|Excavation begins on the student commons construction site.|
Excavation began on the eastern part of the construction site along with the start of the spring 2013 semester.
Now that trees have been cleared, test piles for the building's foundation will be driven within the next few days, followed by installation of the main piles in February. The piles are large steel I-beams that are driven vertically into the ground with a large truck-mounted hammer, forming the foundation of the building. The pile driving process is noisy, but the goal is to complete this step within four weeks.
Some preliminary foundation work including the construction of a soldier pile wall is expected to begin on the western part of the construction site (Waldo Avenue side) during the week of Jan. 28. Soldier pile walls are constructed by drilling large holes vertically into the ground and then installing large steel I-beams into those holes. Wood or steel panels are then dropped in between adjoining piles to form walls. The walls are also supported horizontally by drilling large anchors into the adjoining rock and attaching them to the walls. The exterior walls of the building are then constructed up against the soldier pile walls.