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Bethel University Library Safe Room Case Studies

Established in 1842, Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee has a rich history of higher education. A staple of the community, the campus includes numerous historic structures consistent with the school’s age, some of which are in need of updates. Bethel University contracted Henson Construction to retrofit the Bethel Library, a 25,000 ft^2, two-story building, into a new safe room.

Problem: The retrofit of the Bethel Library into a safe room would increase the overall load of the structure as well as its footprint, which, in turn, would require increased foundational support. Four different foundation companies submitted proposals; Ram Jack Tennessee was awarded the project.

Proposed Solution: Working with Henson construction and the plans designed by A2H engineers, Ram Jack Tennessee also worked with Ram Jack engineers to design final loads and drawings for the project. The proposed solution included the installation of (121) 3 1⁄2” 10” – 12” multi-helix piles which would provide 40 kips in compression and 10 kips in tension.

Outcome: Over the course of four days, Ram Jack installed 133 helical piles, with pre-construction brackets, to an average depth of 25 ft. Twelve extra piles were added to maximize support and keep the spacing of piles even. Henson Construction supervisors were astonished at the speed and quality of the work, as other contractors proposed that the job would take 12-15 days to complete.

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