THE ABRAHAM CHAVEZ THEATER at the Civic Center in downtown provided the El Paso region with a first class theater for symphonic and theater productions. The structure of the theater building is unique and utilized structural systems not often used in ordinary construction. The shape of the structure, and the shape and configuration of the roof presented special design, detailing, fabrications and challenges. The roof consisted of a structural ring girder, which is circular in plan but curves from a low point to a apex toward the south and upwards to a mid-height level to the north, presenting an interesting three dimensional shape. The roof system consisted of triangular precast concrete roof panels suspended from a cross grid of centenary cables. The precast concrete roof panels were “hung” from the cables and the full area of the roof was pre-loaded with heavy steel members to impose a load equal to the dead load. The joints were then grouted with a high strength grout, allowed to cure and the pre-load weights were removed. The ring girder consisted of a box cross-section made up of 2 ½ inch flange plates and 1 1/2 inch web side plates. The ring girder section was required to rotate around the circular configuration of the ring girder and this was accomplished with the use of end type plates spaced around the perimeter of the ring girder.

  • Robert Navarro & Associates Engineering, Inc.
  • 124 W. Castellano Drive, Suite 201, El Paso, TX 79912