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Tarlton Hits the Books With $33M University Project

Sat June 10, 2000 - Midwest Edition
Megan Nichols

Images of a college campus often include cramped dormitory rooms, tiny study cubicles and mediocre food from a crowded cafeteria. Washington University is shattering this conception with construction of the luxuriously appointed Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center for the John M. Olin School of Business.

Tarlton Corporation of St. Louis, MO, is building a five- story, 12,150 square meter (135,000 sq. ft.) learning center consisting of classrooms, group study rooms, dining facilities, lounges, a distance learning studio and 66 overnight lodging units. Rooms will also be used for corporate recruiters and other official visitors to the university. The $33-million facility will provide a comprehensive and integrated residential learning environment for mid through senior level executives.

Designed by Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood Architects Inc. of Boston, MA, the building blends with the collegiate gothic style of the campus. In addition to a finished interior comparable to a luxury hotel, the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center has a limestone and granite facade with a slate roof.

While the exterior is reminiscent of the 19th century, the building’s design, construction and amenities will take the facility into the 21st century. William Tao & Associates provides civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering services. Geotechnical engineering is by Shannon & Wilson, and Alper Ladd is the structural engineer.

Tarlton began by removing the existing building, which did not come into the hill as far as the new one. This, according to Matt Pfund, senior project engineer, required massive excavation work.

With completion of the facility slated for April 2001, Tarlton is keeping work on schedule by responding to site conditions, weather changes and challenges inherent with building in the midst of bustling campus life.

The structural system is a concrete frame. When pouring the slabs, the temperature could not be cooler than 20 degrees. Even during this unusually mild Midwestern winter, temperatures dipped below the acceptable level, and crews responded by heating the concrete and proceeding. The structure consists of approximately 6,840 cubic meters (9,000 cu. yds.) of concrete.

Equipment is being used to set mechanical components, the majority of which are located in the basement but some are scattered throughout the building. In addition, a 53- meter (175 ft.) Wolff Tower Crane WK 325-SL with a 69.8-meter (230 ft.) boom on it hoisting reinforcing steel is utilized.

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