Indianapolis Star Newspaper Production Expansion

Readers of The Indianapolis Star found that the newspaper was much more colorful after The Star upgraded its press line to MAN Roland offset presses. To achieve greater color capability and color placement flexibility, The Star installed four new GeoMAN tower presses in its Pulliam Production Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Project Description: 

Readers of The Indianapolis Star found that the newspaper was much more colorful after The Star upgraded its press line to MAN Roland offset presses. To achieve greater color capability and color placement flexibility, The Star installed four new GeoMAN tower presses in its Pulliam Production Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.

To accommodate the new presses and upgrade the facility, The Star commissioned The Austin Company to expand the pressroom and newsprint warehouse. The addition
stands 78 feet tall and has a 16,530 SF footprint.

The project reduced operating costs for The Star by consolidating printing, mailroom, inserting, paper handling and paper storage into a single facility. These functions were previously spread across three different sites, requiring The Star to transport significant amounts of paper and products by truck from site to site.

A unique feature of the project is a 380-foot-long by 27-foot-wide concrete tabletop that supports the 1,910-ton presses. This is one of the first tabletops designed and installed in the United States. The concrete slab replaces structures that would have otherwise been used to support the presses, providing greater value.

Beneath the tabletop, on the lower level of the structure, is a 15-foot-high space designed for paper reels, ink containers and cables. The tabletop installation was complicated, requiring numerous cut-outs that allow the cables and paper to pass from the lower level to the printing units above. In addition, the different angles at which the tabletop had to be constructed made the project extremely challenging.

Winter weather conditions also presented construction challenges. To remain on schedule, The Austin Company poured the tabletop and erected structural steel during record cold weather. After the concrete was poured, it had to be covered, protecting it from the cold and wind while hardening.

Soil conditions were also an obstacle. To overcome soil with minimal tolerance for settlement, the foundation was built on 66 concrete caissons, each six feet in diameter and 32.5 feet deep. A cap foundation was then installed on top of the caissons to support the paper reels on the first level.

The press hall design presented its own challenges. Austin prepared alternatives to optimize operations and facility size. The result is a design that takes the shape of the presses — the addition fits its contents like a glove. The long, tall and narrow building required a special cross-bracing design to protect it from twisting in the wind.

An additional challenge was to brace the building to the foundation. To solve this challenge, a significant amount of the horizontal load through the roof was carried to the ends of the building using members as trussing action through the roof.

Project Stats: 
Square Footage: 16,530
Austin Services Provided: Design, Engineering, Construction
Location: 

Indianapolis, IN

Project Client: 

Indianapolis Star

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