Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Studies

The Project.

Named for Rachel Carson, credited as the founder of the modern environmental movement, and Al Gore, this new elementary school curriculum has an environmental emphasis, including recycling projects, research, and beach cleanups. An organic garden produces a student-led farmer’s market.


Los Angeles Unified School District


Los Angeles, CA


  • Geotechnical
  • Geotechnical Testing

Project Fact:

The $19.2-billion school construction and renovation program that will deliver new and modernized school facilities represents the largest school construction and renovation program in the United States.

The Leighton Solution.

Leighton is the geotechnical engineer of record for the new school on a city block west of downtown. At the time of our geotechnical investigation, the site was occupied entirely by residential and commercial buildings. Due to the limited site access, drilling could only be conducted on public streets surrounding the property.

We coordinated with City’s Public Works Department for acquiring an encroachment permit for drilling in public right-of-way and traffic lane closure. Leighton provided geotechnical observation and testing during construction of the school building.

Leighton provided design for a conventional soldier beam and lagging shoring system for necessary environmental excavation. Due to encroachment constrains on the property line, an internal brace system in lieu of tiebacks was used to provide additional support of the excavation.

A two-stage approach was used for the excavation since the excavation was too wide for bracing the entire width of more than 100 feet. The two stages are adjoined by a common row of soldier beam at about the half-way point. The excavation proceeded with stage one roughly 190 feet long by 50 feet wide. Stage two would begin upon completion of backfilling stage one.