A report on soil samples taken from beneath Wescoe Hall in March should be completed in about two weeks, giving Kansas University officials some clues about why the humanities building has been shifting, a KU administrator said today.
The report by Barnett Stuart and Associates, a Topeka engineering firm, has been delayed by late laboratory tests, said Jim Modig, KU's director of facilities planning.
Consultant Mike Barnett "did indicate, they did find the element in the test results that pinpointed what the expansive material is, but he didn't say what," Modig said. "Now they've pinpointed the item, it will help address what the next step is in the process."
The university is trying to determine why the floor slab under Wescoe's southeast corner has been rising and causing walls to crack, floors to slope and ceiling tiles to droop. University officials have monitored movement inside the 19-year-old building since 1985.
Maintenance workers drilled holes in the building's slab during spring break so engineers could obtain soil samples.
KU officials suspect saturated clay fill beneath the building has caused the slab to rise and free-standing interior walls and ceilings to shift.
The report from Barnett Stuart should not only provide details about why the slab is moving but also several recommendations about how to solve the problem, Modig said.
"It'll be our position to evaluate which is the most economical way to proceed," he said.