Going Above and Beyond
Project delivers Lynchburg College new retaining — and rock climbing — wall.
In October 2012, Lynchburg College announced plans for the expansion and renovation of their student center. The $12 million dollar project would expand the existing 42,000 square-foot building by 30,000 square feet, as well as renovate 8,000 square feet of the existing center.
Early in development, project managers called for the construction of a new road to help accommodate the large-scale trucks and equipment required for the project. Taking into account the site's steep, sloping geography, project engineers informed school officials that a substantial, 20-plus-foot retaining wall would need to be built to facilitate a roadway.
Lynchburg officials quickly recognized the opportunity in front of them. One of the nation's best and most prestigious private instituations, Lynchburg College has built a reputation for "going above and beyond" for its students. So, with that in mind, Lynchburg officials used this opportunity to give their students something different, something special, something no one had ever seen before: a dual purpose retaining-rock climbing wall.
With the help of their project partners Concrete Pipe and Precast, LLC (CP&P) and Eagle Site Solutions, Lynchburg College quickly identified the retaining wall system capable of handling all of their project’s unique requirements: Stone Strong Systems. Combining a stunning aesthetic with the industry’s largest block size, Stone Strong Systems delivered the ‘wow’ factor that Lynchburg officials were looking for.
Following consultations with Stone Strong expert and longtime partner Thiele Geotech, CP&P soon completed the complex and truly innovative wall design. Comprised of three walls—one steel-reinforced geogrid and two gravity designs—the 12,500 square-foot design incorporated all sizes of the Stone Strong line to reach heights of more than 24 feet above ground.
To ensure a fast and efficient installation, CP&P began production of the Stone Strong precast blocks in February of 2013, two months ahead of construction. Wall construction began in April with Pearson Construction serving as site contractor and Carroll Landscaping responsible for block installation. Despite unexpected site conflicts and numerous rain-related weather delays, the wall was completed on time, in just four months. Shortly thereafter, Lynchburg officials contracted a local rock-climbing outfitter to install climbing fixtures and safety equipment to the wall’s main 24-foot section.
Today, Lynchburg College continues work on the construction of the new and improved student center, while its students enjoy the luxury and excitement of on-campus rock climbing and rappelling, thanks in large part to Stone Strong Systems and its big, beautiful precast blocks.