Ram Jack west commercial case study

Seismic Retrofit of Middle School using Helical Piles

Scope of work

Patton Middle School was built in 1972 and has become one of the leaders in middle school education across America. The building structure has remained relatively unchanged over the years, only expanding slightly to meet the growing demands of the school district.


To keep at-risk schools safer in the event of a major earthquake, Oregon is making sure all public buildings are seismically updated. Before beginning the project, our team performed pile installation and load testing to determine the best pile type and embedment depth for value engineering. Since this was a school project, the job had to be completed on time so the start of the new school year would not be interrupted. 


Ram Jack West installed 159 3 ½” diameter powder coated helical piles in the interior and 111 3 ½” diameter powder coated helical piles around the perimeter of the building with 4 ½” diameter external sleeves. We installed the piles to an embedment depth of 65’ to get below the liquefaction zone. In just two months, we were able to complete the seismic retrofit for Patton Middle School. We completed the project so quickly that we had to assist the demolition company because they couldn’t stay ahead of us. Helical Piles have several benefits that make them the ideal solution for seismic retrofits. They have a clean installation, can be loaded immediately after installation, have no weather delays or vibration, and come with a warranty you can count on. Helical Piles are the least invasive solution and they also allow us to mitigate a lot of the costs that are usually incurred by these seismic retrofits. 

After the job was completed, the general contractor, P&C Construction stated “I wanted to thank you guys for all of your hard work this summer. Kyle and Jeremiah have done an outstanding job getting everything done. We couldn’t be happier with how it all came together. It was an extremely challenging project and they stayed on top of it all the way.” 

Project images

Project Location
McMinnville, Oregon
project owner or general contractor
P&C Construction
type of work
Helical Piles