We’re Putting a Lid on Things at Embry-Riddle

 |  Education, Sundt People
Embry-Riddle dome
A quarter-million-pound crane was used to lift the dome.

An expansion at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s campus in Prescott, Arizona proves Sundt isn’t afraid of a little heavy lifting.

Our team is adding a 52,570-square-foot lab that will house classrooms, laboratories and an auditorium. It will have space for robotics testing, optics research and high-speed computation and simulation.

One of the more challenging aspects of the project was placing a 127,000-pound dome atop the auditorium. Just putting the crane in place to make the lift was a significant accomplishment. A 250,000-pound Manitowoc 2250 was brought in to hoist the dome.

“We could estimate the weight but there was so much welding on it, parts and pieces,” said Project Manager Josh Anderson. “Getting the crane into position was the bigger worry.”

The team had to build a road for the crane through the site inches away from existing buildings and cover existing utilities to avoid damaging them under the massive weight of the machinery. The crane’s tracks barely made it under the overhang of an existing building.

It took three hours to lift the dome, set it and weld it into place. Embry-Riddle officials and students gathered to watch.

“They were able to witness the whole thing,” Josh said. “They are happy. The week before, we had a beam-signing for the school and 400 to 500 people showed up.”

The work culminated four months of planning and coordination. The 220-piece dome was put together on the ground, work that took two and a half months. It will require another two and a half months to put on the finished product, including insulation and roofing material.

Work on the facility is on schedule at 40 percent complete, which is good news with cold weather and snow coming soon to North Central Arizona.

“We’ve got winter coming up,” Josh said. “We need to get the building enclosed before December rolls around.”

Embry-Riddle dome 3
The 220-piece dome was assembled on the ground before being lifted into place.