains, high winds and projectiles frequently launched into flight from such forces.

In October 2012, East Hampton High School’s renovation was put to the test. Superstorm Sandy rolled through the region, leaving massive damage and destruction in its wake. Powerful, sustained wind gusts of up to 110 miles per hour and a 13-foot storm surge wreaked havoc on New York commercial structures. East Hampton High School, however, withstood the challenge and successfully weathered the storm — providing the ultimate validation in the selection of YKK AP’s ProTek product line. In an area that saw tens of millions of dollars in damages because of flooding and lack of structural integrity, East Hampton High School remained open to serve as a Red Cross shelter, providing security for 200 residents.