Construction Update 11/04/2019

New Tower. The loading dock was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday last week for backfilling of gravel around the sub-basement and basement walls. Unfortunately, weather has slowed installation of waterproofing and insulation on the upper part of these walls. Our Halloween snowstorm has left heavy wet snow around the tops of these walls, water is draining continually down the walls, and waterproofing will not adhere to a wet surface. The plan was to complete backfilling Tuesday of this week, but the last part (backfilling up to the level of University Avenue) cannot be done until waterproofing can be installed.

deliveries and waterproofing occur as the building is constructed

The construction team is preparing for large concrete pour this Thursday on the part of the second floor that will become the information commons (library). Last Friday the area below had been enclosed with plastic sheeting and was being heated by a propane-fueled heater to melt the snow off the area where concrete will be poured this week. It was nice and warm inside the plastic enclosure, but snowmelt water was dripping everywhere.

a heater and plastic are used to melt snow


Last week a large steel plate that will be part of a form into which a reinforced-concrete shear wall will be poured was installed. A shear wall is an engineering feature that prevents racking of the building. Columns supporting reinforced concrete floors are equivalent in two dimensions to a square structure: for example, a square of 2×4 lumber nailed together. It is easy to move the top of such a square horizontally (to rack the structure). However, nailing a square of quarter-inch plywood to all four 2x4s stops the racking. The shear wall, about 10 feet wide, serves a similar purpose. It is located just outside the wall at the end of the main corridor past the undergraduate office on the first floor of Daniels. Last Monday holes were drilled in that wall to mount brackets supporting the shear-wall form. This special, steel-plate form is needed because conventional wood forms are too thick to fit between the shear wall and the north end of the remaining part of Daniels. This form will be used on each floor and then raised to the next floor—all the way up to the top of the tower.

Man working behind steel wall

steel plate on the ground

Shutdowns and Closures. Last Friday natural gas was shut off in the Daniels wing so that Madison Gas and Electric could install gas service to the construction site. Unfortunately, it was only after the MG&E crew arrived that they informed the con­struction team that gas to our building needed to be shut off to install the new service. Hence the very short notice about the gas shutdown.

On Friday, November 8, and Wednesday, No­vember 13, North Mills Street will be closed between Conklin Court (the alley) and University Avenue. Access to Conklin Court will be from West Johnson Street. On Thursday, November 14, North Mills Street will be completely closed between West Johnson Street and University Avenue. An additional crane for the construction site will be delivered and assembled in North Mills Street on the 14th

Loading Dock. The loading dock is scheduled to be closed Thursday, November 7 for a concrete pour on the second floor (library area). The closure on Tuesday, November 5 for additional backfilling has been canceled. There may be brief closures at unpredictable times.

This information is up to date as of Friday afternoon. Email bulletins will be provided as needed.

John Moore and Bob McMahon