Thursday, June 12, 2014

Outside the Rooftop Frame is Rising and Inside Projects Continue

Construction crews have been making very good progress in framing the steel structure for our two additional floors. Here are a few items of note on this part of the project:
  • The steel frame is progressing on schedule, which is important for the goal of completing the construction overall by the end of next summer or early fall. 
  • The tall vertical beams that are going up span the height of the two floors and thus the framing for both floors is happening all at once rather than one floor at a time. As the horizontal beams for the structure are placed, materials for the new floors are being laid almost immediately—first in the form of steel sheeting and then with poured concrete. This will cover the existing roof with two more covered layers within a month or so and well before the new structure is entirely enclosed. The net effect should be a reduction in vulnerability to roof leaks when it rains. 
  • A smaller crane will be brought on site, probably sometime later next week, briefly to raise one vertical and two horizontal beams on the far northwest corner of the building that is outside the arm span of the big primary crane. The smaller crane will perform its work from the empty lot behind the library and is expected to be on the site only for a few days. 
  • Many if not most of the units for the new mechanical systems to be located on the 5th floor, including very large HVAC and electrical components, have already been delivered to the construction site and lifted to the current rooftop by the big crane. 
Meanwhile, inside the building, other crews were able to continue the 4th floor work above the ceiling even while all but the emergency lighting was out of commission there Monday and Tuesday. To restore full lighting, electricians Tuesday afternoon replaced both the electrical feed and the circuit panel for the 4th floor lights.  The next morning at around 5 am they briefly shut off the building’s main feed for the lights to switched over to the new feed and panel before the library opened. The problem with the lights began early Monday when a worker using a core drill above the restrooms on the 4th floor drilled into an electrical conduit hidden in the cement and that had not been identified on any construction drawings.

The construction contractor is still projecting that the ceiling work on the 4th floor will be completed, and the combined current work zone encompassing the Latin American Library and the Music & Media Center returned to normal, by the end of the day on June 27.
Tile work in the 4th floor women’s restroom is projected to be completed sometime during the day tomorrow, after which this restroom should be ready to be reopened.

Looking ahead, we are beginning to work on plans to relocate a significant number of books from shelves that will be displaced by several new interconnected emergency control rooms for the building’s new mechanical and fire systems that will need to be constructed later in the summer on the west and northwest sides of the emergency stairwell on the Dixon Hall side of the 1st floor.

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