As the new Gates Rough-House rises in place of the former Humanities Building, we thought you might want to track its progress. Here is a month-by-month digest of construction news.February 2020In February, the lower level ceiling structural system of trusses and beams was completed. Once the structure was ready, workers began installing plywood sheeting for the second floor. More than 100 tons of concrete were used to form the perimeter of the north stairway, much of which will be buried in grade.
Exterior facades are substantially finished. With the installation of interior finishes progressing quickly, it’s easy to visualize the finished building.
By the third week of November, the project had transitioned fully into the finishes phase for both the interior and exterior.
The main roof was substantially finished this month. Platform scaffolding on the south facade was dismantled, marking the completion of the "timber curtain wall" (tall glass wall), the exterior ceiling, and the lighting, AV, and fire sprinkler installations above it. An elevator, the third one on campus, was also installed this month.
Sheet metal workers installed corrugated metal roofing in September. Similar to the dining hall, most of this material will soon develop a dark patina, however, in some areas the metal roof is galvanized. This brighter finish is designed to reflect natural light into the building through clerestory windows.
Landscapers planted the south end of the site and construction fences were relocated to make new campus pathways available to the community. Walls and ceilings throughout the building are being enclosed with drywall.
Most of the concrete stairs and walkways are complete. Several large boulders had to be broken up to accommodate the walkways. Weatherproofing of the ceilings is substantially complete—this includes waterproofing and fire barriers.
Wall framing and roof sheeting on the upper level were finished this month. Crews poured concrete for terraced seating in the lecture hall, giving shape to that space.
Construction continued under new coronavirus protocols. Workers undergo daily health screenings and practice social distancing, surfaces are sanitized frequently, and face coverings are now required. Massive glulam roof beams were craned into place this month; crews made the structural connections and began installing the wood framing portions of the roof. Concrete crews poured the upper floor slab. On the lower level, ceilings in the maker space and classrooms were closed.
Even with intermittent rain mid-month, crews were able to continue working; they stretched plastic over the second floor and worked on the lower level. Prior to that, heavy equipment excavated for the upper-level footings. Construction fences were relocated to capture the entire project footprint.
Wood framing of interior walls progressed on the lower level. Prefabricated wall panels accelerated the pace. Heating and air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical trades moved in behind the framers to install building systems on the first floor. Concrete crews formed interior walls surrounding the elevator as well as curved, terraced seating levels in the Lecture and Symposium Hall.
Working one half of the area at a time, a team of 20 concrete workers placed concrete for the lower floor slab. That work was completed during Winter Break. The first batch of structural steel columns was installed. Workers applied waterproofing to the vertical concrete on the outside of the retaining walls to prepare for earth backfill.
A crane lifted forms for the concrete retaining walls into place and crews poured 11 truckloads of concrete into the forms to create the eastern perimeter of the lower floor. Workers relocated the forms to create the walls of the terraced lecture hall.
As the concrete footing pours continued, the crews began forming the cast-in-place concrete walls. Most of the under-slab plumbing and electrical lines were installed.
Concrete pumper trucks arrived this month and began pouring the retaining wall footings.
The County of Ventura issued the final building permit mid-August, clearing the way for construction to progress in earnest. While crews excavated for the new footings, an archaeologist and a Native American monitor watched for artifacts in the excavated dirt.
Crews completed demolition of the Humanities Building and continued building temporary classrooms in the Hills dining hall in July.
Structural demolition of the Humanities Building and the relocation of underground utilities began in June. Repurposing of the Hills dining area for temporary classrooms (as an interim replacement for those demoed in Humanities) began.
While students were away on Extra Day Trips, the Anson S. Thacher Humanities Building was emptied and construction fencing installed around the site perimeter to prepare for demolition. Crews dismantled the interior of the building and salvaged what was salvageable.