Jefferson National Expansion
Administrative History
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Administrative History
Bob Moore


Although most of the major development of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (JEFF) was complete by 1980, the business of maintaining the park was just beginning. Basic operations and approaches to the management of the site were implemented for the first time during the 1970s, and a number of projects during the 1980s were carried out to correct park problems and to improve operations in the maintenance division. Maintenance work tended to fall into one of four primary categories: building services, grounds, transportation system, and custodial. This chapter is divided into four sections in order to fully describe each facet of the JEFF maintenance division in detail.

Part I: Building Services and HVAC

Maintenance Management System

Computerization in the Maintenance Division grew during 1985. Considerable expansion was needed for the Vista Personal Computer in the Facility Manager's office to incorporate the new Maintenance Management System (MMS), a computerized information database which set up schedules of cyclic maintenance and kept records of work performed. [1]

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and Indiana Dunes served as pilot parks for the MMS in the Midwest Region, and implementation began in May 1987. The process was handled expediently by the reassignment of Building Services, Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) foreman John Patterson to the position of MMS coordinator. Because JEFF was one of the first National Park Service areas to implement MMS, the initial processes were sometimes crude, but the learning experience was invaluable. Enhancements to the system continued to make it a more useable tool, and an employee was soon needed to handle data entry and to maintain the system. [2]

With the arrival of Laura Rummle, hired as MMS coordinator in 1990, goals and objectives were set which were essential to the continuing success of the MMS System at JEFF and at other parks. Over a six-month period in 1990, JEFF maintenance supervisors received hands-on experience with computer hardware and software. This process was continued with work leaders and other staff members. Monthly MMS meetings were instituted with the MMS coordinator and supervisors, to exchange information and data and to review the overall program. The JEFF coordinator worked closely with the Regional MMS coordinator in assisting other parks, and on special projects. [3]

Heating and Air Conditioning

Maintaining the complex heating and air conditioning units at JEFF was the responsibility of the HVAC division. The HVAC system provided a comfortable environment for visitors and employees within the Gateway Arch complex, including the underground, 42,912-square-foot Museum of Westward Expansion; the observation deck at the top of the 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch; and throughout the facility's support rooms and tunnels. Air conditioning in the form of window units was also added to the Old Courthouse's exhibit galleries and second floor offices. The HVAC crew continually searched for methods to improve the efficiency of the operation, especially in the area of energy management and conservation. [4]

HVAC equipment room
Interior of the HVAC equipment room in the Gateway Arch complex. NPS photo by Kris Illenberger.

Between 1979 and 1980, a 600-ton air conditioning unit in the Gateway Arch complex was replaced, at the suggestion of John Patterson, by two 300-pound units. Mr. Patterson based his decision on the fact that the enormous 600-pound unit was running on the "low end" of its capacity. [5]

With a view toward improving operations, the park let a contract for the installation of an Energy Management System (EMS) which monitored the use of energy at JEFF and provided information toward the development of more efficient ways of managing it. On October 6, 1983, Mack Electric Company's bid of $62,997 for the EMS was accepted. This included all of the computer software and hardware, operator input/output devices, field processing units, automation sensors and controls, wiring and piping. By February 1985, the system was in place and operating. [6] Improvements were immediately initiated which allowed automatic control of the chiller and some of the air handlers. [7]

As an additional phase of implementing the EMS, a 1985 contract was awarded to Akbar Electric Services Company to provide all tools, materials, staffing, and programming to convert the chiller control and monitoring system to full automation. By March 30, 1986, this project was completed for a total cost of $43,101. [8]

Improvements to and additional expansion of the Energy Management System continued in 1985, and while the significant cost reductions of the initial period of operation could not subsequently be matched, control and consistency were maintained. [9] Wiring was completed in 1986. While the EMS did not at first result in meeting the required NPS cost reductions, a working knowledge of the system increased steadily. [10]

Emergency funding from the Midwest Regional Office (MWR) was requested in 1986 when a breakdown in the Trane Air Conditioning chiller occurred. [11] The problem was corrected at a cost of $30,000, under a contract which represented a major effort by the MWR Procurement Division and the park staff. [12]

Chillwater steam controls for five air-handling units were installed in 1988, and the main supply shut-off valve for potable water at the Arch was replaced. The installation of wiring and valves, and the modification of the software program for EMS control of the cooling and heating valves for the top of the Gateway Arch were accomplished in 1989. Adjustments by the operating staff made the computerized control system more efficient, as an alarm system was installed to alert the operators to failures in critical cooling or condenser water circuits. [13]

Major routine and preventive maintenance was performed on the cooling tower and condenser pump systems in the Arch complex during 1989. The fan wheel sections and line bearings were replaced; water was re-routed through disbursing piping; eliminator sections were dismantled, cleaned and repaired, as were pumps; and check valves were rebuilt. An electronic water level control system was purchased and installed in the Arch cooling tower, which reduced the amount of water and chemical treatment used. [14]

The HVAC division rendered assistance to Hellmuth, Obata, & Kassabaum (HOK), an architectural firm located in St. Louis, in preparing a bidding package for installation of a new air handling unit to serve the expanded Gateway Arch Museum Shop. At the end of 1990, HOK performed a final check on the design, and analyzed chilled water system flow demands. Installation was made before the summer of 1991 by Quality Heating and Air Conditioning of St. Louis. [15] An annual inspection in 1990 revealed the need for an overhaul of Air Handler Unit #10 in the Gateway Arch complex, and HVAC rebuilt the motor, brackets, bearings and coils. [16]

The pneumatic control air supply was improved in 1991 by moving and installing two compressors in the south mechanical room to serve the south side of the Gateway Arch complex and museum. The back flow preventers for outside drinking fountains, the inside display fountain, and the chilled water make-up supply line were also rebuilt. Mixed-air dampers outside and pre-heaters on the north and south leg air handling units were replaced. These units supplied conditioned air to the observation deck at the top of the Arch. [17]

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

In addition to other tasks, the JEFF building services crew assisted the new NPS site in St. Louis County dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant by performing several maintenance tasks. Two new furnaces were installed in the historic house, which necessitated the modification of adjacent duct work. Several days of work were performed on the roof of the house, to stop major water leaks. Missing shingles were replaced to provide some measure of safety from water damage. A new electrical system was installed, with the most hazardous electrical problems removed and/or disconnected. [18]

Cyclic Maintenance

An extensive program of cyclic and preventative maintenance was performed by the HVAC staff to keep the Gateway Arch systems up and running. Every three years, pumps for the water circulation in the AC units were overhauled, and filters were changed regularly. Frequent pH tests performed on the water in the park's cooling towers kept rust and algae to a minimum. Steam traps and strainers for the heating system were taken apart every other year. Each morning, a two-hour walk-around inspection circuit was made of the entire AC system in the Arch complex. Ordinary items which deteriorated due to normal wear and tear, such as faucet valves, were replaced every four years. Doors in the Arch complex lasted an average of eight years before they needed replacement. [19]

Lonnie Collins
Maintenance Mechanic Lonnie Collins assisting in the construction of an accessible restroom at Ulysses S. Grant, one of many maintenence tasks handled by the HVAC crew. NPS photo by Al Bilger.

Old Courthouse Repairs

The building services division rewired the entire electrical system of the Old Courthouse during 1981, from the basement up to the 5th level, completing the project on June 8. Old wiring was stripped out and replaced, and new distribution panels were installed. [20]

Four new exhibit galleries were created on the first floor of the Old Courthouse in 1986. Offices and partitions were removed, walls were patched, replastered, and painted, and window frames were repaired. Exhibit bases were built for the new displays, and carpeting installed. The dioramas built under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s were moved and rearranged. A projection booth and a bookstore for the Jefferson National Expansion Historical Association (JNEHA) were also constructed. All of these projects were accomplished by a crew of eight JEFF employees, in conjunction with their regular duties, in 1986. Window air conditioning units for the four new exhibit galleries on the first floor of the Old Courthouse were installed in 1987 and 1988. [21]

The administrative office space in the south wing of the Old Courthouse was remodeled during 1986, resulting in more efficient utilization of space. Lighting for the east and west stairways between the inner and outer dome of the rotunda was also installed. The first and second floors of the building were repainted in preparation for hanging the Arts in the Parks exhibit. [22]

The brick sidewalk around the Old Courthouse was re-tuckpointed in 1987 as part of a cyclic maintenance project. The job turned out to be much more time-consuming than expected, and Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) workers were used to supplement the maintenance staff. Considerable pressure was brought to bear on the park by local unions, who objected to the use of YCC workers on the project. Several inquiries were made by union locals, who made contacts with local congressmen on the issue. The unions relaxed their pressure when they realized that taking jobs away from youths on a special summer program would not improve their image. [23]

Emergency funding was received for $100,000 worth of storm damage caused in January 1991 by falling ice, which dented the Old Courthouse roof and shattered second floor skylights. A contract for repair and replacement of the skylights was completed with a minority architectural/engineering (A/E) firm, Kennedy and Associates of St. Louis. Construction was performed by another minority contractor, Innovative Systems, Inc., of Kansas City, Kansas, and completed by the end of May 1992, allowing for a return to normal visitor traffic patterns to the third and fourth levels of the Old Courthouse. [24]

Physical Improvements and Preventative Maintenance

Maintenance employees in building services contributed an incredible amount of miscellaneous construction and repair projects throughout the park between 1980 and 1991.

skylight damage
Skylight damage, Old Courthouse, 1991. NPS photo by Al Bilger.

These projects included the installation of new stainless steel handrails to replace painted units in the upper load zones of the Gateway Arch; the installation of a new telephone system in 1987, which required the placement of considerable conduit ductwork; informational signs positioned on the Arch grounds; updating of accessible restroom facilities; and the repainting of the columns in the Museum of Westward Expansion. [25]

Major remodeling of the ticket area run by the Bi-State Development Agency at the Gateway Arch was completed in 1989, providing for more efficient park fee collection activities, which were implemented during that year. [26] The rehab included a fee collection facility, offices, storage, money counting stations, security, a new queuing system and signs. The space was enlarged to 1,800 square feet, and could not be serviced by the existing HVAC systems. This required the installation of a separate heating and cooling unit, both for the comfort of the staff and for the proper care of the computerized ticketing and reservation system. The remodeling was designed Hellmuth, Obata, & Kassabaum, and construction was jointly completed by a local contractor and the park building services staff. The park staff installed an overhead sprinkler system, all of the electrical wiring for lighting and power, computer wiring, a security system, and telephones. [27]

Signs fabricated by the St. Louis Ornamental Stone Manufacturing Company, 1986. NPS photo by Al Bilger.

A mud jacking program was implemented in 1989 to correct the most serious stumbling hazards on the Arch grounds walkways. In the process of mud jacking, a hole is drilled into concrete or stone paving slabs which have become uneven through settling. Mortar is poured into the hole, which when dry firmly supports the slabs from below and evens them out in relation to neighboring slabs. When slabs become cracked they are broken up and replaced. Approximately 15 slabs were adjusted, and in conjunction with this project, 150' of redwood expansion strips (which separate the concrete slabs on the Arch grounds) were replaced. [28]

One half of the grating on the Gateway Arch entrance ramps and four fresh air intake grates were replaced during 1989. The grating over the cooling towers was sandblasted and repainted through the cyclic program.

In 1989, the park replaced the 13-year-old carpeting in the Museum of Westward Expansion. Problems with the contractor regarding material specifications and installation resulted in time-consuming administration and supervision of this project. More than 60,000 yards of carpet were installed, which developed a fuzzing and piling almost immediately. The contract was terminated and a settlement reached with the contractor. The next replacement contract specified that the color of the carpet be modified to allow for more competitive bidding. In 1990, new carpet and installation services were donated to JEFF by Allied Fibers, a division of Allied Signal Corporation, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Gateway Arch. [29]

A temporary 300-amp, 480-volt power supply for the 70mm theater site was designed and installed in 1990. Existing supply panels were modified to provide the necessary power to run excavation and construction equipment for the project.

Eighteen bollards (movable post-like barriers, similar to stanchions but wider and heavier) were installed at six locations along the walkways of the Gateway Arch grounds for traffic routing and control during large events such as the VP Fair. The bollards were fabricated by Westerheide Sheet Metal of East St. Louis, and installed by park staff in core-bored 18-inch diameter holes cut and formed by Concrete Cutting Services, Inc., of St. Louis. [30]

Plans were prepared by Denver Service Center to repair the badly deteriorated stairs of the south overlook. A ramp of steel-plate material salvaged from informational signs and square steel tubing was constructed on the stairs by the HVAC staff. In order to better utilize storage space inside the south overlook structure, a contract was made to cut a larger opening through the block wall and install a rolling steel overhead garage door with an electric motor. This modification allowed grounds vehicles to enter the storage space below the observation deck. Completion of this work, in 1991, included a gate at the top of the ramp and an exterior key switch to operate it. The deteriorated stairs to the overlook were overlaid with a two-inch topping of concrete by park staff, and the overlook was reopened to the public. It was anticipated that these repairs would provide an additional five to eight years of use before total replacement was required. [31]

These brief examples give an indication of the amount of time and money saved by JEFF through having talented employees on staff, able to complete or supervise the completion of a wide variety of complex maintenance tasks.

Entrance Ramps

By 1983, the north and south terrazzo entrance ramps to the underground visitor center were badly deteriorated. On November 17, the National Park Service advertised in the Commerce Business Daily for professional A/E services relating to the replacement of the ramps. Title I services included problem analysis and the presentation of alternative remedial solutions. Title II services consisted of the preparation of construction documents. Under Title III services the contractor provided assistance to the government during the contract bidding and construction phases of the project. [32]

On January 26, 1984, WVP Corporation and R.L. Praprotnik and Associates were selected to submit unpriced technical proposals for the described A/E services. WVP was selected for Title I and II services on April 30, 1984. As outlined in the Scope of Work, the contractor determined the causes of the deterioration and proposed solutions, complete with preliminary design drawings and cost estimates. A further component of the project was the investigation of the installation an ice/snow melt system utilizing either electricity or available waste heat. [33]

On September 26, 1984, a $516,220 contract for constructing the ramps was awarded to Ed Jefferson Contracting Company. The existing terrazzo surfaces were replaced with granite surface blocks, and the ramps were waterproofed. This last task proved to be troublesome, for soon after completion of the job water was discovered to be seeping under the stone. On June 25, 1985, JEFF Facility Manager Bob Kelly, the authorized contract representative, sent a letter to Ed Jefferson Contracting pointing out the water problems, noting that several of the granite stones were cracked, and that the caulking had failed to bond. He did not receive a response. Kelly then asked WVP Corporation, as the contractor with the responsibility for supervising the work, for an explanation. WVP contacted Ed Jefferson Contracting, who, in turn, looked to the stone work subcontractor, John Klaric and Milligan Stone Contracting. Klaric claimed that it had nothing to do with the stones or the manner in which they were installed. They claimed that the problem was unavoidable due to the large amounts of water that ran down the legs of the Arch during heavy rains. Rejecting this explanation, Kelly appealed to the NPS Midwest Regional Contracting Officer, who subsequently notified Ed Jefferson Contracting that, under the terms of the contract, they were responsible for correcting the problem. [34] The standard grout was replaced with urethane caulking, a project which fell to the building services staff. [35] A new gray granite surface was applied to the entrance ramps in December 1985. The appearance of the ramps was improved, and the new anti-icing heat mats functioned well. [36]

Water Intrusion

Water intrusion was an ongoing problem at the Gateway Arch visitor center from the time of its creation in the mid-1960s. Leaks in the ceiling were repaired in 1967. Major floods in 1981 overwhelmed the facility's pumping stations. [37] An underground structure with a flat roof, by 1987 the 20-year-old visitor center had begun to leak in several places, causing major concerns. Preliminary inspections by Michael Fees of the Midwest Regional Office, and Bob Whissen of the Denver Service Center, provided expertise and technical support for the project. [38] In 1987, a contract for A/E services was awarded to Zurheide-Hermann, Inc.. The project called for a field investigation to determine the source of the water intrusion and a technical report to examine, evaluate, and propose remedies. The results of this report formed the basis for construction documents, including complete and accurate drawings, specifications, and cost estimates for repair. [39]

The roof of the underground visitor center/museum exposed for repair, 1990, as seen from the top of the Gateway Arch. NPS photo by Al Bilger.

While the A/E contractor was digging test wells in conjunction with the water intrusion study, their drill rig penetrated the main electrical underground service line to the Arch. This mistake cost the contractor in excess of $20,000 to repair. A claim was made by the contractor to the NPS Contracting Officer for reimbursement, which was denied. A new scope of work statement and task directive were issued to Zurheide-Hermann in 1988, which expanded the project to include correcting the run-off water problem around the Arch complex, as a result of flooding which took place in July 1987. [40]

One of the results of the water intrusion investigation was the discovery of several cracks in the ceiling support beams, and the possible lateral movement of some of the beams and roof slabs. This caused great concern and prompted further inspections. [41] For two summers (1989 and 1990), visitors, especially during the Veiled Prophet Fairs, were not allowed on the grounds area over the visitor center roof, which was fenced off. In 1990, the scope of the project was again expanded to include not only waterproofing the roof and removing asbestos, but erecting structural reinforcements which would allow loading the surface above the roof to its intended design capacity of 100 pounds per square foot. [42] Jerry Schober recalled:

The as-built . . . drawings, were not correct because we found that where there were supposed to be beams with stirrups, that they were not put in that way. We found . . . cracks in some of them that, I bet you, were there when they installed them. And we also found out our load limit was more restrictive than we had earlier thought. I thought at one time I would not have a VP Fair but two years because I called the Denver Service Center and asked them to tell me how much my roof would withstand under heavy rain and thousands of people. To my chagrin they said, "Schober, the only way you could overload that roof would be by stacking the people like a pyramid." Well, since we had to go back in and look at the water problem, we found out the roof would hold a lot less weight, and because of that we had to come back in and totally recover the roof with a new light-weight material. [43]

On site work began in July 1990 with Zurheide-Hermann serving as the designer and Kozeny-Wagner, Inc., of Arnold, Missouri, as the contractor. As a first step, all soil was removed from the roof of the visitor center and museum, a two-acre area. The soil was hauled from the site and recycled for use elsewhere. Such large amounts of soil could not be stored within the limited boundaries of the park, and the soil was of poor quality. [44] The next step was the installation of Pave-Prep, a waterproofing membrane. In an effort to lighten the structural load to less than 100 pounds per square foot, it was decided to use an Elastizell lightweight cement fill instead of replacing the earth backfill. Modifications to the contract resulted in an increase in price by 11%, to more than $1.5 million. [45]

Heavy rains soon revealed that the waterproofing material, "a sheet composite of a lower asphalt-impregnated fabric with a nylon mesh upper reinforcement, had been damaged by the small, skid-steer loader used to distribute materials to the installers." As a result, the roof leaked once more. [46] The manufacturer/installer agreed to replace the product, and the waterproofing was again removed down to the bare roof. The application was begun anew, this time without traffic. When complete, the roof was divided into six sections for a flood test of the new material. Each area was flooded with two inches of water, proving its integrity.

Attention now turned to the questionable strength of significant beams, running the length of the museum, east to west on both sides. All the various ceiling systems framed into these beams, and they had cracked due to relative movements between them. Structures need to allow for movement, for if it is restrained, concrete will crack. The cracks identified in the underground visitor center complex were a result of such stresses. To insure confidence in the resulting system, and to accommodate the intended design loading, ceiling/beam junctions were reinforced in such a way as to allow the necessary freedom of movement. Steel angles were fabricated of one-inch thick plate for bolting to holes bored through the side of the beams. The steel angles (about 300 pounds each) were jacked into place against the ceiling and grouted into firm contact. Using epoxy patching material under the angles, extensive repairs were performed in two places where strength had been doubtful.

Water Intrusion Repair, JEFF, 1990 A Sequence of NPS Photos, Courtesy Dave Caselli

earth removal Dave Caselli
Earth removal, August 21, 1990. Dave Caselli examines exposed pipe, October 5, 1990.

roof installing Pave-Prep
The exposed visitor center roof, October 24, 1990. Installation of Pave-Prep, October 29, 1990.

installing Pave-Prep removing old waterproofing material
Installation of Pave-Prep, November 2, 1990. Removal of old waterproofing material, November 7, 1990.

finished roof testing of roof
The finished visitor center roof, November 17, 1990. Testing for water-tight qualities, November 26, 1990.

roof installing waterproofing
The exposed visitor center roof, January 9, 1991. New installation of waterproofing material, February 2, 1991.

replacing soil roof
Replacing soil, visitor center roof, April 1, 1991. The re-covered visitor center roof, April 11, 1991.

Resodding, May 1991

removing asbestos temporary wall
Asbestos removal, January 9, 1991. Temporary wall erected during asbestos entrance ramps removal, January 9, 1991.

When the soil was replaced on top, a lighter material was put in place to increase the live load capacity. Where there used to be two to three feet of soil, which had been reshaped several times for drainage, there were now only 14 inches of a lightweight, cement-based, closed-cell polymer material covering the roof. Fourteen inches was selected as the correct depth since that was the shallowest amount the soil consultant would recommend. Each cubic foot of polymer fill weighed just 35 pounds, almost 2/3 lighter than the same amount of soil. This reduced the overall load on the roof by approximately 5 1/2 million pounds.

A 1990 health and safety survey documented the presence of asbestos throughout the building, and removal was begun in conjunction with the waterproofing project, starting with the highest identified priority — the ceiling surfaces in public areas. Kozeny-Wagner experienced some difficulties in establishing plastic-sealed containment areas to keep asbestos particles from leaking out into public areas. The facility was kept open, with first the north leg and then the south leg closed to visitors. Air flow supplied to the visitor area at the top of the Gateway Arch through the operating leg was found to pressurize the space behind the poly plastic at the bottom of the opposite leg and tear it from the walls. If the containment area had been breached during removal operations, asbestos might have contaminated the entire facility. This potentially major problem was solved by closing and sealing the doors on the side where work was progressing with tape at the top and bottom, then installing a filtered opening through the plastic to allow it to "breathe." [47]

The failure of the first waterproofing material delayed the completion of the re-roofing project. The excavation was left exposed to furious ice storms in December 1990 and January 1991. During the spring, sod and irrigation systems were finally laid into place. The contractor left the site on August 16, 1991, just meeting the completion deadline. The following day, construction crews arrived to begin setting up for the VP Fair. Following the VP Fair in September, the contractor delivered an additional quantity of sod and herbicide for application by the NPS grounds crew. The total cost of the project was $1,772,775.56. [48]

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004