Concrete rework required for garden project

Two of the four foundation walls for a new viewing deck in Reiman Gardens are being removed and repoured this month. The setback, in the under-construction Sycamore Falls area of the far southwest corner of the gardens, likely will push the planting phase of the project to next spring. December was the original completion target.

When the pouring forms were removed from the 10-feet-high concrete walls in late July, workers discovered two had bowed. This week, a crew from Des Moines-based Rochon Corp., the contractor for the work, began demolishing the two bowed walls.

"We were making great progress on the project," said university architect Dan Sloan. "Any project has its ups and downs, so this isn't unusual -- simply larger scale and certainly more visible."

Rochon leaders were in agreement that the two walls needed to be reinstalled, an indicator of their concern for a high-quality end product, he noted.

The walls will support a viewing deck overlooking cascading water. The concrete deck will be topped with an asymmetrical wood tower structure, to be built in part with repurposed wood from the university's TreeCycle program.

The Sycamore Falls garden is part of Reiman Gardens' 2015 master plan. Other pieces that can be completed this fall include a pergola shade, restroom building and paved pathway around the falls.


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Sycamore Falls headed toward fall completion, June 7, 2018