Garrison Middle School Walla Walla, Washington

Korfil and Hi-R preinsulated, grouted and reinforced masonry units

Designed by Robert F. Broyles, A.I.A.

Concrete chosen for its construction, durability, and cost-effectiveness

HI-R Insert and block.jpg

To see how easily the durability and flexibility of concrete masonry integrate into existing construction, you need look no further than the recent addition to the Garrison Middle School in Walla Walla, Washington. Built in the mid-fifties, the school featured primarily curtain wall construction with a masonry wall fronting the street.

The project called for adding more than 36,000 square feet of classroom and activity space to the existing 70,250 square-foot facility, as well as renovating the existing structures. The architectural firm; Robert F. Broyles, A.I.A., designed both parts of the project, paying special attention to tying the new addition to the previous structures to make it appear that all the buildings were built at the same time.

Phase 1 of the addition included a new two-story structure in the front of the school to house classrooms, administration offices, a reception area, and a foyer leading to the main gym. It features CMU bearing walls of 10-inch pre-insulated gray block, scored smooth and split-face texture. This structure is visually tied into the existing building using an accent course of red brick to match the original fronting wall.

Phase 2 included construction of a new gym facility and new locker rooms that also feature CMU bearing walls with a steel roof structure. The 12-inch Hi-R block walls are 34 feet high with a specified compressive strength of 2,000 psi. This phase shared the same material palette as the phase 1 addition, including the brick veneer band.


The new two-story addition features concrete masonry with brick accent banding. According to project architect, Michael Shult, a number of factors including ease of construction, durability, and cost-effectiveness; as well as the visual tie-in, influenced their choice of concrete masonry for the addition. "We use concrete masonry wherever we can because of the economy of the CMU bearing wall system in conjunction with the steel joist roof system", explains Shult. Also, because the gym is classified by the building code as a Type II fire resistant building, CMU also met the requirement for noncombustible materials.

Phase 1 of the project, which included the complete renovation of the existing school buildings, was completed in just nine months. The phase 2 addition took less than six months. The total cost of the addition was $85 per square foot.

Architect: Robert F. Broyles, A.I.A.
Clarkston, Washington

Structural Engineer: Suden, Golden & Guest
Spokane, Washington

General Contractor: Lydig Construction (Phase 1)
Spokane, Washington
Leone & Keeble (Phase 2)
Spokane, Washington

Mason Contractor: Lyle Johnson Masonry (Phase 1)
Spokane, Washington
Great Northern Masonry (Phase 2)
Spokane, Washington

Korfil Insert and block.jpg