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University of Kentucky William T. Young Library

A stable foundation

Lexington, Kentucky

The William T. Young Library on the University of Kentucky’s campus is a six-story building. As the central library for the university, it also houses the Dean’s office and other services serving as a student hub. The campus is located in a region of the Kentucky that exhibits severe karst bedrock activity. Caverns, vertical crevice features, clay-filled solutioned zones and underground streams are commonly present below the top of rock.

The library's location is positioned between two of the largest surface depressions/sinkholes visible on UK’s campus. Stantec was contracted to evaluate the subsurface conditions and provide foundation recommendations for the construction of the library. Due to the extensive karst activity in the area, we placed a heavy emphasis on caisson inspections. Test holes were drilled at all caisson locations to determine if acceptable bearing conditions were present. An on-site inspector experienced in foundation systems evaluated each caisson to determine allowable bearing elevations. Our recommendations provided a solid foundation for an iconic building built to serve the student community.

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