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Gildersleeve Floating School

Name: Gildersleeve Floating School
Location: Ketchikan, AK
Status: Completed
Type: Miscellaneous Marine
Owner: Southeast Island School District
Engineer: ABAM Engineers
The J.R. Gildersleeve Flaoting School was built for the Gildersleeve Logging Camp that runs logging operations up and down the Alaska Coast. It is a 4,500-square-foot, two-story building based on a huge reinforced concrete pontoon. The 3,600-square-foot first floor contains four classrooms for K-12, a science lab and lavatories. The 900-square-foot upper floor is an apartment for the husband and wife teaching. MSI built the entire structure, pontoon and school building, on dry land outside of Tacoma, 700 miles from its present mooring near Ketchikan, Alaska. When the 1,100-ton school was completed and ready to float, it was 500 feet from water. MSI raised it first by excavating under opposite edges of the pontoon and installing air bags. After inflation of the bags raising it enough, hydraulic slabs raised it so that skids could be inserted. The trip to the launching ramp took 48 hours, traveling 200 feet and then a 90-degree turn for 300 feet. The school is self-sufficient; one of the pontoon chambers was left open to become a mechanical room that houses a generator, hot water heaters, a sewage treatment plant and a fresh water treatment system
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