Built in 1906, Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland, Ore., boasts many things: a storied past that includes its conversion into a hospital during the Spanish flu era of 1918-1920; a community that treasures its historical significance as the oldest high school in Oregon; a reputation as an exceptional trade school with a renowned list of alumni; and, thanks to a restoration team currently overseeing its $400 million restoration, a secure future.
Jeff Scarpelli, Products Engineer for PROSOCO, created a rig exclusively to test the interior brick wall of Benson HS | Photos by Matt Herz
In the summer of 2023, Jeff Scarpelli, Products Engineer for PROSOCO's anchoring systems group, went on site to offer advice on how to save and secure a 17-inch-thick interior brick wall in the school's 60-foot-high gymnasium. Scarpelli built a demo with old brick as well as a testing rig designed specifically for this job. The good news? The wall could be saved. Scarpelli engineered 30-inch Grout-Tie pins as well as 28-inch Grip-Ties for the wall.
The project team appreciated the fact that Jeff customized a testing rig specifically for this job. The high school also had its limestone, terra cotta and brick exterior cleaned with Sure Klean 600, Restoration Cleaner and Safety Klean. Additionally, Blok-Guard & Graffiti Control WB 15 will be used on the building to protect the decades-old masonry substrates from water and graffiti attacks.
Benson's restoration team includes Anderson Construction, Pioneer Waterproofing, and KPFF Consulting Engineers.