Campus Construction Update, April 12, 2021
Check out this week's Campus Construction Update to learn the latest updates on construction projects taking place across App State's 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 New River Hall, located on the site of the former Justice Hall.
Dave Blanks: Hey folks. This is Dave Blanks from University Communications. Thanks for joining us for the Campus Construction Update. Once again, I am joined by Mr. Matt Dull. Hello, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hey Dave, how are you doing?
Dave Blanks: I'm good. We're talking bread today, right? Is that the topic?
Matt Dull: We're talking bread today!
Dave Blanks: Talking bread with Dave and Matt. You (listeners) miss out on the cool topics that we discuss before we actually go on the air and yes, we were talking about making bread, but that's not on the docket today. What are we going to be discussing today? I bet we start with Building 300, also known as ...
Matt Dull: Laurel Creek Hall.
Dave Blanks: I bet we start with that, right?
Matt Dull: That's probably where we're going to start today.
Dave Blanks: Let's do it! Hey, I will comment on this, Matt. You don't have your normal microphone. You're using a different microphone.
Matt Dull: I am using a different microphone today.
Dave Blanks: I'm calling you out because you lent your other microphone to a friend for a worthy cause. And so that's why maybe Matt sounds slightly different, but we're still happy to have him. Thank you for still being here, Matt.
Matt Dull: You're welcome. Thanks for still having me.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. You know, I can say after we first started talking, I almost just turned the computer off, but here I am, hanging in here.
Matt Dull: You're going to suffer through it.
Dave Blanks: I guess I'll suffer through. Maybe you have some useful information. Let's find out. So how's Laurel Creek?
Matt Dull: Laurel Creek is going well. We're in the final stretch for masonry work on the outside of the building. So that continues this week, into that courtyard side of the building, and really should wrap up next week, weather dependent, as long as the weather kind of stays nice we'll keep moving forward and really then move to kind of cleaning the brick and removing scaffolding that is required to actually do the masonry work. We'll be getting that off the site.
Dave Blanks: What do you mean, cleaning the brick? Isn't it new brick?
Matt Dull: Well, if you think about it, like, you know, when you're putting up brick, you're going to have extra mortar ...
Dave Blanks: Oh, the mortar. Yeah.
Matt Dull: ... that's, you know, dripped down the side of the brick or just dust and everything else from, you know, when you're cutting up the brick to get it to size or you're ... just, you know, dust, in general, that you're going to have just from construction.
Dave Blanks: What, does it just get sprayed off or something?
Matt Dull: Yeah. So just by like with a pressure washer, just like do with your house and pressure wash the excess kind of mortar dripping and dusts and any other kind of debris that kind of gets collected on it as you're putting it up.
Dave Blanks: Gotcha.
Matt Dull: So that'll be kind of the next thing to kind of get the building kind of cleaned up and ready. And so it really looks like a new building when you get done with it.
Dave Blanks: Right! OK, that makes sense to me. 'Tis the season for pressure washing anyway. It's warmed up enough. I got to get out there.
Matt Dull: I do as well.
Dave Blanks: I gotta do my deck!
Matt Dull: I've wanted to every weekend recently. Although, this past weekend was not bad at all.
Dave Blanks: Oh, come on. It was, it was real nice.
Matt Dull: But every weekend before that, when it's been like, hey, it's 60 during the week, it's like, it's 39 and raining.
Dave Blanks: So cold. There were like a couple of days, like, I don't know if it was last week or the week before that, but it was just like in your bones cold, but it's not like that right now, as we're recording this the week before people are hearing it, it's a pretty day in Boone today and that makes for good construction weather.
Matt Dull: That's right.
Dave Blanks: So what else is going on with Laurel Creek? How's things inside?
Matt Dull: Inside the building on the east wing — that's the side of the building closest to Trivette — we've got, on the top floor, signage is being installed the first part of this week. That's usually one of the last things you're doing in the building, right? You don't want to put up your brand-new clean signs while you're still painting and doing drywall repairs and all this kind of stuff. That really is the last thing you want to do. So signage is going in this week. And then at the end of this week, we're doing our first punch list walk.
Dave Blanks: Nice!
Matt Dull: So walking through all the student units, the corridors, the common spaces on that wing on that top floor, and basically try to set it up as the model floor. So trying to figure out like, OK, here's the punch list things. Here's the things we're seeing consistently, getting those repaired. And then you have like a reference floor for all of the other floors as you go through the building.
Dave Blanks: Like, "What is this supposed to look like? Oh, let's go up to the reference floor. That's what it's supposed to look like."
Matt Dull: Exactly. What is it supposed to look like? And it also helps us identify what are the common things we're seeing in all the units that we say, OK, before we start punching and going to create a punch list on the next floors next week, what is the contractor need to go in and address? Because, hey, we keep seeing it. We saw, you know, 25 times on this one floor.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Matt Dull: Let's not have to do that again, you know, 10 more times as we go through the building.
Dave Blanks: They're just having to erase "Dull was here!" Like over and over. It's in so many places. I don't know.
Matt Dull: That's right.
Dave Blanks: It's a real scourge on the whole construction site! So punch listing it. That's good. So that starts when? That starts this week?
Matt Dull: That starts this week. Yeah and into the latter part of this week. We'll start punch lists there. And then that punch list will continue on a almost, I guess it's really about an every other week cycle. We'll do a couple of floors at a time each week from here on out. This week just focusing on one floor, kind of getting that reference floor done, and then our hope is as we move forward to future punch lists we're able to do a couple of floors each week. So we will be walking through with a university team, with the architecture team, with our engineering team and then our contractor Choate and then our developer Rise. So it's a pretty big team that will be kind of going through the building at the same time, but all going through at the same time, all looking at the room at the same time, making our comments at the same time. So, we're all kind of seeing the same thing and addressing the same thing as we go through the building. It's exciting to be moving forward with that already in April, when we're hoping to move into the building that first week of August. So we're in good shape, schedule-wise. Going down the floors in the building, level four and three are really close to being ready for that punch list. They'll be kind of that, I guess like two weeks out from this week, we'll be doing punch lists on those levels. So they're getting their final coat of paint, final little bits of carpet being installed in the hallway. We do a rubber base once you get the final coat of paint on and your carpet in, you put a rubber base between the floor and the wall. Those will be going in this week. And then we'll be just doing our thorough cleaning to really get it ready for a punch list. That's this week and a little bit of next week, we'll work on those floors so that they can be punched out of that last week of April, I guess, will be the punch list for level four and level three. Then kind of going down the building, we're a week behind as we go to floors level two — final paint starting at the end of this week and going into next week. Level one, doors and door hardware going in. And then we go down to the terrace level, that bottom level, LVT going in and then doors and door hardware will start at the end of this week. That east wing is progressing nicely. We'll have punch lists on that entire east wing as we go into early May. So, hopefully, you know, as we kind of enter in mid-to-late May, all of those punch list items are addressed and you really, say, that whole wing is move-in, ready. Ready to start moving in the furniture. And that's done as you kind of finish up the month of May.
Dave Blanks: Sounds like good progress, and that'll be here before too much longer, for sure. Yeah.
Matt Dull: Yeah, it's flying by.
Dave Blanks: Where did you want to move?
Matt Dull: West wing is just shortly behind that. You know, we're thinking about upper levels, they're getting their final coat of paint. We're installing carpet and rubber base and doing that thorough cleaning this week and into the next week, and then they'll be a part of the punch list at the end of April. We'll do kind of that top floor or two of the west wing in late April. Then those lower floors, kind of similar to what we're seeing in the terrace over in east wing, LVT flooring, drywall touch-up, second coats of paint. Those kinds of things are happening in those lower levels of the west wing. Just a little bit behind that east wing. And then that central core of the building is just behind that west wing schedule. So those upper floors being trimmed out now, starting to finish work, getting that layer of primer paint, also starting bathroom tile on the floors and it's moving forward. Then those lower floors and that central core having doors really actually fairly similar. Most of the floors in that building are about the same point. So, drywall touch-up, finish work, second layer of paint, doors going in. Again, they're all about the same, but just right behind that west wing of the building.
Dave Blanks: Good stuff. Where else do you want to go, Matt?
Matt Dull: We can cross the street over Stadium Drive and go over to New River Hall. We've got progress being made there. Installation of the sewer line wraps up this week. Continuing to install the steam line pipe around the site, that continues to be installed. Continue to work on the building slab. So, pouring the slabs for the framing to begin. The framing beginning in May time frame now. So we've got to get the building slab done across the building. Those stair towers are going in now. So as you're starting to see that vertical going up, stair towers are going in, and then we're also beginning the electrical rough-in in the slab and the stair towers this week. Next week, we'll actually start bringing in the steel stairs for the stair towers will start coming in for those stair towers as those finish up.
Dave Blanks: Do we have a crane on-site there right now?
Matt Dull: There's not a crane on-site every day yet.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Matt Dull: Now that will come in late April, early May. There will be a small crane on-site to do stairs, but the larger cranes like we're used to seeing will be on-site as they begin framing work. That begins late April, early may. You'll start to see more of the larger scale cranes that will be on-site for several months.
Dave Blanks: Looking from Rivers Street, the view looking up to where New River Hall is going to be, you have this wall of concrete masonry units now — like you can see the cinder block wall that's there and it's like, "Whoa, Ok. Yeah." You're getting a much better picture there in real time of what the actual building is going to be.
Matt Dull: Yeah, you can see that foundation wall at the front and then see it parallel with Stadium Drive. And you can see how wide that building is. I was walking around campus yesterday and kind of in between Rankin Hall and Varsity Gym, you know, as you're walking kind of between Anne Belk and Rankin, walking toward the dining hall — just gotta look right across and you've got a great shot of, wow, that is a huge footprint for that building. When you kind of look down that kind of viewshed towards the stadium there.
Dave Blanks: It really is. And that reminds me, this will be the biggest residence hall, right? New River is the biggest residence hall on campus?
Matt Dull: That's right. New River will be the biggest residence hall on campus, with 750 beds in it. So it'll be, it's about 120 beds more than Laurel Creek Hall and almost 200 beds more than Thunder Hill. So Thunder Hill looks like a pretty massive building as you drive by it, as you go up Stadium, and then it wraps around again, as you go up Jack Branch, like you're going up to Eggers and Bowie and New River Hall will have almost 200 more beds than Thunder Hill. It will have about 170 more beds than Thunder Hill. So, big building. But of course it's taking up a huge site. I mean, it's going all the way up, kind of the height, if you will, or as you kind of go up the hill of Stadium Drive, that building's going to kind of follow you along all the way until you get to about Trivette Hall.
Dave Blanks: Well, it looks good. A lot of good progress on that side of the road as well. Anything else you want to cover today, Mr. Dull?
Matt Dull: I think those are the highlights for this week.
Dave Blanks: Excellent! We will do it again. Thank you for your time, sir, as always.
Matt Dull: Awesome. Thanks, Dave. Good to see you.