Elizabeth School #27


Designated by the State of New Jersey as an “Abbott” school district, this new elementary school in Elizabeth was constructed as part of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority school construction program to provide upgraded school facilities in urban areas.

The Challenge

Limited site access, unforeseen underground water sources and contaminated soils presented unique challenges in constructing this three-story, 180,000 SF steel frame structure. The unforeseen water source came from a well head that serviced one of the Buildings that was demolished as part of a separate demolition contract. The well pipe was broken considerably below grade by the demolition contractor while trying to cap it. While contaminated soils where not indicated in the bid documents, several uncharted oil tanks were uncovered on-site.

Our Solution

Limited site access was overcome in the planning and methodology used to construct the Building. Staging areas where shifted and the construction progressed.

A certified well company brought in a specialized rig and hundreds of feet of piping to the job site and set it up over the broken well. Many attempts were made to secure the area of the pipe where the break occurred. It took about 2 weeks for the well closing company to cap the well. As it turned out, the break was about 230’ below grade. Paperwork was filed with the appropriate Government Agencies to document the well closing. 

To Prismatic's knowledge, no soil testing was performed following the tank removals. When excavating for the building foundation, oil odors in some areas were noticed. Soil analytics were performed to try to determine the scope of the problem. PDC engaged a trucking Company licensed to remove the contaminated soil and transport it to a facility in East Brunswick. The NJSDA asked PDC to assume and manage this role. PDC shifted operations away from these areas and remobilized after the soil removal.