Suter Renovation Work This Week: 05/18-05/22

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

North Entrance: Things are shaping up nicely with the re-constructed North Entrance to Suter Science Center.  New outside doors have been installed and a second set of interior doors will be installed within next two weeks, creating the energy-saving “air lock” for this entrance to match that of the previously re-constructed South Entrance.

Casegoods: The cabinet installation contractor returned to the job site on Monday (05/18) after being away for a week.  Countertops and fume hoods will arrive mid-week.  They expect to complete their work by end of the month (May 29).  When the cabinets, countertops and fume hoods are installed the local mechanical contractor will have significant work to do to connect all the plumbing and ductwork to these units which will likely require a number of days in June.

HVAC Systems Balancing: As was done in December and January, a special contractor will be used to “test and balance” the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.  This work will be started in the later part of June and continue for a number of days, hopefully not as long as the multi-week process last December and January.

Hallway/Concourse Floor Finishing: The last major construction activity for the Suter Science Center East (Phase 1, 2, 3) Renovation will be to grind, stain and polish the concrete floor surfaces of the North, East and South Hallways as well as the North/South Concourse and the second floor hallway surrounding classroom 104.  This work will be done in two groupings of floors.  All but the North Hallway, East Hallway and the east end of the South Hallway will be finished the last week in June and the contractor will return the following week (first week in July) to complete the job.  With this completed the contractor will likely consider Suter Science Center East Renovation “substantially completed”.  July 10 is the target date to begin moving into the Phase 3 labs and classrooms.

As is always the case, there will be a list of small items  on the “punchlists” to be worked on after “substantial completion” date.

North Entrance doors, Microbiology (room 021) cabinets, Organic Chemistry (room 025) workstations, Advanced Chemistry (room 033) "bench" stations.

Clockwise from top left: new doors on North Entrance; cabinets on north wall of Microbiology (room 021); Organic Chemistry (room 025) center-of-room workstations; Advanced Chemistry (room 033) “bench” cabinets.


Suter Renovation Work This Week: 05/04-05/08

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

Flooring: The flooring contractor worked all last weekend to have several classrooms ready for the arrival of casegoods (cabinets and fume hoods) scheduled for early this week.  This work requires significant skill because the flooring is continuous along the walls to form the “base cove” as well, making cleaning and spill control much easier than a traditional vinyl cove base installed on top of the flooring.  Classrooms on the north side of the North Hallway will be completed by the end of this week and installation of the interior rooms (Chemical Storage 035A-C and Research Labs 030/030A-D) will continue into next week.

Casegoods: A tractor trailer arrived on Tuesday morning with delivery of the cabinets from New England Labs.  The 15 fume hoods are expected to arrive sometime next week.  Because flooring is not installed in all the rooms where the casegoods will be installed, staging of the cabinets is taking place in the North/South Concourse.

North Entrance: With the reduced pedestrian traffic into Suter, Harman Construction has begun building the North Entrance.  Access to Suter should now be done only through the West Entrance (along Park Road) or the new South Entrance.  The North Entrance is a construction zone and not available to the public.  Construction involves placing some steel structures, masonry and brick and ultimately “store front” doors and glass.

Clockwise from top left: Start of flooring in Microbiology (021), flooring nearly complete in Organic Chemistry (025), start of snorkels in Advanced Chemistry (033), flooring completed in Organic Chemistry (033).

Clockwise from top left: Early stage of flooring in Microbiology Lab (021); Flooring nearly complete in Organic Chemistry (025); Installing snorkels in Advanced Chemistry (033); Flooring completed in Advanced Chemistry.

Clockwise from top left: Cabinets staged in Concourse, cabinets before being set in Advanced Chemistry, cabinets set in place in Advanced Chemistry, Steve Gibbs (IS) studies teacher workstation details.

Clockwise from top left: Casegoods (cabinets) are staged in North/South Concourse; start of cabinets in Advanced Chemistry (033); cabinets set in place in Advanced Chemistry; Steve Gibbs, classroom technologist, studies details of teacher workstation in Organic Chemistry (025).

Clockwise from top left: Old north entrance removed, North Hallway without construction barrier, new steel supports for North Entrance, forklift putting curved steel beam in place.

Clockwise from top left: Old north entrance removed; North Hallway with construction barriers removed, start of steelwork for North Entrance, fork-lift-becomes-crane to lift steel radius beam into place.

Suter Renovation Work This Week: 04/20-04/24

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

A Bit of a Holding Pattern: The major infrastructure systems are basically completed and floor coverings are the next big construction event. However, the work schedule of the flooring contractor is such that they won’t be able to start until May 1.  The construction workers spending the most time on the job this week are the painters who are wrapping up their work.

HVAC Systems: The large roof units are now connected to components in the room and contractors have completed their startup routines, however, the systems need to be tied into the security systems before they can be turned on 24 X  7 which is expected closer to May 1.

Autoclave: One of the most expensive individual pieces of equipment to be installed in Phase 3 is a new autoclave.  After much research and many conversations with four different vendors a purchase order for a Geneva Scientific Beta Star LS2020 sterilizer was placed this week for delivery sometime in late June or early July.

Faculty Office Furniture: A “mock up office” has been installed in room 026F to show faculty what the new systems furniture looks like.  Cheryl Doss and Jack Rutt will be meeting with individual faculty to assist with selecting their specific component configurations beginning on Friday (04/24).  Installation of furniture begins May 4.

Case Goods: New England Labs will begin delivering and installing fume hoods, cabinets (case goods) and work tables the week of May 4.  It is estimated that nearly the entire month of May will be needed for them to complete their installation work.

Microbiology Prep Lab (019), Faculty Offices Hallway (026A-H), Special Research Labs (030A-d)

Clockwise from top left: Microbiology Prep Lab (room 019) awaits new autoclave; Faculty offices hallway awaits office furniture; Research Labs (030A-D) await case goods, workstations and fume hoods.

When all the fume hoods (there are 15 of them in Phase 3) are connected and operational and the hallway doors and windows are installed a team of special HVAC workers will begin “testing and balancing” the systems in Phase 3 areas as well as going back to the Phase 2 units to re-balance them now that all of Phase 2 and Phase 3 areas are completed.  The testing and balancing work will likely require 2-3 weeks of work.

The last two major work areas will be constructing the North Entrance and grinding/finishing the concrete floors of the Concourse along with the North, East and South corridors.  The North Entrance will be worked on in May/June and the floors will be worked on in July . . . and then it will almost be time to begin setting up for Fall Semester 2016 classrooms!

Suter Renovation Work This Week: 04/13-04/17

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

Inspections: Above-ceiling inspections were completed and passed last week, clearing the way for ceiling tiles to be installed in all rooms.  This changes the appearance of the rooms dramatically.

HVAC Systems: Work continues, primarily on the roof, to connect the massive Annex Air roof-top unit for heating and air conditioning to the above ceiling ductwork.  Roof work also includes completing the large ductwork system providing exhaust air handling for the 15 fume hoods installed in the north hallway classrooms and prep labs.  April 20 is the target date for having the Annex Air unit operational so that the rooms can begin continuous climate control which is needed for up to a week to allow the vinyl floor material to acclimate prior to being installed.

Flooring:  As noted in the description of the HVAC systems work, the special vinyl floor covering material must acclimate for several days in the climate controlled rooms before being installed.  Installation is now scheduled to begin the first week in May.

Case Goods: Following close behind the floor installers will be the crew from New England Labs who will install the classroom case goods which includes cabinets, countertops, fume hoods and lab tables.

Overall, the Phase 3 work is proceeding nicely and basically on schedule.

Clockwise from top left: Advanced Chem (033); Microbiology Prep Lab (019); Microbiology Lab (021); Research Lab (030).

Clockwise from top left: Advanced Chem (033); Microbiology Prep Lab (019); Microbiology Lab (021); Research Lab (030).

With nearly all ceiling tile installed these rooms suddenly begin to look like classrooms.  Hard to believe that just three months ago many of these spaces were piles of rubble.

Suter Renovation Work This Week: 04/06-04/10

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

Inspections: Critical above-ceiling inspections by fire marshall and city building department are in process this week.  The space above the ceiling gridwork in some of the classrooms is proving to be a bit of a challenge to find ways for everything to function and meet unit clearance code requirements.

Ceiling Grid: Ceiling grid has been hung in most spaces, and some rooms have the first lay-in LED ceiling lights installed.

Roof-top Ductwork: A total of 15 fume hoods will be installed in the Phase 3 (north hallway classrooms) renovation spaces, nine of which will be installed in the Organic Chemistry classroom (025).  Very large stainless steel ductwork is being installed on the roof to connect all of these to a huge exhaust fan system.

Roof-top HVAC: The climate control system is separate from the fume hood exhaust system.  Its centerpiece is the 11,000 pound unit that was installed on the roof by crane on Saturday, March 21.  Mechanical contractor workers are working to have this system operational by April 20 so that all the Phase 3 spaces will be under climate control so that the special vinyl floor covering can be placed in the rooms for up to a week to become acclimated for temperature and humidity prior to installation.

Case Goods: Case Goods will again be installed by New England Labs who are scheduled to deliver and begin installing classroom cabinetry and furniture the last week in April.

Very large roof-top ductwork for 15 Phase 3 hoods, Level-5 preparation for dry-erase/projection surface, massive roof-top HVAC unit, ceiling lights installed in Organic Chem lab (Room 025).

Clockwise from top left: very large roof-top ductwork for 15 Phase 3 fume hoods; level-5 finish installation for Advanced Chemistry (Room 033); massage HVAC unit for north hallway rooms; first Phase 3 classroom with installed ceiling lighting (LED).


Super Saturday Suter Science Center Crane Work

& Suter Science Renovation.

Construction workers began an unusual Saturday workday at 6:30AM on March 21, under partly cloudy skies at EMU’s Suter Science Center where the third phase of renovation is underway.  Their task was to remove two 47 year old heating and air conditioning units from the north side of the lower level roof and replace them with a new larger unit.  Planning began weeks ahead of the event which was delayed until the weather became suitable.

The winter’s significant precipitation turned the site area on the north side of Suter into a soft muddy mess and it was clear that a long period of relatively dry weather would be needed before contractors could consider placing a crane for removing the old units and lifting the new 11,200 pound unit in place.  An alternate location on the south parking lot could work also, but the crane’s reach would need to be significantly longer.  This meant that a much larger crane from farther away would need to be substituted for the ordinary crane’s available locally.

In addition to the crane operators from Digging and Rigging, the day’s contractors included general contractor Harman Construction, mechanical contractor Blauch Brothers and roofing contractor Don Largent Roofing.

The well-planned operation was executed perfectly and the work was completed by 11:00am.

Crane operations staging area, overhead view of Digging and Rigging crane, job superintendent Phil Reece on the phone, crews preparing the roof base for the new 11,200 pound HVAC unit.

Clockwise from top left: Staging area for crane work; large crane from Digging and Rigging; Harman job superintendent, Phil Reece, a very capable “conductor” for the operation; crew preparing the curb base for the new 11,200 pound Annex Air unit.

Removing old HVAC unit; roof opening after removal of old HVAC unit; base for new Annex Air unit installed; cutting opening in roof decking for ductwork to new HVAC unit.

Clockwise for top left: Moments before removing one of the old HVAC units; roof opening after HVAC unit removal; new roof curb base installed prior to arrival of new 11,200 pound Annex Air unit; cutting hole in roof decking for ductwork to new HVAC unit.

New unit "flying in"; within inches of its final destination; in its final place.

Clockwise from top left: New 11,200 pound Annex Air unit “flying in”; lowering new unit into place; all done!

View the four hour operation in four minutes:

Suter Renovation Work This Week: 03/16-03/20

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

Painting: All classrooms are now painted with their final wall colors.

Ceiling Grid: Preparations for hanging the ceiling grid should be completed this week to allow for installation of the grid next week.

Crane Work: Saturday will be a big day for big objects . . . one weighing more than five tons.  A large crane will be mobilized on Friday in preparation for removing two 47 year-old multi-zone HVAC units from the roof and installing a single new “Annex Air” unit.  Several other large components of several exhaust fan systems will also be lifted into place. “Digging and Rigging” is the the company providing the gigantic crane.

Inspections: The next round of building inspections by the city will likely occur during the first week in April.  When completed, ceiling tiles can be installed which will make a significant difference in the look of the rooms.

Next Up: Floor covering and then case goods (cabinets) installation will be where much of April’s activity will be centered.

On Schedule: At this point, Phil Reece, the job superintendent for general contractor, Harman Construction, is pleased with how things are coming together with construction activities being pretty much on-schedule.

PHASE 2 (South Hallway classrooms): “Punchlist” wrap-up work

Field Prep Room (041A): A long-standing “to do” item has been to build and install wall pegs for boots, waders and nets in the Field Preparation room near the Greenhouse.  Arnie Driediger, EMU’s in-house carpenter, worked with Dr Jim Yoder to design and locate a wonderful set of wall pegs to neatly store these items.  Arnie also installed a large custom-built table in the Concourse Learning Space /Conference Room (053) which will soon be available for use by students, faculty and staff.  All four walls, three of which are glass, can be used as dry-erase marker boards.  Steve Gibbs, Classroom Technology Analyst from Information Systems, is working to install the 60 inch TV and conference room computer system on the west wall which will be Zoom-enabled to provide video conferencing functionality.  The table will accommodate eight persons.

Classroom colors, exhaust fan assembly, crane operator, Concourse Learning Space TV and table assembly, wader boots hung on wall.

Clockwise from upper left: color on walls; workers assemble a roof-top exhaust fan unit; “Digging and Rigging” crane operator; Steve Gibbs and Arnold Driediger install table and TV in Concourse Learning Space; “Boots on the Wall” in the Field Prep Room (041A).


Suter Renovation Work This Week: 03/09-03/13

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

Painting: The first coat of primer has been applied to all finished drywall spaces.  Next week will see the application of the room color paints.

Ceiling Grid: With above-ceiling rough-in essentially completed the ceiling contractor’s workers will begin installing the ceiling grid structures throughout the Phase 3 renovation spaces.

Replacement Windows: The legacy window glass will be removed and replaced with high-efficiency glass.

Chemical Storage Removal: The “extreme team” from Clean Harbors arrived on campus today (Thursday, March 12) and they were able to quickly ensure the stability of the most dangerous chemicals remaining in the last occupied section of the Chemical Storage room.  The regular disposal team will arrive tomorrow (Friday, March 13) to take all chemicals remaining in the storage room to a truck for final removal, which will provide the “all clear” status for construction workers to complete their demolition and rebuilding work in the Chemical Storage area.

Clean Harbors "extreme team" members on left, chemicals on shelves awaiting disposal on right.

Left: Members of the Clean Harbors “extreme team” completed their work to stabilize the most hazardous chemicals on March 12.
Right: Chemicals on shelves await the arrival of the Clean Harbors disposal team on Friday, March 13.

Crane Work: Crane work to remove the old air conditioning units from the roof and install the new one continues to be “on hold” due to weather.  With the rapid thawing of last week’s snow the area around Suter is “one muddy mess”.  The work will likely not happen until next week but could be delayed further if significant rain occurs between now and then.

Spring Break Work: Having no classes in Suter over Spring Break allowed construction workers full access to spaces in Phase 2 areas to complete some final “punch list” items.  This work included installation of retractable power cords in the Physics lab (room 020), installation of additional receptacles in the General Chemistry lab (room 037), installation of a new flake-ice maker machine in the Advanced Biology Hallway (047) and installation of a receptacle in the Greenhouse.  Work also continues to address startup problems with the vacuum air system and cadaver drapes closet exhaust system which should be completed this week.

Chemical Storage room sans cabinets; primer paint on Advanced Chem walls; muddy ruts on north side of Suter; retractable power cords in Physics room.

Clockwise from top left: Chemical Storage room 035A after removal of cabinets; primer paint on walls in Advanced Chem (room 025); muddy mess on north side of building; newly installed ceiling retractable power cords in Physics (room 020) completed over Spring Break.


Suter Renovation Work This Week: 03/02-03/06

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

Dry Wall: Hanging the drywall is, for the most part, completed and drywall finishing is underway.

Above-ceiling Rough-In Work: Contractor crews continue to do rough-in work for the above-ceiling utilities which primarily involve heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) components.

Data Network Cabling: The network cabling contractor has finished pulling network cables.

Painting: As drywall finishing is completed the painting contractors will begin their work this week.

Chemical Storage Removal: Dr Steve Cessna is directing the operation to empty the Chemical Storage room so that removal of some concrete block walls, plaster ceilings and asbestos abatement can begin.  A huge milestone was achieved on Tuesday, March 3, when Dr Cessna and John Spicher completed their tasks to remove the chemicals that will continue to be stocked at EMU.  The remaining “waste” chemicals have been consolidated to a relatively small area of the Chemical Storage rooms to await final disposal next week by waste management contractor, Clean Harbors.  Some of the demolition work in the Chemical Storage rooms area will be performed this week.

Crane Work: Crane work to remove the old air conditioning units from the roof and install the new one will follow the removal of waste chemicals.  It will also depend upon the weather since the ground where the crane will operate from needs to be firm and fair skies will be needed so that roof repairs can be made as roof units are removed and installed.  It is likely that this will not occur until mid-to-late March.

Clockwise from upper left: Organic Chemistry ceiling rough-in; Microbiology finished drywall; North Hallway and Study Nooks finished drywall; data network cable workers pull last of seven miles of cable.

Clockwise from upper left: Extensive above-ceiling rough-in systems in Organic Chemistry Lab (room 025); Finished drywall in Microbiology Lab (room 021); Finished drywall in North Hallway with Study Nooks; network data cabling workers complete pulling nearly seven miles of cable.

Suter Renovation Work This Week: 02/23-27

& Suter Science Renovation.

PHASE 3 (North Hallway classrooms): Expected completion – July 15, 2015

Dry Wall: Hanging drywall on the metal frame stud walls inspected last week is the newest stage of work on Phase 3 classrooms.  Drywall finishing will follow immediately so that painting can be scheduled.

Above-ceiling Rough-In Work: The in-wall rough-in work was completed and inspected last week for plumbing, electrical and gas utilties so that drywall hanging could begin this week.  Contractor crews continue to do rough-in work for the above-ceiling utilities which primarily involve heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) components.

Data Network Cabling: The network cabling contractor should finish pulling nearly seven miles of network cables into the Phase 3 construction area this week.

Roof-top HVAC Units: Preparations are underway to schedule crane work within the next 7-10 days to remove the last of the 40 year old HVAC roof-top “PAC” units and replace them with a new state-of-the-art multi-ton HVAC unit.

Chemical Storage Room Hazardous Contents signChemical Storage Logistics: One of the most challenging tasks for Phase 3 construction is to remove all chemicals from the three chemical storage rooms on the east end of Suter Science Center.  Under the leadership of Dr Steve Cessna, Professor of Biology and EMU’s current Chemical Hygiene Officer, the complete inventory of stored chemicals was finalized late last year.  After evaluating the inventory details it became apparent that a strategy of disposing of the most hazardous chemicals and temporarily storing others would be required.  It was also determined that significant outside expertise would be needed to safely dispose of the most hazardous chemicals.  Contracts have now been signed with Clean Harbors to remove these chemicals the week of March 9-13.  This operation will likely impact the activities around the Chemical Storage rooms when they are on site to physically remove the chemicals being disposed of.  Appropriate notifications to the campus community will be provided near the actual times for this activity.

Front-of-room east wall of Advanced Chemistry, room 033; North Hallway study nooks; looking toward front-of-room south wall of Microbiology, room 021.

From top left: Advanced Chemistry (room 033) front-of-room east wall dry wall partition; North Hallway study nooks; dry wall installation in Microbiology (room 021, looking towards front-of-room south wall) .