This $42 million dollar project included many much needed upgrades to the Rotunda, a structure designed and built by Jefferson nearly 200 years ago as library by updating utility systems, restoring historical features and expanding the future use of the building. Perhaps the most ambitious part of this project is the construction of a new basement level directly below the original structure. The project also includes a below grade addition in the courtyard to the east of the Rotunda.
Froehling and Robertson, Inc. was asked to provide geotechnical engineering and special inspections services for this project. From a geotechnical standpoint, the focus was to provide recommendations for underpinning and shoring the University’s most important structure, such that it would not be damaged during the proposed renovations.
The site area was located in a courtyard, which could not be accessed using conventional drilling equipment, so F&R was able to utilize a specialized rig which could access the site an provide the needed geotechnical data. F&R collaborated with the structural engineer in developing the underpinning and shoring design. F&R’s special inspections included foundation subgrade, soil compaction, reinforcing steel, concrete, masonry, and structural steel inspections.