Campus Construction Update, January 11, 2021
On this all-new Campus Construction Update, Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull chats with University Communications' Dave Blanks about the latest updates on construction progress for App State's Laurel Creek Residence Hall, as well as the early building stages of New River Hall, located on the site of the former Justice Hall.
Dave Blanks: Hey, folks. This is Dave Blanks from University Communications back with a Campus Construction Update, back with Mr. Matt Dull. Hello, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hey, Dave. How are you?
Dave Blanks: Hey, I'm doing pretty good. We've been playing in the snow today here from the house during my lunch break. Did some sledding. Built some snowmen. Checking all the winter fun boxes so far. How about you?
Matt Dull: That's right. I've been inside most of the day today. We were talking just a second ago ... we didn't quite get as much snow on my side of the county as your side of the county.
Dave Blanks: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, we got eight inches, I feel like. And you said you only got two.
Matt Dull: Yeah. Only about two over here.
Dave Blanks: Well, maybe it'll change. I think it's supposed to snow some more tonight, potentially. We'll see what happens. It's probably not great for construction on campus, I would imagine.
Matt Dull: Yeah. These aren't great days for construction, but you know, I mean, most of the ... there's still exterior work to do, obviously, but the framing and roof is on the building. So a lot more focus on the interior of the buildings now, which is good. Now that we're getting into the nasty winter weather, folks are able to kind of be inside and work inside, which helps keep us on schedule.
Dave Blanks: Excellent. There was a hustle to get some of those dried in before we got to these winter days. So, good that we did.
Matt Dull: Absolutely. I think that was a real push to get a lot of the work where the frame's substantially completed and getting windows put in. So, I think a lot of the updates today are really just going to be a little bit of the same of what we talked about in December, before the break. So just trying to get the building to a place where a lot of the interior work can get started.
Dave Blanks: Well, what you want to start with today?
Matt Dull: We'll start with Laurel Creek Hall, Building 300.
Dave Blanks: Excellent plan. All right. What's going on with Laurel Creek?
Matt Dull: So, the framing is substantially complete there, and that includes the roof and the roof membrane, and really getting everything to a place where the building is almost dried in. The last little step of kind of really drying in the buildings, getting the windows in. So, the windows are fully in on that east wing. That's that wing closest to Trivette Hall. Those are all fully installed, and that wing of the building is pretty much dried in now. Again, talking about good timing as we kind of get into our nastier winter weather in kind of January, February months.
Matt Dull: That wing is totally dried in with the windows going in. They're now focusing on window installation on the west wing of the building. That's the side close to the new parking deck and Eggers, Bowie. So they'll be working on that over the next couple of weeks. And then they'll move right into that middle section, that middle core of the building that's kind of across from Wey Hall and Newland Hall. That's going in here in the next ... I think they'll start in about two or three weeks there and get that little middle section wrapped up.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. Got you. Cool. Where else do you want to go, Matt?
Matt Dull: Yeah. I mean, I think as we start working on windows and getting those installed, we can now start working on the masonry work. So the kind of brick facade of the building and the pre-cast stone that's going on the bottom. And the brick on the upper floors of the building, that started kind of before the break, kind of early December, will continue. All that work is kind of weather dependent and temperature dependent. So that continues and will continue, really, through kind of the beginning of the spring. So kind of March, April time frame, we will be wrapping up the masonry works. That's going to be a consistent thing over the next couple of months, is the exterior masonry. The plumbing and electrical and mechanical rough-ins inside the building, those are wrapping up or finished for most of the building. The HVAC rough-ins, so the ducts down the hallways, those kind of things, those will all be happening throughout the month of January.
Matt Dull: So we'll start to do installation of insulation in the buildings here in the next week or two. We'll start at those upper floors and work down. And as we kind of move through with the installation, and get that inspected along the way, then we'll start hanging drywall. Again, from the upper floors and working down shortly after we finish installing the insulation. So that's kind of the next big, kind of critical path thing is getting insulation and getting drywall hung throughout the building. And that's all starting here this week and kind of moving into the next couple of weeks. We'll be focused on getting drywall hung throughout the building so that we can start working on, start moving towards kind of the finishing work in the building. It's kind of hard to believe we're already talking about finishing work on the building. But yeah, we're planning on opening this building for the fall semester. So we've got to keep moving.
Dave Blanks: All right. Do you think by the end of January all the drywall and the entire thing will be hung?
Matt Dull: I'd have to go back and look at the schedule. I think it's going to end up being probably the first, probably floor to two floor. The top floor, or maybe the fifth and the fourth floors, something like that will be easily done, I think, before ... by the end of January. And they'll kind of continue that through early February as they make their way down to the bottom of the building.
Dave Blanks: That's a lot of drywall. All right. Well, where do you want to go next, Matt?
Matt Dull: Well, just real quick, I guess to kind of close this out, New River Hall on that side of Justice Hall. Construction began right before the winter holidays for us on campus. New River Hall is going to have about 750 beds, our largest residence hall. Construction began on that building. If you've been down Stadium Drive here in the past couple of weeks, you've seen a lot of big holes as we're starting to really kind of do the site work. So digging out kind of the trenches for the utilities that have to go in. So our electrical and plumbing and ... sorry, electrical, domestic water, our fiber, steam. So a lot of the underground utilities are ... we're building those kind of trenches and getting ready to do installation of those underground utilities.
Matt Dull: And then also getting ready to do an underground stormwater retention system. Continuing to work on that on the Garwood Hall side of the site. You'll start seeing that underground stormwater retention system going in. So right now, again, it just kind of looks like a lot of dirt being moved around, but it really ... just trying to get the site work done so we could start working on the foundation for New River Hall here in the next couple of weeks. So, things are moving along there on the site, even though it just kind of looks like a lot of dirt being just kind of pushed around or hauled off over there.
Dave Blanks: That's exactly what it looks like because we went by there two days ago, and there were three very large excavators. And it looked like they were just passing dirt from one hole to the next hole. I mean, we watched them for a minute. I was like, "I swear, they know what they're doing." I don't know, but that is exactly what it looks like. Yes. It looks busy. A lot going on.
Matt Dull: A lot going on.
Dave Blanks: So that's New River Hall. That's all the updates on New River Hall and Laurel Creek Hall.
Matt Dull: Yeah. I think that's it. I mean, things are moving quickly on both sites. Again, we'll start to see, as the site work kind of wraps up, we'll start to see some foundation work at New River Hall towards the end of January, beginning of February. So we'll actually start seeing some things kind of coming out of the ground here in the next little bit there. And then Laurel Creek, like I said, we'll really start to see the finishing phase of that building with that exterior masonry work starting here and windows finishing up as we get into late January, early February in that building. So, it'll really start to shape up on the exterior. Not that it isn't already. It really is looking ... you really see what the size and scale of the building is now that the framing is done. And for the the exterior of the building, that kind of exterior brick skin will be coming on here in the next couple of weeks.
Matt Dull: Pretty cool. It's been really cool to see Laurel Creek Hall. You see the scale and the exterior of the building. My wife and I were driving down over the winter break down, into kind of the Trivette Circle, the circle at Trivette. We were driving, and we'd just got past Laurel Creek Hall and I looked to the right, and it is just this perfect little alleyway that you can see kind of just to the left of the east wing of that building at Trivette Hall. You can see directly through, between kind of Raven Rocks Hall and Thunder Hill Hall, and then you can see the big A that's on the side of the new athletics complex.
Dave Blanks: Oh, for real?
Matt Dull: And at night it is this perfect shot with the illuminated Appalachian block A on the side of the building perfectly between the Raven Rocks and Thunder Hill. And then right, perfectly in between Thunder Hill and Laurel Creek Hall. I mean, it is a perfect shot with that kind of glow of the block A right through the middle. And that's going to be the new Mountaineer Walk when all of this finishes. And it is a perfect shot straight into that entrance to the stadium. It's one of those things that you theoretically see on paper, but to now actually see it with how it's actually going to look, and see it with the buildings really taking shape. It's really cool. I took a couple of pictures on my iPhone. You'll go, "Oh my gosh. What an awesome shot."
Dave Blanks: Was your wife like, "Can we please go eat?"
Matt Dull: I was like, "Stop the car! Stop the car! I got to get out." We were already touring a construction site at eight o'clock on a Saturday night.
Dave Blanks: And you're just ... I'm sure she loved it. All right. Well, that's great, man.
Matt Dull: We're going to have to get out there with Marie or one of our photographers one night and get that shot, and get that on the website. Because I think folks will be excited to see it.
Dave Blanks: Absolutely. Well, cool, Matt. That was a neat little story there. Thanks for sharing. Any other updates for today? I don't think so. Probably not.
Matt Dull: No, I don't think so. I think that hits the highlights and progress that's being made. Yeah, we'll be excited to share a little bit more about both buildings here in the next few weeks.
Dave Blanks: Sweet. Well, go build a snowman. We'll talk to you again.
Matt Dull: Sounds good. Thanks, Dave.
Dave Blanks: Bye, Matt.