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.
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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