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Hughes General Contractors has been awarded the 2012 Build America Award for its work on the Ogden High School auditorium, the only such award granted nationwide in its price range. The auditorium’s renovation and seismic upgrade were completed last year. Backing for the restoration came from grassroots fundraising efforts of locals who wanted to preserve the facility.
"It really is a community triumph," said Dan Pratt of Hughes General Contractors. "Without the support of the people of Ogden, this restoration would have never taken place."
The auditorium needed to be restored and seismically renovated without damaging the artistic flourishes on both the interior and exterior of its walls.
Built in the 1930s, the auditorium was embellished with an art deco exterior and 68-color decorative plaster on its inner walls and ceiling. To avoid upsetting the decor, Hughes avoided conventional methods of seismic reinforcing and opted to reinforce the structure by designing new shear walls located in existing wall cavities. These walls required thousands of steel dowels to be epoxied into the brick. All holes were drilled without percussion due to the brittleness of the slender brick walls. Ornate walls as thin as 13 inches were reinforced by dry-coring five inch diameter holes from rooftop to footing, a length of sixty feet. The new structural design called for a new concrete collar beam around the roof perimeter, new concrete roof diaphragms, the removal and replacement of all steel joists and deck, and a well-insulated roof.
In order to accomplish this without exposing the ornate plaster ceiling to the damaging elements, Hughes only tore off sections during 32-hour rainless periods, during which employees worked through the night.