Phase 1 work (two-story classroom addition and South Entrance):
Windows and doors: Installation of the South Entrance “storefront” structure was begun last week and will conclude this week, including the installation of the glass. This, along with installing glass in the tall windows of the 2nd floor foyer will bring the new structure to its “dried in” state.
Drywall: Hanging of drywall in classrooms, restrooms and foyers should be completed by Friday. Next up: drywall finishing.
Air conditioning: The heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in Phase 1 are much simpler than those for Phase 2 because there are no laboratory classrooms. These systems, based on variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology, should be close to operational by the end of the week.
Elevator: Installation will begin as soon as the infrastructure systems needed to support it are in place, which is mainly electrical power and is expected to be available sometime this week. Once installation begins, about three weeks is needed for completion.
Phase 1 expected completion date: November 7
Phase 2 work (south corridor classrooms):
Climate control systems: The HVAC systems for Phase 2 construction areas are far more complex than in the Phase 1 areas because more than 30 fume hoods will installed in the labs. The purpose of these hoods is to exhaust the room air contaminated by the work being done in the labs. In order to exhaust the “bad air”, “good air” needs to come into the labs and this fresh air needs to be heated or cooled depending on the weather conditions. To do this, “make up air” units must be included in the lab classroom HVAC systems. These units are scheduled to arrive at Suter on October 24 and installation is expected by October 28. This is an important milestone because the Phase 2 construction area must be under full climate control for at least a week so that the lab flooring material can be brought into the space and “acclimated” during this time to stabilize its temperature and humidity levels. Lab floors must be installed before the lab cabinetry can be installed, a process expected to require about three weeks to complete in November.
Concourse: A central feature of the Suter Science Center renovation is the broad concourse connecting the north and south entrance doors. Within this concourse will be several interesting features including walk-up computer kiosks on the northwest wall, hexagonal dry-erase public writing surfaces and a learning space/conference room with three sides of glass. The hexagonal writing areas and the walls for the learning space/conference room are already taking shape.
Concrete stains: The floors of the two east-west lab corridors (north and south) and the north-south concourse will be finished with concrete stain. Selection of two colors for these stains will be made from the samples that have been applied to room 037, the General Chemistry lab. The sample areas are only temporarily visible and will be covered completely with the final
Waterline: Complications and surprises continue to develop with the sprinkler system water line trenching. Extra time was required last week to find the correct 6 inch city main to connect to. This week’s surprise involved the location and condition of cable conduits for phones, optic fiber for data and coax cable for television. The rainy weather also adds to the challenges for the excavation company installing the waterline. The good news is that installation of a new fire hydrant to the southwest of the Suter building has been without difficulty.
Gas line: In addition to Park Road being dug up by the waterline excavator, a different contractor has begun installing a gas line across Park Road which includes holes being dug in the lawn area to the east of Hartzler Library and to the west of Suter. So far, no complications have been encountered and work is expected to be completed by Friday, assuming there are no delays due to weather.
Phase 2 expected completion date: December 15
Clockwise from top left: gas line across Park Road, concrete color stain samples for corridors, new fire hydrant and trenching for sprinkler system waterline, start of framework for concourse learning space/conference room.