update, concrete & rebar, 10.31.2013. the building movers are just about ready to place the old building over the new concrete slab & foundation. chatting w/ another bystander, a fellow with whom i attended high school many years ago, i learned something of some interest. the concrete slab, as might be expected, has a whole mess of reinforcing steel bar in it, a/k/a rebar, and it was not used sparingly. my "source," who lives in the neighborhood, said that the rebar is double layered, "criss-crossed" as he put it, and that it is about 3/4" of an inch thick steel bar.
the slab is very thick. and, it has a lot of reinforcing bar in it. this gives this particular slab an incredible strength in both compression, and in tension & sheer. (think of "tension" as "sheer" with a lever attached to it.) as my old high school classmate says, "it ain't goin' anywhere." he might have added, without overstatement, " ... anytime soon." end update.
in the first installment of this "series" i reported my concerns regarding the construction of a new building at the site of a national guard armory that has served its purposes for many years, without the need for new facilities.
the announced purpose of the new building was to provide office space for administrative purposes. in "my little town .... something wicked this way comes," i noted my impression that the footprint of the building was pretty generous for simple offices.
well, i have been by the building site several times, and my concerns have not been ameliorated.
first, the basic footprint of the building.
caption: the basic layout of the building is some 40 feet by 100 feet. now, i draw your attention to the foundation. look at the width of the walls in the foundation, ... , they are pretty substantial for something intended to be an office space. just note, in your own mind, the height of the walls.
well, i was by the building again today, and the construction guys were putting the power trowels at work, smoothing out a concrete floor/slab in the interior of the building. it's a pretty good sized slab, and it is solid. i learned that the slab inside the building is some 6" thick, which is a pretty substantial floor for something to be an office building. a slab of this dimension is entirely inconsistent with being the bottom of a "crawl space," so i will be surprised indeed over the course of the next several weeks if footings are laid to support a wood framed/trussed floor structure above this slab. not likely to happen.
caption: well, to begin. look again at the "front" wall of the building. notice the quite wide space at the front, which looks to me to be consistent with the eventual placement of a very large "garage door," to allow ingress/egress for several quite large vehicles. it appears to me that someone is planning on driving stuff in and out of that building of a substantial nature. that it is not an entrance for people is rather substantiated by another "opening" in the foundation wall just to the left of it (your right) which is clearly intended to house the basic framing for a door.
you can see that most clearly in the first photo.
now, look at something else. look at how high the concrete has been poured. it is flush with the "garage door" opening, and the "people door" opening, and this is a very substantial distance above the basic dirt grade beneath it. look at how much foundation wall is exposed in the first picture, and look at how very close to the top of the wall this concrete floor/slab is.
i was told that the slab was 6" deep. if it is entirely concrete, and i did not see the pour, it appears that the floor is at least 10" to 12" deep.
something heavy is going in and out of the building, is my view, and i think the expectation of the oregon national guard leadership.
finally, look at the fellow at the right wall of the building, standing in the foundation trench. look at his forearm, ... , my forearm, elbow to wrist, is just at 10" in length. i am supposing the construction worker's forearm is roughly the same. now compare the length of his forearm with the width of that foundation wall. that wall is somewhere in the neighborhood of a foot thick, would be my guess. the building site is guarded by a chain link fence, which fence i more or less respected, and i did not feel emboldened to walk over and measure that wall.
but, i didn't need to, did i? my yardstick was standing there, quite handily.
my point is this. a stick built wood framed structure such as consistent with the needs of a very small administrative office is not going up over that foundation. as a matter of fact, that foundation is as wide as a concrete building block is long. something big, and something heavy, and something thick is going up over that foundation.
casual entry will not be invited. something that someone wants to keep secure is going up in there. a prison? a secure armory? armored vehicles? an armored personnel carrier, or two or three, and associated weaponry?
who the hell knows? sure as hell the oregon national guard isn't telling the truth about it.
and, then, there is the matter of the parking lot. my older brothers, both heavy construction workers, contrived to pour a concrete slab for my mom's house, so that she could have a nice place to park her car. they got their little portable transit things, and laid the grade out for the pour, and we framed the slab with 2" x 4"'s nailed to wooden stakes. i hauled gravel in my oldest brother's old 1955 chevy half ton pickup, and i shoveled the gravel out of it, until it was basically flush with the bottom of the 2" x 4" laid on the tall side up. we let it sit for a while to settle, and then we poured a slab.
the slab may have had some wire netting on the bottom, it may not, i cannot remember. it definitely did not have any tied rebar for structural setting.
the slab was 3.5" deep, just the depth of the long side of the 2 by's that made the form. it has been there for many years, with car traffic, pickups carrying manure for mom's back yard garden, and back hoes and a crawler tractor over it to clean up the mess when an old tree went down in the back yard in a horrendous wind storm, some years back.
i don't know what else has gone over it, and i expect that neighbors have used it for moving vans and the like servicing the apartments next door.
not a crack in it. not one.
i learned today that the slab for the parking lot at the national guard armory's new building is going to be constructed of a 10" thick slab of concrete. i cannot imagine that such a large slab will not be poured over a very substantial structure of rebar. and, to support that mass of concrete, there will be coarse rock and then finer rock laid down, and compacted by rollers and the like.
somebody is planning to put some pretty heavy duty equipment on that lot.
caption: construction workers with the power floats. leveling and smoothing the surface of the concrete poured into the building's floor this day. well, it wasn't yesterday, that's for sure. concrete gets finished "right now," or it doesn't get finished.
the point is this. i missed today's pour.
but, i've been going by the site regularly, and i haven't missed to much of the festivities. and, i did not see any rock or gravel being hauled into the site, nor anything by way of rock or gravel being placed inside the foundation walls.
if you will look at the "garage door" opening, you will not see any fill or rock up to the level of that door, so no trucks or anything like that went inside those foundation walls, ... , you cannot drive a dump trunk into a ditch and then over a wall to get places. and, no little "road or ramp" of rock or dirt was built on the inside of it to ease a truck's way down into the bottom.
in the picture you will see piles of mixed dirt and river rock (called "milton freewater rocky loam" by the local wits), and in the second picture a small pile of gravel next to the backhoe at the back of the building, consistent with the appearance of the rock that has been spread and compacted in the bottom of the foundation in the top picture.
and, in the foreground of the bottom picture, some small amount of gravel sized rock has been spread around a little bit, as is common with "left overs."
well, so what, you say?
well, it sort of reinforces my impression that the majority of the foundation has been filled with concrete, which is very expensive stuff, and way more costly than crushed rock, or small rock. normally, unless you were planning on having something very heavy indeed on a slab, you would prefer a less expensive material to take up most the room.
this reinforces my opinion that something very heavy, and very expensive, is going inside that building. at least, that is the intent of the national guard. or, is it?
one final note. some have conjectured that the jailers are building a jail, whether for training purposes (they are a prison administration unit, after all) or whether to house prisoners.
i have been around jails all my professional life. when you are a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, and the jail center is where the court rooms are, you just tend to be around jails. in addition, while a civil prosecutor for yakima county, i handled litigation seeking damages from a whole host of worthies for the disaster which the yakima county jail turned out to be. (nope, it wasn't built while i was there. i came later, and took over some moribund litigation to recover damages. which i did. in substantial amounts. but, that's another story.)
point is, i am intimately familiar with the details of architectural plans, plans, shop drawings and the like for heating and hivac units, utility passages, and all those things and precautions put in a structure to keep prisoners on the inside, and the rest of us on the outside, ... , and that sort of thing, having to do with the construction of a jail facility.
the above isn't a jail. it just isn't gonna be a jail.
it is meant to house heavy equipment. and, as the national guard is not usually in the construction business, and is in the warfare business, in my estimation that heavy equipment is going to turn our to be heavy weapons.
like armored personnel carriers, and that sort of thing.
john jay @ 10.17.2013
p.s. we'll see, now, won't we.
and, remember the first article. someone has bought up some very cheap property in town (no reason for the purchase, because it isn't gonna produce anything, and no one is gonna build on it, or at least build anything substantial.
but, perfect for field stockades.