We purchased a new Ryan Homes house ten years ago and are now finishing the basement. Down the center of the basement ceiling is a large steel I-beam between the footers. Given the size of the house this is understandable.
However, this beam appears to be held up by two different vertical 'poles'. One is a metal pole that is anchored to the concrete and looks designed to hold up the beam. The other is what looks like three 2x4s nailed together and just shoved into place no more than two feet away. Photos are included below.
Why would this makeshift wood structure be put in place when a metal pole is right next to it? I thought it may have been a temporary support until they could get the metal pole in place, but then why is it still there? How do I determine if this is a necessary structural element?