Geotechnical Project Summary

DeHaven Memorial Baptist Church
Sinkhole in original ground surface.
“Slot” in bedrock following removal of soil from the sinkhole.
Project Name: DeHaven Memorial Baptist Church
Location: LaGrange, Kentucky
Facility Type: Worship Center Complex
GEM Services: Geotechnical Engineering
Construction Monitoring

Project Description:

The project consisted of a new church facility with a building footprint of approximately 60,000 square feet. The building included a high-bay sanctuary with balcony. The remainder of the complex included one-, two-, and three-story sections. The structural system consisted of a steel frame with joints and girders. Maximum column loads were on the order of 250 kips. The site initially was a rolling hillside. Bedrock was a dolomite formation with a moderate risk for sinkhole activity. One sinkhole was identified outside the building area. Other geotechnical issues included shallow rock, springs and expansive plastic clays. The results of the geotechnical exploration indicated that shallow foundations could be used. GEM developed design and construction recommendations for this approach. GEM provided construction phase engineering services including: stabilization of the identified sinkhole; design of a trench drainage system to collect seepage from identified springs; sampling and testing of topsoil and fertility analysis for growth of fescue grass cover.