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A busy Missouri community college suffers foundation settlement and needs a non-disruptive repair solution.

Located in Sedalia, Missouri, is State Fair Community College, a public, nonprofit college that serves the educational needs of 14 counties in west central Missouri. More than 5,000 students choose to attend SFCC each year.

Area of Settlement in Hopkins Student Services Building

Area of Settlement in Hopkins Student Services Building.

The William C. Hopkins Student Services Building, located on the State Fair Community College Campus started showing visible signs of foundation settlement. The building, which opened in 1987, houses the offices of the President, Human Resources, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Cashier, Business Office, IT, Planning, Marketing and Communications. Since the building is such a vital part of the everyday operations of the college, SFCC sought the help of Terracon Consultants, Inc. to provide their professional services and assess the movements in the upper level floor in the north half of the William C. Hopkins Student Services Building.

SFCC Apparent Voids ReportTHE PROBLEM

To help assess the floor’s movement, Terracon used a Ground Penetrating Radar system to perform an upper profile geophysical survey.  GPR utilizes radio waves to detect changes in the subsurface of the area being scanned.  Along with GPR, Terracon used other geophysical methods to identify potential voids, and the suspected void areas were marked on the floor with blue painters tape.

It was concluded that in an area of 3,660 square feet along the north exterior wall, there was a presence of voids under grade-supported floor slabs that have already settled several inches. Although the building structure was still technically safe for occupancy, the uneven floors presented a cosmetic inconvenience to the office staff and personnel, and repair for the settlement was requested by the college.

SFCC Area of Settlement

SFCC Area of Settlement

THE SOLUTION

SFCC was recommended two options for repairing the foundation settlement issue in the Student Services Building.

Option 1: Restore the floor slab support by injecting expandable foam that raises the concrete slab.

Option 2: Complete removal and replacement of grade-supported floor slabs.

Complete removal and replacement is a method that would have a very high cost and cause major disturbance to the building’s everyday functionality. In addition to the removal of floors, the interior partition walls and any under-slab HVAC and utilitie would also need to be addressed. All functions in at least the north half of the building would have to be relocated, and construction activity could potentially require the entire building to be vacated. Since the staff was in the middle of the Fall semester, this method was not an option. The school needed a fast, non-disruptive, and cost effective repair solution.

Terracon recommended that SFCC contact URETEK Missouri for restoration of slab support and slab raising. In the project report, Terracon Consultants (2016) stated that, URETEK ICR provided services on a similar Terracon project where restoration of floor slab support within a health care facility was required. Terracon monitored slab raising and found their product performed as indicated.

THE RESULTS

URETEK Missouri utilized The URETEK Deep Injection™ Process for soil densification to repair base and sub-base soils under the existing slabs by injecting our patented structural grade polymer material into the soils beneath the foundation or slab through tubes inserted into drilled holes at various locations and depths, so as to lift, level, and stabilize the affected areas.

URETEK successfully stabilized the William C. Hopkins Student Services Building in two days time, with minimal downtime to the school’s normal operations. The college was extremely happy with the results!

References:

Terracon Consultants, Inc. (2016) Geophysical and Intrusive Exploration Report: State Fair Community College. Lenexa, KS. Author: Craig K. Denny, Ph.D.,P.E.

State Fair Community College. (2014). About SFCC. Retreived from http://www.sfccmo.edu/pages/101.asp