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p17 Edwardsville Public Safety BuildingEdwardsville Public Safety Building. Courtesy of FGM Architects 

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
    EDWARDSVILLE — The city’s new Public Safety Building sits atop an all-important analysis provided by the firm of Quality Testing and Engineering Inc.
    QTE, an O’Fallon, Ill.-based company, completed the geotechnical soil studies that preceded the construction of the 51,000-square-foot building, which houses the city’s central fire station and Police Department.  
    The project was three years in the making and involved the partnership of a number of companies. The site in the 300 block of South Main Street is the former grounds of the Madison County Sheltered Care, a property that had been used in some way since the Civil War before it was vacated in 2009 and razed.
    Starting in 2014, QTE began the geotechnical exploration for the main structure, which allowed the structural and civil engineers to design the project based on the findings,” said Joseph Carter, director of business development for QTE.  “Properly identifying the soil types and groundwater tables are critical to a successful project outcome.”  
    Some of the items QTE analyzes soil for include silt content or high-plastic clays.  Depending upon those findings and the soil strengths, footing and subgrade recommendations can then be made to aid in a successful project outcome.
    “QTE was also on site for the construction material testing throughout the project — the concrete, the masonry, the asphalt and rebar and footings,” Carter said.
    “The building is built for earthquake resistance and has its own tornado shelter, and the seismic considerations required a lot of special inspections,” he said.
    A large retaining wall bordering a detention basin was added toward the end of the project.  QTE performed additional geotechnical studies and stability analyses to ensure the wall could be constructed properly.
    QTE has successfully completed several similar municipal projects around the region in recent years.
    “This is the newest one, but we’ve done several in the St. Louis area, we also worked on the new Fairview Heights fire station a few years ago.”  Carter said.
    IMPACT Strategies, of Fairview Heights, was the general contractor and the building formally opened in December.