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The Walrus

The Walrus

Vol. 2 No. 33 page 7 Aug. 14, 1953

Wondering about Building Activity? - Here's The Dope

by Fred Reausaw

It's time again to let the people of Igloo know what is being done in the way of major repairs to our housing and the contract work on roads and grounds.

The concrete steps and plaforms contract by Salmon Bros. has been completed; all wooden steps and railings have been replaced and the concrete steps which are attractive and will require less maintenance are a big improvement. The tubular steel handrails are being painted aluminum color which further improve the appearance of the barracks area. A total of 78 steeps were poured, using 1000 sacks of cement.

Concrete mixing is a pretty dull subject to most people and is often thought of as a matter of throwing a few shovels of sand and gravel into a box or mixer, adding a dash of cement, squirting some water on it and then mixing the ingredients together a bit and pouring it into whatever form that might be at hand.

To the contractor it means a lot more than that. It means that he first must stockpile sand, gravel and cement, and then in mixing the concrete, adhere to certain Government Specifications as to the size and grade of sand and gravel as well as to definite proportions of each in the concrete mixture. Moisture content of the concrete mixture is watched closely, to see that it is just right, according to specifications as laid down in the contract, so there will be no cracks or excessive shrinkage in the final product. Extensive research by the cement industry into new methods and techniques have greatly changed concrete structures of today. Today's concrete buildings are vast improvements over structures built ten years ago, when the igloos at BHOD were built.

I get a chuckle out of remembering an incident that happened in Seattle in 1946. A friend of mine there wanted to have a concrete driveway built but thought our price for labor was too high. So, he rented a mixer and proceeded to build his own over a weekend.

Wednesday evening when he came from work he drove up the finished driveway into the garage, got out of his car, came out and was horrified at the sight that met his eyes. It seems that he had watched us mix brick mortar one day in which no gravel is put into the mixture, so he did the same. As a result, his concrete fell apart like glass when he drove over it, because the gravel is needed to bind the other ingredients together. (We got the job of putting in a new driveway!)

Another BHOD concrete contract was awarded to the Davies Construction Co. of Rapid City, for the construction of three loading platforms at aprons three, 10 and 18, replacing the wooden structures now in use. This bid was low at $32,800 and work will be started this week.

Gaynor Roofing Contractors of Sioux City are busy on the $67,134 roofing contract here in housing, Post Engineers, Maintenance, and Combat areas. All pitched roofs are getting asphalt shingle treatment and the flat roofs have hot asphalt and gravel covering.

Some of you have probably heard the machine the roofers used on the school building. It howls and growls like the magnified sound of an electric razor going through a tough beard and is used to loosen and pulvarize the old roofing material to facilitate its removal before the new roofing is put down.

During the hot weather the roofers have been working at night, not only to escape the heat, but to facilitate the laying and curing of the asphalt base. Anybody who has worked around roofing can attest the fact that when it is 90 degrees on the ground, it may well be 120 degrees on the roof. So, here's a fashion note to the ladies, don't go to Florida, just do your sunbathing on an asphalt roof and acquire that deep, glamorous tan.

The high school is getting an interior face lifting by the Turner Bros. Paint Contractors of Hastings, Nebraska. This was the lowest bid of $7,561, which includes painting of all interior surfaces except the woodwork which will get one coat of varnish and will greatly improve the appearance of the school which should be an inducement for all the kids to get the heck back to school.

The $22,334 water main replacement between renovation and the field office is being done by the Dakota Trenching and Plumbing Co. of Rapid City. Four thousand five hundred feet of 10 inch transite pipe was laid. Here again is an example of cement being used to a better advantage. It is the same material that is used for siding at the Community Building, Post Engineer, and other buildings here in housing except that it has been compressed into tubular shape. The mixture of cement and asbestos fibres, used in transite, is the only material found so far that is not appreciably affected by the water and ground corrosion that is so prevalent here at BHOD.

The gravel trucks are running again from beyond Edgemont, stockpiling gravel in preparation for the $169,940.00 inch and a half bituminous road surfacing contract. This includes 15 miles in the restricted area and five miles in the combat area. Take it easy when you're driving, that stuff on the roads is about as precious as uranium!

(under construction)


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