Campus Construction Update, March 1, 2021
Check out this week's Campus Construction Update to learn the latest updates on App State construction projects taking place across campus. In this episode, Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull chats with University Communications' Dave Blanks about the construction progress for 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, and again I'm joined by Matt Dull. Hello, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hey Dave, how you doing today?
Dave Blanks: I'm excellent. How are you?
Matt Dull: I am doing great. Beautiful sunny day on the day we're recording in Boone.
Dave Blanks: Indeed. Yeah, it's a pretty one. It's not quite as warm as it was yesterday. It was like in the 60s, which is crazy.
Matt Dull: Yeah. Sixties in the end of February.
Dave Blanks: It was a fake spring day. Right.
Matt Dull: That's right.
Dave Blanks: But I think it's going to cool back down right now as we're recording this, which is the week before people will hear it. So that's a little slightly confusing. It's still a nice day out there today and I'm actually in the office and you're in your office over there, but we're still doing it remotely.
Matt Dull: That's right. With video. So we can actually see each other for the first time in like a year.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. Our software that we use, they changed, they changed things up. So yeah, now we can actually see that the other person is fully ready for work and clothed, not in their pajamas anymore.
Matt Dull: That's right. You don't get to see my dogs behind me.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. Do you want to talk about some construction updates today, Matt Dull?
Matt Dull: Yeah, we can jump in and start talking about maybe Laurel Creek Hall first.
Dave Blanks: Let's do it. That sounds good to me.
Matt Dull: Awesome. Well, so, you know, things are progressing and I think we mentioned a couple of weeks ago when we had the last podcast that it's going to feel a little repetitive again, because it's a lot of, kind of, drywall and finish work that's going on now. So, masonry has finished up on the street side of the building. If you think about Laurel Creek is this kind of V-shaped building right in the corner of the old Stadium Lot, where you have the new parking deck and then Newland Hall and Trivette Hall. And there's kind of a little V actually, our little corner of that old Stadium Parking Lot — everything that's kind of around that street, there, is all finished up. They're now moving into the interior kind of courtyard sections of the building to do the masonry work. So, it's nice to have that, almost like half the building checked off the list for masonry, particularly with how, you know, rainy and cold and just not amazing weather we've had, progress is still kind of moving forward on the masonry work. So, you know, days like today and yesterday really make a big difference to be able to do that kind of work too.
Dave Blanks: I'm sure. So the courtyard work is being done now.
Matt Dull: Yeah. So the courtyard work for Laurel Creek, that masonry work on the courtyard area, that's going on now. That's most of the exterior kind of stuff going on. Not really doing any site work or landscaping work quite yet. And that'll be a little bit later, once all the masonry is done, get all the scaffolding and all that out of the way and not, you know, have trucks and lifts and all sorts of stuff that could potentially damage any of the landscaping and sidewalks. So, once that all gets done, then you'll you end up having kind of the final site walls and sidewalks board and the landscaping. That's going to be kind of the next little phase. That's also kind of good timing with weather, you know, by the time we get the masonry work done here, probably late March, early April, when all the exterior masonry work gets done, you're kind of in a good time frame up here to start, you know, any of your landscaping and planting grass and sod and doing that kind of stuff to kind of get that courtyard prep.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: So that'll all start late spring, early summer.
Dave Blanks: Cool.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Where else do you want to go today, Matt?
Matt Dull: Well, inside Laurel Creek, we've got the east wing, that's the side at Trivette Hall. There's ... moving forward on like level five, kind of those upper-level, same in level four, you're getting things like countertops in to the bathrooms, tiling the bathrooms. So we've done enough of the finish work where you've got the drywall in, you've got all the drywall patched up and the first primer coat on all the drywall on those two floors. And now we're going in and starting to do some of that more detail finished kind of work — countertops, tiles and bathrooms. The drywall will get a final kind of touch up here in the next week or two, with a final coat of paint. As we go into next week in those rooms, doing the installation of the drop ceiling grids. So, you know, in the hallways, there's that drop ceiling that you see in a lot of the institutional kind of settings. We don't really have a lot in our homes, but you know, on campus it's everywhere. So they're putting in the grids this week. That'll get us ready to actually drop the ceiling tiles in here in the next few weeks. So level three, as you kind of go down the building, drywall finishing is kind of starting, hanging drywall is continuing. So, again, we're moving from the top level, which will be kind of finished first, you know, five, four, three, and as we go down, those trades repeat themselves. So with hanging the drywall, doing your mudding, doing your primer coat, doing some of the finish work in the bathrooms, then coming back in and finishing your drywall on all the finishes, you know, then you'll start your LVT on the floors. So each of these wings will just kind of keep going down the same path of finish work as we go through each week. So we'll just kind of be moving down the building.
Dave Blanks: I gotcha.
Matt Dull: West wing is pretty similar in the central core part of the building; those upper floors we're finishing hanging drywall. And then on the lower floors, they're finishing kind of that plumbing and mechanical and electrical rough-in to get ready for drywall being hung over the next few weeks. So, east wing is earlier in the schedule and then you just kind of work your way across the building. Higher floors are more finished and then you're doing more of the rough-ins on the lower floors and hanging drywall.
Dave Blanks: Sounds good. Sounds like good progress being made in there.
Matt Dull: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Cross the street?
Matt Dull: Yeah. We can cross the street over at New River Hall, on the site of the old Justice Hall and ...
Dave Blanks: Are we still just moving dirt from here to here, is that what we're still doing? Or ...
Matt Dull: There's a little bit of dirt moving, but the good part is the dirt is moving because we are backfilling a lot of these utilities, right? So we've, you know, the past few weeks the team has put in the stormwater lines, which carry stormwater away from the site. Those stormwater lines are being finished up this week. And then we'll be able to backfill those. So kind of get to a rough final grade to where that storm line's going in. The fabrication of the new steam line pipe continues this week and we'll hopefully finish ... the volts finishing up this week. That steam line itself finishes up probably next week. Then we'll backfill that as those things get backfilled then yes, we'll come back in, in addition to just backfilling, you know, they are pouring in some of the concrete walls, wall footers, spread footings kind of across the building area. So yeah, moving dirt to put in some concrete footers, you'll probably never see again, but really, starting next week, you'll start to see that first vertical construction. So, the team will start next week on the first CMU or cinderblock stair tower will start going up next week. So probably like second week of March, mid-March, if you start driving by you'll actually start seeing some real vertical construction going in. You know, if we think about the other buildings, once your stair towers start going in, once your footings go in, we'll start pouring our first slab sections, you know, in about two or three weeks, you'll really start to see kind of framing starting fairly soon once we get these stair towers up. The stair towers, the elevator towers, those are those first kind of things, along with the pouring your slab. Once the slab is in and the stair towers are up, you'll really start to see that vertical construction across the site as framing will start. So yeah, first vertical construction probably next week. So that'll be the kind of the first time when you drive by that ... Oh, they're not moving dirt. They're doing something else.
Dave Blanks: Something kind of building like is happening there.
Matt Dull: It looks like a building is happening. Yeah. So, that's probably next week; something to look forward to on your drive home.
Dave Blanks: Excellent. I can't wait.
Matt Dull: I'm sure, Dave.
Dave Blanks: I'll keep an eye out for it, though. I mean, it is kind of cool to be able to, as we talk about this, I mean, I do see it on my drive. Yeah. I'll keep an eye out for it. What else today, Matt? Any other topics you want to cover?
Matt Dull: Yeah, I think those are the highlights for today.
Dave Blanks: Cool. All right. Well, as always, thanks for your time and we'll do it again.
Matt Dull: Sounds good. Thanks, Dave.