• LOCATION: Kent, Illinois
  • CLIENT: Pearl Valley Farms
  • SCOPE OF WORK: Topographic Survey, Civil/Site Design, Foundation Design, Mezzanine Design, Construction Layout
  • PROJECT SCHEDULE: Completed – 2016
  • WHA TEAM: Mike Leslie, P.E., S.E., Aaron Full, P.E.

Phase I & II Services

Pearl Valley Eggs (PVE) is a family owned and operated egg production facility on Kent Road between Kent and Pearl City, Illinois.   Dave and Terry Thompson started the operation in 1987 with two barns housing 200,000 laying hens, a cooler/processing building and a compost building.   They have expanded over the years and in 2013, the facility had grown to nine layer barns and two pullet (hatchlings to laying age) barns housing approximately 1.1 million hens and 250,000 pullets.   The facility includes egg processing, packaging and shipping facilities on site, providing eggs to grocery stores nationwide.   The manure from the birds is composted in two buildings on site and then made into fertilizer by Pearl Valley Organix (PVO), whose facility is also located on the Kent, Illinois site.   The fertilizer facility produces bag fertilizer for sale on the commercial market as well as bulk sales for clients such as local farmers requiring semi loads of product.   Dave and Terry’s son Ben has joined the family business and now oversees most of the farm’s operations including PVO.

In 2013 PVE began work on a major expansion, and Willett, Hofmann and Associates (WHA) was contracted to provide surveying, civil engineering and structural engineering services.   This expansion includes a new cage free pullet barn, two new cage free layer barns, two new compost buildings, expansion of their existing cooler and processing space, installation of a diesel fueling station and truck scale, two tire washes for all vehicles entering the facility (to protect against bird flu), stormwater management facilities and new lift stations to move domestic waste to the existing wastewater treatment facility.

WHA began by performing a topographic survey of the 73-acre main site and the 5-acre pullet site for use in site layout and design.   WHA also assisted PVE and Stephenson County by providing legal descriptions of the expansion areas for use in expanding the existing enterprise zone.

The first step in design was the pullet barn in the summer of 2014.   This work consisted of site grading, entrance improvements, stormwater management and foundation design for a new barn housing 193,000 birds.   The pullet barn is 138’ x 381’, 1.2 acres under roof and is divided into two separate “houses”.

Design of the main site began in the summer of 2014.   The initial work included setting pad elevations for the two new layer barns (each barn has two separate houses, similar to the pullet barn), and a new compost building, all at the north end of the site.

Access roads and preliminary detention basins were also laid out in the early stages of design.   The foundation for the first barn (house 10 and 11) was designed in November 2014 and construction began in January 2015, with the use of heaters and insulation to protect the concrete from freezing.

The layer barns are each 176’ x 492’, 2 acres under roof.  Construction of the first new compost building and the second layer barn began in May 2015.  During construction of the compost building and layer barns, there were several modifications to the grading and stormwater designs to better accommodate the owner’s access needs.

In addition to the work for the layer barns and compost building on the north end of the site, PVE needed improvements on the south end of the site.  This work included the diesel fueling station, truck scale, truck and trailer parking, expansion of the cooler building (including loading docks), a tire wash at the main  entrance and addition of another compost building.   Construction of the cooler expansion began in August 2015 and will be approximately 150’ x 215’.  The new compost building is scheduled to be completed in spring 2016 and will be approximately 135’ x 500’.   PVE also added a new entrance off of Kent Road near the center of the site to serve their feed mill, which will also include a tire wash.   This work involved site design to accommodate the truck traffic on and off the site to provide access to the loading docks, scale, fueling station, feed mill and to the north end of the site, as well as foundation designs for the new buildings.   When the expansion is completed and the facility is at full capacity, they will have over 1.7 million laying hens and over 400,000 pullets.