Vehicle simulations assist renovation of high-altitude camp

Transoft traffic simulation
Transoft traffic simulation

Nestled in the mountains of Southern California, about an hour’s drive from Palm Springs, Camp Alandale is a nonprofit mountain camp ministry for children who have been put into the foster care system. Some kids are given a chance to attend camp after going through difficult times. With the San Jacinto Mountains stretching in all directions, it is a beautiful place to get away from it all.

The camp is situated on very steep and rocky terrain comprising several residential buildings spread across 6.7 acres. The property was originally zoned for residential use, and now that the area is going to be used for running the charity’s operations, the entire site needs to be converted to commercial use. Plans are in place to expand the facilities to include a larger main building to house offices, a dining facility and dormitory rooms plus other support structures and infrastructure. Once the site is built, Camp Alandale plans to use the site as a template for other camps across California.

With the majority of funding for Camp Alandale coming from private donations, the cost of a Transoft Solution software package was beyond the budget of Dan Hitchcock, Camp Alandale’s engineer and project manager. But he knew it would help him with his project. He contacted Margaret Gochngbok, regional account manager for Transoft, earlier this year and asked if she would be willing to donate the software to his project.

“When a group comes along with a demonstrated need like Camp Alandale, we felt donating one of our products was an excellent way to help their organization,” said Gochngbok.

When Hitchcock began planning the expansion of the current site, he imagined all the potential vehicles that might visit the camp. An entire range of vehicles came to mind, including charter buses, garbage trucks, fire trucks, minibuses and even ambulances. He needed a software package that helped him see them all.

“AutoTURN provides me with the necessary tools to analyze the layout options with the various design vehicles that need to access the site,” said Hitchcock. “I am able to visualize the various vehicles’ swept paths around the site’s obstructions and determine if the proposed site geometry is sufficient. I have a lot of site restrictions,” he continued. “If I want to move a building over a few feet to get more turnaround space for our charter buses, it might mean moving the building to where the bedrock is deeper. That could result in having to pour deeper footings, so that would cost more money. The AutoTURN software helps me to see all the options and scenarios.”

As part of Transoft’s commitment to charitable community organizations, the company was pleased to see its innovative products go to such an important project. “At Transoft, we’re really fortunate to be in a position to help people in a positive way, in this case especially where an honorable nonprofit organization like Camp Alandale is concerned,” said Noel Dolotallas, vice president of corporate marketing.