Historic Oakland Fox Theater Restoration – Seismic Retrofit by KPA Group

March 10, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
March 10, 2009 - Oakland, California - Restoration of the 1920's built historic building, the Oakland Fox Theater has proved to be California based structural engineering firm, The KPA Group's most challenging and rewarding retrofit project.

Work began in January 2007 and The KPA Group is the appointed structural engineering company responsible for the task of ensuring that the theater would be preserved and the building seismic retrofit would be invisible.

Developer Phil Tagami, managing general partner at California Capital Group, who is leading the restoration effort says, "The Oakland Fox Theater Restoration project gives all of us involved, a sense of higher calling. How can you not have a sense of pride when you can put it all back together and respect the history and heritage? We're spending millions of dollars to keep the building seismically safe."

More than eighty years after it first opened its doors to the public, this historic building is being recreated by skilled engineers, architects, planners and developers. Above all else, these local experts and business organizations share the passion of bringing alive a piece of their history, preserving its integrity and enhancing its beauty. "Without philanthropy, without government investments, we wouldn't have been able to raise the money to do the job we need," Tagami said. "This is a public asset."

The restored theater will not just be historic as a work of architecture, but more so in its role as a potential catalyst of socio-economic activity and growth. Hratch Kouyoumdjian, founder and principal, The KPA Group says, "Our involvement with the Fox Theater Restoration project goes beyond seismic evaluations, structural engineering and retrofitting. We see this as a tremendous challenge and opportunity to bring back to life a "one of a kind" historic environment without intruding on its character and with the most invisible strengthening solutions.

Seismic retrofitting is the modification of existing structures to make them more resistant to seismic activity, ground motion, or soil failure due to earthquakes. The historic Oakland Fox Theater renovation valued at $83 million involved responsibilities for structural engineering and is one of several recent seismic retrofit projects including: The Rotunda, Metrocenter in Oakland, Richmond City Hall, Hall of Justice and Auditoriom in Richmond, Veterans Member Services Building in Younvulle, Fleet Maintenance Facility in Santa Clara and College Terrace Library Palo Alto.

The KPA Group's projects include significant completed major projects in multiple western US states and internationally in Asia and the Middle East. The firm's work portfolio includes responsibilities for many unique and significant structures and projects having completed over 100 projects in seismic evaluations / retrofits, 100+ projects in aviation / airports, and numerous multiple assignments for many universities, developers, municipalities and state agencies. KPA's largest structural project is in excess of $300 million. The single largest structural design-build project by KPA is the Alameda Juvenile Justice Center; a $176 million complex. The KPA Group has also been recently recognized and appreciated for its near flawless architectural engineering services for a new 400-foot long Secure Connector at San Francisco International Airport.

About The KPA Group:
The KPA Group was founded in 1987 by Hratch Kouyoumdjian, SE, as a structural engineering consulting practice. The firm evolved to offer architectural services in 1992 when Robert Riegel, Architect & SE joined in. In 1996 Michael Shanus Architect and Professional Engineer, joined the practice and further increased the firm's capabilities in aviation planning, airline facilities and renovation work. In 1995 Dipak Patel SE, joined the Group adding his very extensive building design experience. These four principals have directed The KPA Group and set values and a vision that focus on serving clients competently and honestly.

As a leading structural engineering, aviation planning and construction design firm, KPA maintains high levels of technical capabilities and extensive experience in major building types. Projects delivered by the firm include both design of new facilities and retrofits of existing facilities. The firm enjoys 20 years of uninterrupted practice, and has completed construction in excess of $1 billion with a claims free record. The KPA Group today is a select, competent group of dedicated professionals all of whom are LEED accredited. As an integrated practice, the firm offers efficiency, a single point of management and direct focus on servicing client needs with creative and timely construction engineering planning, design and build solutions. For more information, please call 510.271.6701 or send an email to HratchK@thekpagroup.com.