Campus Construction Update, October 19, 2020
Listen to this all-new Campus Construction Update, featuring Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Matt Dull and University Communications' Dave Blanks, to learn the latest updates on App State's new residence halls, including the construction progress for Laurel Creek Hall and how the site of New River Hall is being readied following the Justice Hall demolition.
Dave Blanks: Hey, folks. This is Dave Blanks from University Communications back once again with a Campus Construction Update, joined by Matt Dull. Howdy, Matt Dull.
Matt Dull: Hey, Dave. How are ya?
Dave Blanks: I'm doing great. You sound like you're doing good today. How's your day going so far?
Matt Dull: So far, so good. It's been a beautiful week in Boone with beautiful weather. It's turned a little chilly, but it really has been chamber of commerce weather here.
Dave Blanks: We got out on the parkway like a couple of days ago, not you and me, but I went out on the parkway a couple days ago and it was so jam-packed with so many people, but when we actually went to Beacon Heights, it was like, there were not that many people. So, I'm not sure where the people were going. Maybe they were just driving and looking at all the beautiful colors.
Matt Dull: Yeah probably just driving and looking and didn't really know where to actually stop and get out and really walk around.
Dave Blanks: But yeah, you're right. It has been amazing weather and probably pretty good weather for construction as well.
Matt Dull: Yeah. It's been great weather for construction, and you know, things are moving quickly over on the site.
Dave Blanks: Well, tell us all about it. When we last left, we were at Laurel Creek and we were doing framing, and then more framing, and more framing after that.
Matt Dull: That's right.
Dave Blanks: Where are we now on Laurel Creek?
Matt Dull: Yeah, we're moving toward that tail end of the framing. So, Dave and I took a couple of weeks off because it was going to be frame and repeat, frame and repeat — kind of the same message every week for a little while. Framing is ongoing, but we're really getting to topping off on one of the wings of the building, this week and into next week. We'll be framing the fifth floor on the wing that's kind of closest to Trivette Hall and Thunder Hill Hall. That's really getting ready to be at its kinda final height or final elevation there. So that's exciting. That's going to happen here in the next week. And then the section that's closest to Bowie Hall and the new parking deck, they're starting the fourth floor now, so that's just right behind it. Then there's a small section right in the center that kind of connects the two buildings. It's not a really big section. It kind of faces Wey Hall, Belk, Frank, that kind of direction. It's a big V. So you think about kind of the base of the V, that section is kind of just starting now. So, we're on the second floor of that and that'll kind of continue up probably over the next month or so. It will be a month and a half until it gets really finished framing. So, framing is really moving forward quickly. Things are really shaping up and really looking like a building now, which is kind of exciting. And you can really tell the scale of the building and kind of what it's really gonna look like now. It's one thing we've talked about before. It's one thing to see something in plans or in some kind of really kind of computer generated rendering, but to actually see the building footprints on the site where it's going to be, and kind of see how it's going to fit in to the site is really exciting to see.
Dave Blanks: Absolutely. That's great. So, when's the final delivery date for Laurel Creek? I know we're still a ways away.
Matt Dull: Yeah. So the final delivery is for the fall semester. So we should get the building around the end or July, that gives us a couple of weeks to get the student staff and professional staff moved into the building and then start moving in for the fall semester for 2021. So, it feels like a long time away to say, you know, August 2021, but it will be here before we know it. So yeah, it's coming quick. Things are going great with the framing piece. Of course, as we finish up the framing, as the floor gets finished, we're following up with that electrical rough-in and the plumbing rough-in that's kind of following now on some of the lower floors and we'll be continuing up the building. So we start with framing, then we do our electrical and plumbing rough-ins up through the building. You'll also start to see kind of in the month ahead, once we start finishing the framing on especially that section that's closest to Trivette Hall, you're going to start seeing roof installation in the first week or two of November. And you'll also start to see some window installation. So, that's kind of next, as a way to kind of move towards drying in that building as we enter into the winter season. So, we'll start getting a dried-in building here as we move in the next month or two months or so.
Dave Blanks: Awesome. Yeah, that's not long at all, when we'll be seeing the roof work start ... November.
Matt Dull: Yeah. It won't be long at all. So, I think we mentioned before where we're doing something a little bit different this time around I think that's helping us move both the timeline of the construction to be a little more timely and then also just the quality, we're doing panelized walls. So they are all being prefabbed and then craned in on-site and installed on-site. So you're going to put the product that's got less exposure to elements because it's being able to be covered up quickly, because you're moving through that very rapidly because you're not actually having to field install all of the lumber and all of the steel and everything on-site. It's all kind of panelized and trucked in similar to kind of what we did ... it's a different system, right, but it's similar to when we talked a long time ago, it feels like now, about the parking deck. That was a prefab concrete structure and that was prefabricated off-site and then brought in and then craned into place and installed in place. So, much smaller scale, but a very similar type system where it's panelized and then installed on-site. So there's a lot less people needed on-site every day, which really, you know, that also helps kind of in the reality of where we are with COVID, just having a lower density of people on-site, construction workers on-site. So we're hoping that helps there. And then also just the timeliness and then the quality you get when you're able to, you know, build a wall or a section of a building indoors, climate controlled, perfect environment ... you end up with a little bit higher quality product hopefully by the end. So yeah. So lessons learned from kind of the first phase, and we're just applying those over to the second phase.
Dave Blanks: And it's not quite as in-depth a pre-construction as we did with ... what was the residence hall that we did before that, that you said it was like putting Lego blocks into place?
Matt Dull: Yeah, Mountaineer Hall. We prefabricated, you know, the entire room and the room across from it. So we included the room, part of the hallway and the room across from it. They're like hotel rooms — double occupancy bedroom with its own bathroom. And so you're plopping these down through the whole building. It had the electrical already done; it had the drywall in; it had plumbing kind of rough-ins in. It was kind of that next level of prefab you can do, not just panelize, but you are actually talking about an entire prefabricated unit that you are pulling off a truck and kind of putting the building together. And then you go in and do all your finish work once it's actually installed. So we're not quite at that level.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. Somewhere between those two.
Matt Dull: Yeah. Somewhere between constructing it all in the field, but not all the way over to a totally manufactured unit that you're putting together and then just doing the finishing work when you're actually in the field.
Dave Blanks: I haven't seen the latest pictures for it, but we'll check those out on the Future site as well. What else do you want to cover today, Matt?
Matt Dull: Yeah, just a few other things. Justice Hall demolition. That's been ongoing. That's been part of our podcast for the past three or four months, and the building itself is gone. I don't know if you've been over there. Well, you drive by there every day.
Dave Blanks: I have noticed that. It is all down.
Matt Dull: Yeah. So the building's gone, there's a good amount of debris that's left. So that's really what's left now hauling off that debris from the building. And that will continue through the month of October and probably a week or two into November, but hoping to get that finished up here in the next couple of weeks. And then then just getting the site ready for New River Hall, which is Building 400. So yeah, just getting that site prepped for the next part of the project.
Dave Blanks: I cannot believe we're already talking about that. I mean ... gosh!
Matt Dull: Oh, I know! When we started doing the podcast, you know, which has been several years now, I guess, because I think we started right really right about the time when we started Raven Rocks and Thunder Hill —
Dave Blanks: Correct.
Matt Dull: — would have been like in January of 2019.
Dave Blanks: So many conversations about construction. Anything else we want to cover today, Matt?
Matt Dull: I think that's kind of the main things. Again, just still progressing on the design phase and getting that finalized and all the approvals for New River Hall, and just getting ready for starting on construction on that next.
Dave Blanks: Awesome. Well, Matt, good to talk to you again and we will do it again soon.
Matt Dull: Absolutely. Thanks, Dave.