Friday, January 30, 2009

The Second Wall-raising

Sue sent me the photos below last night. Here's her description of what is going on.

When Paul and Larry arrived at 10 AM Thursday the workmen had already raised the wall in the northwest corner. [See previous blog entry.] About 1 PM I was there to see them raise the next two segments along the north side [of the classroom wing]. ...

The architect, Terrell, and Lauren, his main person on this job, were there. Warren and they were consulting on the plans. They also helped with the walls. The walls were very heavy, so everyone there helped with the raising.

Larry and Paul took down the organ speakers and platform. Later, they helped raise the south wall for the nursery. It's beginning to look like a building, except for the very muddy floors.

In the last photo, Terrell and Lauren are between Larry and Warren.

Our first wall

The north wall of the offices at the front of the new building is standing, and the crew is hard at work on two more walls. One looks to be the north wall of the classroom wing. And one may be the south wall of the nursery, although that will need to tie into the sanctuary building in the narthex area.

Meanwhile, all those big ditches around the perimeter of the buildings have been filled in. Still muddy, though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We've been framed

Stop by the construction site Wednesday after noon, and, Warren says, you ought to see the first framed wall of our new building standing upright. Vitaly, the chief framer, was working on the wall all day Tuesday with the frame flat on the decking,

Meanwhile, the rest of Steve's crew has nearly finished the decking on the new classroom wing, once known as Bruce Hall. Then, they'll be doing more framing.

Around the foundations of the building are two drainage systems: At the bottom, perforated plastic pipe sits in gravel ready to drain ground water away. Above that - and also in gravel - is a system of non-perforated plastic pipes connected to the downspouts. This takes all the rainwater off the roofs. Warren and Edgar got that installed and mostly covered with gravel Tuesday before the rain hit, turning the site muddy. The Bobcat they were using to move the gravel (see the bottom slideshow in the previous post) doesn't work in the mud. The final bit will be moved by shovel and wheelbarrow.

Next, Warren will put some bales of hay around the piles of dirt on the street side of the sanctuary to absorb muddy runoff. Then, he'll start some demolition in the narthex to figure out just how it will tie into the new construction. Then, it's on to meetings with electrical, plumbing and HVAC subcontractors to nail down prices and timing.

But, Warren says, we are now out of the ground without major problems and that's a very good sign.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Slip, sliding away

Sunday after service this is what the new building's just completed floor looked like, thanks to an overnight snowfall. The shine on the floor doesn't come from wax. It was as wet and slippery as could be. And really cold. Warren announced during Sunday worship that the dance was postponed temporarily.

Undeterred, Warren went back after church to try to use the Bobcat to continue backfilling the drain ditches. Here's a video.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ditches, decks and kitchen sinks

Saturday, Jan. 24, was a busy day at the construction site. The Exodus team led by Dan Carey and Mary Ann Gibbons were getting the next to last loads of stuff out of the sanctuary building.

On Monday, or thereabouts, Warren will start stripping the sheathing off the frame of the narthex so it can be tied into the new framing. Steve's crew could begin that as soon as Monday.

Also, Saturday, Steve's crew was out in full force finishing most of the decking.

In addition, Warren and Edgar were installing drain tiles, catch basins and gravel in the drainage ditches dug during the week.

Ditching the dirt

This past Thursday, Jan. 22, the church rented a mid-size power shovel and operator to come in and dig the remaining drainage ditches we needed. Mostly these were around the sanctuary building and extending out from it. Footing drains were already in place around the new construction, but some serious digging was needed to drain rain completely away from all the buildings. Steve's crews continued work on the decking.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On deck

Here are a few pictures from Monday afternoon showing progress in getting decking down on the front part of the new building. The photos show the main floor in counter-clockwise views from the northwest corner of the building around to a shot looking back across the decking toward the northwest corner. The last image shows the pony wall supporting the I-beams that will support the new nursery off the narthex.

Here are some photos from Friday. They show Warren finishing the concrete floor for the utility basement.

Friday, January 16, 2009


The photos below from Thursday morning show installation of the I-beams that will support the floor in the entry way/fellowship area, the offices and the kitchen. By Thursday evening, Warren said, beams were in place over much of the rest of the lower area -- nursery, restrooms and such.

Larry, Paul and Sue have pulled out or hammered down the 17 million staples (sometimes I exaggerate) left in the floor of the classroom wing when the particle board was removed.

Warren expects to lay down plastic, lash up some rebar and pour a concrete floor in the utility basement around noon on Friday, and the city is due to show up for an underfloor inspection Friday afternoon.

The framing crew will begin to put the decking down on Saturday. By a week from this Sunday, Warren is certain we'll be able to have our dance after morning worship. Even some of the wall framing may be up.

Meanwhile, the Exodus crew, including Dan C. and Mary Anne, will be talking about when to schedule a work party to get the remaining good stuff out of the narthex and sanctuary and into storage. That's because, once the floor decking is down and the walls start going up, the framers will want to strip parts of the sanctuary building down to its framing so they can tie the old and new buildings together. The work party will be probably be on a Saturday in one or two weeks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Framing the crawlspace

Warren, plus Steve's framing crew, were on the site on Wednesday morning about 9:30 a.m. when these photos were taken. By the end of the day, Warren hoped to have the I-beams placed on top of the frames. We'll try to stay on top of their progress.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Concrete evidence

Here are some photos that Larry took on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2009, as the concrete for the foundation walls was being poured. I've cropped them to fit the blog's format (or because I felt like it) and captioned them. Forgive me my trespasses.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Particle board, plywood, nails and staples

About 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning after Men's Fellowship, several of us headed over to the church to tear the particle board off the old Bruce Hall floor. We arrived to find that Bram and Paul had nearly finished the job.

Still, there were plywood sheets that needed ripping up. Each, it turned out, were held down with 4,037 (almost) deck nails and, in some cases, glue, too. Larry and Eric attacked these with gusto. I quickly managed to attack only with gasps.

To hold all the debris, Warren added sideboards to his trailer that were twice again as high as you see in the slideshow below.

To return to the particle board, for a moment: Each board was held down with a couple of dozen long staples that stayed in the floor when the soggy boards were removed. Each staple had to be removed or hammered in one by one. Quite a mystical, medieval task. By the time you stood up, you couldn't tell what you'd done. No proof of accomplishment at all. Just sore knees.

Meanwhile, Steve M. and his framing crew were starting to put the first lumber in place. That will lead to new subfloors in just a few days.

A few photos:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It'll be pouring Thursday

Concrete, that is. Warren says the rebar was inspected and approved Wednesday afternoon. The final forms will be erected Thursday morning. From 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday -- about -- the pour will take place for all the foundation walls. If anyone can take pictures, please send me a few for the blog.

Then, Friday, the forms will be stripped. Steve M. and his crew are expected to be on site planning the framing project, too.

On Saturday, we'll need your help. The particle-board subfloor of the former Bruce Hall needs to be ripped off so a new floor can be framed in. This is simple enough that even I can help, Warren says.

Please, click on COMMENTS below this item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help with the Bruce Hall subfloor. Sign in as anonymous, then leave your name in the comment. Warren will be checking to see whom to expect and when.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Taking form

The contractors built many of the forms Monday for the foundation-wall concrete. Most of the rebar was installed, with Warren reporting that some 80 holes were drilled in the existing walls or footings so that steel rebar -- or in some cases anchor bolts -- and epoxy could be placed in the holes. These will make the joint between the existing concrete and the newly poured concrete solid.

Warren expects to call for a city inspection on Wednesday morning or afternoon. The concrete pour would follow immediately on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.

Framing the floors could then begin as soon as the forms are stripped off the concrete. The particle board flooring on the classroom wing will be replaced. While the framing is starting, digging and backfilling of the footing drains can be going on in parallel. Expect it to start next week.

However, we are still looking for a small tractor with both a backhoe and a bucket loader. We've been offered one with a bucket loader, which will be great for backfilling, but would mean digging the footing drains by hand. We'd like to avoid that.

As soon as Steve M.'s crew gets the flooring framed up, they'll want to strip much of the exterior of the narthex down to the framing. So, we'll be needing a work party in the next week or two to finish boxing and carrying lots of stuff from the narthex and the sanctuary into the storage shed, say Jan. 17 or 24. More on that later.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Foundation work

I stopped by the construction site on Saturday and to my surprise Warren and Larry were there working.

Although work has gone slowly during the holidays and the big snowstorm, several forms for the concrete foundation walls are started. Besides, Warren has finished excavation under Bruce Hall and concrete demolition and excavation under the sanctuary, both of which are necessary to pour some new concrete footings.

Much of Warren's effort the past couple of weeks have gone to controlling water. He set up a sump pump in the utility basement area under what will be the new restrooms. Water from all over the site drains into it. From there, it's pumped out to what's left of the Bruce Hall lawn.

One night, however, the drain hose slithered over to the foundation for the new room off the narthex and dumped its water there. That area, of course, drains back into the utility basement. The sump pump became a recirculating pump and by morning we had a several-foot deep Lake Emmanuel. Warren pulled the drain hose back onto the lawn, tied it to a concrete block, and Lake Emmanuel was soon merely a memory.

The concrete forms and additional rebar should be finished this week. Then, as soon as the temperature will be above 40 degrees for a couple of days, the concrete can be poured. After that, a work crew will be needed to install drain tiles all around the outside of the foundations, old and new. And then framing can begin.

Here's a look at how things appeared on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009.