Opening in 1878, Menard Correctional Center is one of the oldest prisons in Illinois. A nearly 100 year old building, the Boiler House, is a critical component of the center, as it provides power and water to the facility. The building is composed of three wythe brick walls approximately 50 feet tall. Over the years, the building has deteriorated and the walls in the Boiler House became unstable. The bricks and mortar deteriorated to the point that the bricks were nearly falling out of the wall system. A steel bar security system attached to the wall compounded the problem. The steel bar system was pulling the wall out of plane, which allowed water infiltration and advanced the wall deterioration. In addition to the masonry problems, windows were leaking and in need of replacement. The steel lintels above the windows were corroding due to the water infiltration and in need of replacement.
Oates Associates completed a detailed inspection of the building and designed the masonry repairs and the window replacements. Work included removal of the damaged masonry at the north and south sides of the structure, which was replaced with a concrete masonry unit wall with a brick veneer. The windows were replaced with fiberglass sandwich panel assemblies, which allowed light into the building and provided a secure option for the correctional center. Exhaust fans and louvers were added to panel assemblies to provide the necessary ventilation for the boiler area. The steel lintels and the concrete sills were removed and replaced. The existing roofing membrane, which was still under warranty, was removed from the existing parapet wall and reattached to the reconstructed parapet without damage. Due to the location of the building relative to adjacent structures and the boilers and equipment in the Boiler House, the construction was completed within the space limitations without requiring service interruption to the facility.
Oates prepared cost estimates, construction plans and specifications. In addition, construction observation services were provided to ensure the work was completed in accordance with the contract documents. Shop drawing review and construction administration services were also provided.