The Warren Theatre in Moore, Oklahoma was directly in the path of a deadly EF-5 tornado that struck on May 20, 2013. The theatre was spared, sustaining only minor structural damage. The theatre became a triage staging area and makeshift morgue in the wake of the disaster as victims from the neighboring medical center were evacuated. For the local community, the theatre was a beacon of hope with destruction all around. The theatre was re-opened to the public just nine days after the event.
The structural design decisions impacted the performance of the building. Using the inherent modular nature of the theatres presented opportunities to provide an efficiently robust structure. The site had been struck by tornadoes twice previously so the owner encouraged a conservative approach to the design.
Heavier gage roof decks were used even though a lower gage deck was sufficient for the diaphragm forces to account for higher uplift resistance. The configuration of the joist and girders were arranged so no panels were "unsupported" more than 10-feet oc horizontally.
Interior demising walls were tilt-up panels with special joints to meet requirements to necessitate abatement of sound migration between theatres. The wall assembly was carefully evaluated to meet THX certification for acoustics and a patent was filed.
Moore, OK 73160
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