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November 2010

November 16, 2010

A Couple of Notices for this Week

Starting on Tuesday, November 16, the contractors will be testing smoke detectors in Legal Research, including all those in private offices. They will start on the ground floor on Tuesday, work in the Reading Room on Wednesday, and in 9th-floor offices on Thursday. When doing the offices, the contractors will knock and ask if it is okay to come in and test the detector. If you are in a meeting, please just let them know when they can return. If you know you have meetings in your office on Thursday or Friday, please let us know so that we can schedule around them. The test does not sound the alarm, so there will be no noise disruption as a result of this certification process.

Final work on the stacks façade will begin this week, starting on the west side of the building, moving next to the south side, and finally to the east. The contractors will be putting in a "swing stage" that gets suspended from the roof and lowered to the locations for work. This means that if you have an office on the side being worked on, you will need to keep your window closed.

New Building Gets Stoned

You've probably noticed the stone going up on the outside of the new building. I thought this might be a good time to talk a bit about what is going on.

Materials

The façade of the building comprises both granite and limestone. The limestone is from the Bybee quarry in Ellettsville, Indiana. Each piece is fabricated precisely to be reassembled on site; the more ornate pieces are still fabricated by hand using pneumatic tools. The granite on the building is from the original quarry used for the Law Quad: Plymouth Quarries in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The warm amber tones of the Law Quad are extremely rare in granite, but were found much more readily in the early 20th century. That is one of the quirks with granite—you really just get what comes out of the ground. We have been fortunate that Plymouth Quarries has worked with us to reserve much of the warm-colored stone for our project.

Putting it All Together

First, the contractors built the stone "mock-up" to test the manner in which they need to build the walls (water protection, insulation, etc.). Our masons are, for the most part, brick masons, and this work is quite a bit different than laying bricks. So the contract manager has hired a "special master," who has worked closely with the masons to teach them this specialized work. He is also on site to monitor the work and makes the rounds of all the areas where granite is being laid each hour. The masons are rotated around on the site and work in different areas each day to make sure there is a balance between the desired randomness and uniformity around the building (if that makes any sense!), and to ensure that no one mason gets into a set and distinguishable pattern.

You've probably also seen the development of the limestone as it has gone up. We have several arches that have been constructed in the past few weeks, piece by piece. Limestone can be tricky, because as any good engineer knows, those arches have to be fairly precise to stay together (they are also anchored to the building), and the individual pieces are heavy, so they have to be lifted into place. You will notice that the limestone on the new building is less ornate than that on the existing building, but we have maintained the same feel. In the Aikens Commons, some of the limestone is more ornate, in keeping with the other existing limestone. Each day, we have, give or take, 50 masons on site working on the buildings. I think they are doing quite a fantastic job!

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

 

November 1, 2010

Have you noticed all the new red-covered smoke detectors around the building? They have been installed as a part of the life/safety upgrade to Hutchins Hall and Legal Research. Throughout this week the contractors will be testing each of these devices, including all those in private offices. They will be working around the class schedule and it takes no more than 5 minutes per detector. They’ll start at the ground floor and once the contractors get up to offices on Thursday and Friday, they will knock and ask if it is okay to come do the test. If you are in a meeting, please just let them know when they can return. If you know you have meetings in your office on Thursday or Friday, please let us know so that we can schedule around them. The test does not sound the alarm, so there will be no noise disruption as a result of this certification process.

Michele Frasier Wing 

—Michele Frasier Wing, '98, Director of Finance and Planning

 

 

 
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