• Corporate HQ, NY
  • Melville, NY
  • Iselin, NJ
  • Ossining, NY
  • Mount Laurel, NJ

Nininger Hall Emergency Egress and Life Safety System


HAKS was commissioned to provide life safety upgrades, which included design for a second means of egress, new sprinkler and fire protection systems at Nininger Hall, Building 747, in the U.S. Military Academy complex at West Point, New York (originally constructed in 1851). The existing building is a granite-faced, four-story masonry building with a steel-framed attic and an exterior porch at the first floor that is approximately 5 feet above grade.

The first and fourth floors are used for office space, and parts of the second and third floors provide museum-type settings that house reproductions of old cadet quarters. The basement has a lounge, storage space and mechanical and electrical equipment. There are areaways on the north, south and east sides of the building that let light and air into the basement through windows. The areaways also provide egress to grade by way of stone steps. There are no ramps from the basement areaways to grade, nor are there ramps from the first floor to grade. A single internal unenclosed central stair off the main north-south corridor provides the only means of egress from the first through fourth floors.

In an effort to maintain the natural light and existing egress patterns from the original design, the challenge was to place the new emergency egress addition so as not to disrupt these functions as well as match the original design aesthetic.

The sprinkler and fire alarm systems were retrofitted throughout the existing building and new addition. The second means of egress consists of a new steel-framed stairway surfaced with granite. A ramp was constructed on the west side of the building,which made it accessible by introducing new exterior openings in the granite exterior wall into existing rooms. Wood windows with insulated glass and a standing seam copper roof were utilized to match the existing construction.