University of Kansas – Allen Fieldhouse

The University of Kansas Allen Fieldhouse has hosted many legendary games in it’s long history. Age and exposure to the elements had caused a number of issues to it’s limestone and brick exterior. The eastern part of Kansas has a wet and cold climate. This contributed to a build up of mold and pollution on the building’s exterior.

The old building was in need of renovation. The Ward family of Kansas City pledged more than $7 million to help with the rehab. The total scope of work involved new windows, lights, a new court, stair towers, fire alarms, sprinklers, and electrical systems in addition to the exterior work.

Western Specialty Contractors' Kansas City Branch received a contract to handle the exterior work. Working from swing stages, the Western crew applied a Prosoco’s Enviro Klean® BioKlean™ solution, allowed it to dwell on the surface for twenty minutes, and then rinsed it off with high-pressure water. A neutralizing agent was then applied. This mildly acidic afterwash not only neutralized the cleaner, but it helped to brighten the limestone.

To help keep the buildng clean, Western treated the exterior with Prosoco Sure Klean® Weather Seal H40, a masonry-strengthening water repellent. The penetrating breathable treatment keeps water out of the stone without changing it’s appearance.

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.

Western Specialty Contractors was awarded the contract to serve as the general contractor for Waddell & Reed’s parking garage restoration at 6301 Lamar in Kansas City. The initial scope of work included structural concrete repairs, expansion joint patching, the replacement of two concrete drive approaches and spot repairs to the traffic membrane due to snow plow damage.

During the course of repairs, it was agreed upon that one 125’ long expansion joint would be removed and replaced. The entire top deck would also be coated with a Lymtal 760 deck coating system. Western and Lymtal provided the owner with a five year joint and several warranty on the new traffic membrane.

The project began in July, 2009 and because of the large amount of rain, lasted until the end of August. During the bulk of the project half of the garage and most of the lower level remained open.

All of the work was performed in close coordination with the owner and Structural Engineering Associates. This helped achieve the goal of limiting the amount of disruption to Waddell & Reed’s staff during the project.

Valet Parking Garage

In May, 2008 Western Specialty Contractors was awarded a contract to perform exterior improvements to the Valet Parking Garage in Downtown Kansas City.

The existing in-fill walls between the columns, consisting of exterior limestone panels and multi-wythe brick backup, were experiencing distress and posed a potential life safety concern. This, in combination with the poor air quality inside the garage, prompted the owner to make the facility open-air rather than enclosed.

The scope of work included removal of the existing window system and over 300 limestone panels, as well as the brick back-up. During demolition on the fourth floor, it was discovered that the columns supporting the upper two floors, which were added in 1964, were poured around the existing parapet, compromising their original design strength. This required reinforcing the columns using carbon fiber.

Western performed extensive repairs to the concrete spandrel beams and columns that were exposed after removal of the in-fill walls. Opening the structure also required installation of DOT guardrail system in each bay. Prior to installing the guardrail system, a sheet metal cap flashing was placed over the exposed walls. The parking facility remained in use on all levels during the entire project.


Commerce Trust Building

From Spring 2004 to Winter 2006, Western Specialty Contractors' Kansas City branch performed restoration work on the exterior of the Commerce Trust Building at 922 Walnut in downtown Kansas City.

The scope of work included replacement of approximately 250 pieces of deteriorated terra cotta, restoration of the granite facade, restoration and recoating of brick on the north elevation, as well as removal and replacement of the historic clock.

Access to the work was a challenge because of an eight foot cornice at the top of the building. This was overcome by fabricating attachments for the lookouts that allowed access under the cornice. A light weight, air-entrained concrete mix was used to fabricate the terra cotta replacement pieces. After installation, the areas were coated with a high quality elastomeric coating that matched the existing coating. Western also completed approximately 14,000 lineal feet of tuckpointing on the granite facade on the bottom four floors. On the north elevation, craftsmen removed brick to expose corroded shelf angles. The shelf angles were cleaned, coating, and new brick was installed. The existing coating on the north was removed using a paint stripper and recoated with a breathable acrylic coating.

Health Department

In the Spring of 2006, Western Specialty Contractors, Inc. was awarded the contract to perform masonry repairs and comprehensive sealant replacement for the city of Kansas City, Missouri. The scope of work included the removal and replacement of over 13,000 lineal feet of deteriorated sealant, nearly 700 lineal feet of new through-wall flashings, the cleaning and sealing of over 16,500 square feet of both natural stone and faux stone substrates, and the removal of approximately 2,500 S.F. of deteriorated exterior gypsum soffit. Pre-finished sheet metal panels were used for the replacement soffits.

Project mobilization began with favorable weather in May, 2006. Access proved to be the largest and most difficult portion of the project. Scaffolding was erected across the north and south elevation lower roofs and re-shoring was aligned up to two levels below scaffolding legs into occupied space. Recessed curtain walls on the north and south elevations required the use of a 210 ton crane and a 90’ boom truck to access the masonry and sealant work. This required close coordination with the Health department and City Representatives as the facility remained in full operations throughout the project.

Grandview High School

In June 2002, Western Specialty Contractors' Kansas City branch was contracted to install carbon fiber reinforcing on two classroom walls at Grandview High School. The wall needed to be strengthened due to previously corrected lateral loading. When loaded, the walls had cracked.

The CFRP was a precautionary measure taken by the engineer. The method of preparation for this installation is sandblasting, however, the block wall was too porous for this method. As a result, the system was changed to glass fiber rods. In lieu of surface mounting the carbon fiber strips, the glass fiber rods were embedded into the mortar joints using an epoxy binder.

This proved to be a cost-effective manner to increase the strength of the wall. Safety issues such as dust control were minimized. When providing a seismic retrofit, repairing construction defects, or change of use of the structure, CFRP and GFRP remains an efficient and safe solution.