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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Keeping the Barn Basement Dry

Posted by | February 14, 2024 | Filed under: Program Activities

At the end of November, we posted a question about this creation to Instagram. We got some very clever wrong answers, which was fun—and perfect, since that's what we were looking for.

Over the next 2+ weeks, Brian, our facilities manager, and his hard-working crew of volunteers, worked the ground under it. After much scheming, planning, and labor, the job got done. Turns out the shelter / ski ramp / landing pad was just a temporary eave to keep the zone relatively dry and stable while workers made an essential stormwater improvement.

For untold years, rainwater and snowmelt from the vast barn roof have found their way into the basement. With recent (and dramatic) improvements to the wood shop, the water was more unwelcome than ever. Something had to be done.

Now granite slabs direct water away from the foundation onto the paved roadway and into a stormwater drainpipe. This system also moves water away from the entryway to the auditorium and public restrooms.

Step 1: Excavate excessive loam to reduce hydrostatic pressure against the foundation. Dig a trench to expose compromised foundation. Repoint exposed areas of original foundation. Photo: Paul Dest.
Step 2: Place gravel and coarse sand. Compress and level with a 10-degree pitch. Photo: Paul Dest.
Step 3: Position 4-foot lengths of 2-inch granite and back up with washed stone. Photo: Paul Dest.

The berm's loam will be seeded in the spring.

The simple, tranquil final appearance belies the amount of work involved in this project, which is yet another part of a major effort to improve stormwater drainage on the campus. Be ready for more paving on campus coming in April.

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