The iconic Red Hill “I” has returned to the Idaho State University campus. A special celebration of its return will be held October 10, at 4 p.m. at the Hutchinson Quadrangle.
The new “I” is 71 feet long and 24 feet wide. It was designed by a team of ISU civil and environmental engineering students and their faculty. The university’s Facilities Services provided management and oversight. A and E Engineering and Starr Corporation also participated in the project. The ISU College of Technology also conducted surveying for the project.
“The ‘I’ on Red Hill is an important part of the legacy of Idaho State University,” said President Kevin Satterlee. “This monument symbolizes the traditions that have shaped our great institution, and it will forever be a hallmark that alumni can return to and celebrate our history.”
The entire $225,000 project was financed by the Rice Family Foundation. Dr. Lawrence Rice worked as an English professor and academic vice-president at ISU for 34 years.
A good deal of engineering was involved in the project. According to ISU, “The “I” was built on a 34-degree slope. First, test holes were dug to understand Red Hill’s soil makeup and then its foundations were hand dug. A mud slab – which is a layer of concrete footing – was poured on top of the rock to give a working surface for the construction of the “I.” Holes were then drilled own through the concrete into the native rock and steel bars were placed in the holes and grouted in place to serve as rock anchors. Then concrete beams and piers were poured on top of the footing to encase the steel bars. A steel substructure, fabricated by Spartan Steel, was swung into place on top of the concrete beams and piers. The final stage was building a steel superstructure that will hold composite grating the makes up the visible “I.”
This new “I” replaces the old cement “I” that was taken off the hill in 2015 due to safety concerns.