A look below the surface - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

A look below the surface

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The design process for Sioux Falls' future events center is officially underway and it starts underneath the building site.

Right now American Engineering Testing is doing something called "soil boring" at the future construction site.  It's a way of getting a first-hand look below the surface, all in the hopes of getting the design and building processes started on a solid foundation.

Don't let the name fool you, the soil boring is actually meaningful part of the events center construction.

Sioux Falls' Assistant City Engineer Shannon VerHey says, "the soil borings are the first step in the design process for the new events center."

VerHey says these technicians will drill down in about 100 different spots in a grid pattern across the building area. He says the borings will gather information about what lies below the surface, "what types of soil we have here, figure out the carrying capacity, we're also trying to figure out the rock elevation."

"And then from that you can make recommendations on the foundation design," says Bruce Card, the office manager at American Engineering Testing.  He says before you can plan a building's foundation, you need to understand what will be under it, because if you don't plan right, the building could have major structural problems.

Card also did work for the Sioux Falls Convention Center project, so he already has an idea of what the borings might find.  He says, "we know the rock is shallow in a lot of areas, but the elevation changes dramatically through a portion of this building area," which Card says is not ideal, a nice even plane would be best, but he says they'll be able to come up with a plan, no matter the findings, saying, "we'll just deal with what we get and just have to design accordingly."  To make sure the events center starts off on solid ground.

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