A job at Illinois State University presented this contractor with several challenges. Watterson Towers in Normal, Illinois, is a 27-story student dormitory, consisting of twin towers for student rooms with a free-standing elevator shaft between them. By placing L-shaped additions between the existing shaft and the towers, two new shafts could be created using walls of the existing shaft and buildings as third and fourth sides. The architect's specifications required that the contractor match the existing shaft exactly, including concrete color and texture, vertical and horizontal rustifications, and the tie pattern.
A crane-handled system was chosen for the formwork, due to the contractor's desire to work economically. For the outside wall form they chose a heavy-duty gang form panel supported on a steel platform frame, which in turn rested on landing brackets attached to coil anchors cast in the wall. A retracting frame attached to the gang panel moved the panel in and out along a track set into the platform frame. The design of the frame and landing brackets permitted raising and relanding the form with a minimum of time any worker had to be on the unsecured form. Rustification strips were attached to the gang panels to match the pattern of the existing building. Matching the required tie hold pattern was a little more difficult. Plastic cones were attached to the face of the form to create false tie holes and maintain the original pattern.