Construction Update 06/15/2020

New Tower. Tower construction continues rapidly, and the construction team has even gained a bit on the schedule during the past month. Though it can’t be seen from the street, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work is being done on all floors. From the fourth to eighth floors, walls are being constructed and windows are being installed. The exterior looks more and more like the beautiful structure it will eventually become.

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Last week a water test was done on the exterior of the tower itself. (Testing on the Mockup in parking lot 45 had been done earlier.) A collection area was built inside the exterior wall, inside air pressure was reduced, and humidity sensors were installed. Then water was sprayed on the exterior to simulate a driving rainstorm with wind blowing rain against the wall. The test was successful. No water entered the building!

Those who walk along University Avenue can now see the beginning of a steel structure that will support walls to enclose the ninth-floor mechanical area atop the new tower. All air handlers and other mechanical equipment have now been lifted to the mechanical area, which the construction team now refer to as both a ninth and a tenth floor because of its height. For most of us those floors will be crucially important but off-limits—available to maintenance workers but not to faculty and students. Much work remains to be done to connect this new mechanical equipment to both the new tower and to Daniels, but the equipment is now where it needs to be.

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Loading-Dock Area. Construction of the steam tunnel that provides utilities to the new tower is essentially complete although work continues inside the tunnel on chilled-water piping. Next week there will be another excavation in this area for installation of an acid-dilution basin that is required to reduce concentrations of solutes in water leaving the building. Work on the acid-dilution basin will continue into July.

Fire Protection. Installation of fire sprinklers on the sixth floor of Mathews is now complete. Fire-protection work on the fifth floor begins the week and will continue into early July. In Shain tower, which already has sprinklers, upgrades to fire detection and warning systems are underway as well. The eighth floor will be completed this week and then work will begin on the seventh floor.

This information is up to date as of Monday morning. Email bulletins will be provided as needed.

We are indebted to Gerald David and Miron Construction for photographs in this report.

John Moore and Bob McMahon