The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

Support column forces cancellation of classes

On the afternoon of December 11, Keltbray Contractors, who are part of the New Frontiers groundwork construction found a white support column near Loudoun Road which was perceived to be a possible foundation risk. This resulted in the cancellation of High School classes on December 12.

Keltbray Contractors were concerned about the strength of the column. Although there was no movement at the base of the column supporting part of the High School wing, there were concerns of future movement.

Director of Operations Jim Heynderickx is not overly concerned about the situation.  “The Keltbray groundworks contractors were monitoring the base of the column during their work, and they decided to stop and assess for possible movement of the base before proceeding,” he said.

A decision was made to re-evaluate the situation despite no shown movement on laser measuring equipment, which were set up by ISG contractors. However, when questions were raised about the foundation of the column, the contractors decided to be proactive and pause work to reassess the situation.

Contractors and structural engineers fully assessed the situation the morning of December 12 and concluded the column needed more support. As a result, four additional steel beams will be implemented to lock the column in place. This is expected to be completed by early evening on December 12, allowing the High School and Farmer Family Gym to fully function for December 13.

The addition of support beams is not a large sacrifice for the New Frontiers construction. “Right now, the idea of pausing for a day and putting some extra beams is not significant. They are still working on other parts of the site, it’s not a big delay,” Heynderickx said.

Although High School classes were cancelled for December 12 to keep a large population of people out of potential risk, students were allowed to enter the building and quickly gather materials. “Nothing’s really imminent so it was OK to have people occasionally walk in get some things and walk back out,” Heynderickx said.

While classes were cancelled, Heynderickx is happy with the caution the contracting company took to protect students from a potential problem. “I’m just happy the contractors were being careful and being safety-minded. They put safety first even if that meant a little one day delay to get things extra safe. That’s what they should be doing,” he said.

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