Plans to re-roof and renovate the former national ECC gymnasium continue to move along with various ups and downs that continue to delay a final solution. A recent independent technical review of the ECC’s structural adequacy for supporting a proposed “space frame” roof system concluded that this would require substantial retrofitting work at the gym.
In architecture and structural engineering, a space frame is a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports.
Ministry of Works, Infrastructure and Utilities Secretary Catalino Kijiner said retrofitting the ECC gym to support a space frame roof would be “very expensive.” This recently led to the decision to “proceed with the use of similar arch timber as the existing roof,” he said. This will cost substantially less and require a minimum of renovation work on the structure.
Contractor Pacific International Inc. had developed the space frame roof for consideration. “PII is now verifying an alternative product to meet (these) specifications and for engineering review,” Kijiner said.
The ECC gym was closed in 2011 when the portion of the roof facing lagoon collapsed because of termite infestation in the wood support beams.
Read more about this in the October 26, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.