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Downpour loosens watertight schedule

The science center’s water tight milestone has been pushed from March 14 to April 15 due to rain.   |   Stephen Frederick/THE CHIMES

 

The Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health remains set to be water tight by April 15 after being postponed by a downpour of rain earlier in the year.

Milestones of construction 

The water tightening of the building is one of the milestones in the construction of the science center. This milestone includes the water tightening of the exterior walls, the roof deck and windows.

“The milestone is when you get the building what they call dried in. That’s when you know your building envelope is water tight. It doesn't mean that you’ve got all those finishes in place, like brick or even plaster, it just means that you’ve got the membrane on the outside of the building so that when it rains the water isn’t getting in,” said Brian Phillips, senior director for facilities management and science center project manager.

Biola’s general contractor, C.W. Driver, and facilities management calculated 10 rain days into the schedule, which were completely used. To accommodate, they have restructured their schedule to accomplish other tasks during the watertight postponement.

Added work days 

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen rain this much since I’ve been working in construction,” said Scott Kaufman, assistant project manager for C.W. Driver. “We resequenced some of our activities and some of the work being done in the field so that even though it wasn’t some of the work that was supposed to be done during that time, we’re able to get ahead on some of the other items and save some time on the back end.”

There are 120 personnel working on the job daily, all specializing in different skills from mechanical contractors to drywall subcontractors and electricians. The general contractors have added select Saturdays to the schedule for the construction team. Sundays are exempt, according to city ordinance. Construction workers are both pleased and displeased with the addition of Saturday work days.

“It’s a double-edged sword, right? I mean, it’s great because when you work on Saturdays, you get overtime and so it’s a benefit to the guys that are out in the field. At the same time it’s less time you’re spending with your family or doing something else that you want to do,” said Tyler Wenzel, assistant project manager for C.W. Driver.

Working through the delay

Phillips predicts the completion date will not be affected by the delay, since the team has been diligent in shuffling tasks and adding work dates.

Essentially, the science center is safe from any further postponement due to rain.

“If it does rain, we are pretty much to a place where we have the majority of the exterior of the building installed, and that is for the most part watertight, and our roofing has exceeded 50 percent of the building,” Kaufman said. “Even though it could rain and could get into some parts of the building, it won’t get into the areas that we have installed in the building and cause damage or impede construction.”

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