The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library in Indiana underwent some serious spring-cleaning earlier this year in preparation for one of the largest renovation projects the city has ever seen. In an attempt to “catch up” with the 21st century, library officials set out to restore and modernize the 86-year-old building. A consortium of three construction management teams, dubbed, “The Library Delivery Team” consists of Turner Construction Company of Indiana, Shiel Sexton Company, and Trotter Construction, all with locations in Indianapolis.

Midwest Concrete Pumping and Concrete Construction, also of Indianapolis, was commissioned by subcontractor Premier Concrete Construction, Plainfield, to pump the concrete elements of the project, including a brand new 290,000-square foot cast-in-place underground parking garage, and the decks of a tower expansion which will utilize the ramp as its foundation.

A huge number of annual visitors to the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library alerted officials to the need for renovation and expansion of the 123,550 –square foot space. Because of the space constraints in the existing building, portions of the library’s collection are stored and not displayed to the public or placed in poorly accessible areas. Builders in 1917 did not anticipate today’s technological advancements, and officials are limited in their ability to incorporate technology into the structure. Other issues included parking access, teaching facilities, and space to organize and control the distribution of books to Central’s several branches.

Along with the parking garage, the $100 million project includes an additional 293,000 square feet of building space which will include a 350-seat auditorium, centers for family interaction and literacy, language laboratories, meeting and reading rooms, and a library store and café. Project architect and planner Wollen, Molzan and Partners, Indianapolis, solved the technology issue by incorporating instructional labs and individual user labs totaling 200 seats, multimedia systems and comprehensive online services. A 4-story glass atrium and the Indianapolis Special Collections Room will also enhance patron experience.

On September 26, 2002, library employees closed the facility and transported 600,000 pieces of media including books, journals and computers to the former Indiana State Museum for the interim. The library officially opened from their temporary location on December 2, 2002 and will continue to operate until project completion estimated for December 2005.

Excavation and demolition wrapped up on May 23, 2003. Contractors went right to work, and tower crane construction was completed and operational by mid-June.

General contractor Shook, LLC, Indianapolis is currently heading up construction on the library’s new underground parking garage. Subcontractors for Shook dedicated the month of June to digging the footings in preparation for concrete pumps and crews. The garage will measure a total of 290,000 square feet, stretching nearly an entire city block. With two levels below grade, 175,000 square feet is dedicated to a 400-space parking garage while the remaining 115,000 square feet make up the street-level roof of the garage. This “garden level” slab will double as the foundation for the library’s new tower expansion.

Mike Davis, Midwest President, said the entire project has produced logistical nightmares right from the first yard, poured on June 19. “Because the hole was so deep, they placed about 20,000 feet of waterproofing tarp down in the bottom to prevent groundwater from leaking into the workspace. Steel was layed over the waterproofing. The day before our first 3300-yard pour, it absolutely poured. Electricity went down across the Indianapolis area, the hole basically flooded, and they had to get in and rip up the waterproofing and all of the steel. Pumps were installed below the waterproofing to prevent further overflow. When we finally made it to the site, we ended up cutting the pour down to 1300 cubic yards.”

Contractors continued to have their share of rough weather all the way through the beginning of July. Shook Project Manager P.J. Youngman said their fighting to maintain a production schedule despite all of the setbacks.

Along with weather delays, the challenges on the site become more apparent with each separate pour. “We’ve got shoring running right up against the streets, and on the other sides of the excavation we’re crammed in by big historical buildings,” said Youngman. “We’ve got to get pumps, trucks, materials and men into the smallest working area you can imagine.”

To solve traffic issues and truck logistics, slab pours are scheduled for the evenings, typically taking place between the hours of 8:30 pm and 5:00 am. Contractors also close down four lanes and an entire street surrounding the site during work hours. Traffic control became even more important recently when the city conducted a “hyperfix” and completely closed down combined sections of an interstate and rerouted traffic through the city, directly adjacent to the job site. “We are completing 1,000 to 1,900 yards every pour,” said Youngman. “With the frequency of truck delivery we had to do something to allow them easy access.”

Even after they enter the site, ready mix truck drivers from Prairie Group, Inc., Indianapolis, and Midwest’s pump operators have the obstacle of the 28-foot deep excavation. “At this point in the project, the drivers have to throw it in neutral and coast down the ramp or ride their breaks like crazy,” said Youngman.

So far, Prairie has supplied 4,000 yards of 5,000 psi concrete for slab on grade pours that are pumped through Midwest’s KVM 39X and KVM 42, relatively new to the pumper’s 10-boom pump fleet. Midwest also brought in a KVM 52, borrowed from friend and colleague, Edwards Concrete Pumping,

Vertical wall and column pours are performed during the day. The use of smaller booms to output only 60-foot walls at a time means no need to close down adjacent streets for boom set-up or truck access. Midwest’s 32-meter Schwing boom pump has been on site to complete wall and column pours with 10,000 psi concrete. Poured wall specs vary depending on which side the site the pump is set up. The north and sound walls of the garage were created with one-sided forms and massive bracing systems up against the existing shoring. The east and west the sides of the excavation consist of formed walls.

To top off the garage and create the foundation for the tower addition, Prairie will supply 8,000 psi concrete for the larger booms to place.

As concrete construction continues, concrete pours will be scheduled in two-week intervals and will be poured at night on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when traffic is considered lighter. As of early August, Youngman said the project was reaching the 25 percent completion mark, and estimates the garage will be completed December 31, 2003.

Throughout garage construction, contractors have also been working to restore and renovate the library’s existing Crete Building. Exterior work, consisting of a cleaning and limestone treatment is nearing the halfway mark. Inside the building, crews continue to remove decades of renovations to expose the structure’s 1917 decorative features.

When garage construction is complete, Hagerman Construction Corporation, Indianapolis, will head up work on the new tower addition, a 281,667-square foot, five-floor structure for offices, meeting rooms and book storage. Keith Cantwell, Hagerman Project Manager says they’re deep into the planning stage. “As of now, it looks like we’ll incorporate around 3,000 yards of concrete.”

When concrete construction on the tower begins late Spring 2004, material suppliers and pumpers will separate each floor into three 10,000-square foot pours. Four of the five floors will require 30,000 square feet of concrete, while 29,000 square feet will be supplied to the top floor. The first floor of the tower measures 14 feet off the ground, and the rest of the structure will be erected in 17-foot intervals. Upon completion, the tower will measure 82 feet from the street level.

Ready mix supplier Irving Materials, Inc., Whiteland, IL, will be supplying 4,000 psi lightweight concrete to Midwest’s fleet to pump the decks of the tower.

Midwest’s fleet consists 10 boom pumps and four line pumps, and operators and crews are dispatched throughout the Central Indiana area. Along with the KVM 39 X and 42-meter pump, company purchased three other Schwing boom pumps in the last two years, a move Bobby Clark, head of Midwest’s placing division, referred to as “updating.” “Eventually we’ll be an all-Schwing fleet,” said Clark.

Mike Davis, son of founder William C. Davis, says the recent purchases definitely earned them the Marion County Library job. “A few years ago we needed to make some decisions about what route we wanted to go with the business. When we began purchasing boom pumps and updating our fleet, we confirmed with local contractors that we’ve been a solid resource for 37 years, and that we’re still here, only better.”