Earnest Pruett Technical School
Introduction: The Earnest Pruett Technical School provides advanced training for students wishing to study everything from carpentry and welding to machine-work and collision repair. Located on a lovely, 40-acre campus in Hollywood, Alabama, the educational facility provides trade-based education to high schoolers interested in both job-entry and college-preparation. A part of the high school program in Scottsboro and Jackson County, the old brick building is more than just a structure—it is a learning center and a creator of opportunities for youth in the area.
The Problem: While the school was busy providing an amazing education to its students, the structure was undergoing some foundation damage. The brick veneer and masonry walls of the building were settling, causing cracks to appear. In addition, the walls had begun to separate from the concrete slab foundation. After a professional structural engineer evaluated the facility, it was determined that the unreinforced masonry retaining walls did not have sufficient strength to resist the pressure of the settling exterior walls. Temporary steel braces were quickly installed until a permanent solution could be implemented.
Proposed Solution: Alabama Ram Rack proposed the use of steel helical tie-back anchors to permanently support the leaning exterior walls. These would not only close the gap between the walls and the foundation, but they would also ensure the structural integrity of the structure for years to come.
Outcome: Alabama Ram Rack installed tie-back anchors in only two days using small, portable equipment. The anchors were grouted and allowed to cure for one week before Ram Jack tie-back plates were applied. New bricks were installed over the low-profile, tie-back brackets to conceal the structural repair. In the end, thirteen (13) 2 3/8in. helical piles with threaded connections were installed to an average depth of 12 ft., providing the support the structure needed to continue its education of bright young minds without having to worry about the integrity of the structure and the safety of the students.
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