The new Norwich Township administration building is under way and despite encountering less-than-ideal soil conditions, things are progressing as planned.
“There has been a great deal of speculation by the public about the poor soil conditions at the property and whether the municipality could build here (on the former Fountainview Golf Course) without incurring extensive costs,” said township Director of Finance Michael Legge.
Loose, wet soil, similar to quick sand, makes it difficult to find stable footing without drilling very deep, but Chief Building Official Brian Reid said the style of footings being used as a base for the foundation is specifically designed for this type of soil condition.
The contractors are using helical piles, which are like giant screws that are turned into the soil until the proper load-bearing capacity is reached. In this case, some of the helical piles had to go down as deep as 30 feet.
“In the end, the site required 81 helical piles to be installed on the site in order to create a proper footing for the concrete slab,” Reid said.
While that may sound like a lot of piles, that is how many the contractor expected and the cost is within what was anticipated.
“We are actually below budget for this portion of the project,” said Legge.
Concrete forms and rebar are being delivered to the site and the concrete slab will be poured soon.
If the roughly $3 million project continues as planned, the outside shell of the building should be in place by mid-August and the project complete in late October or early November.