Despite a brief shutdown and some challenges with delayed deliveries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction marches forward on the Rio Grande and Highland campus projects, which both reached significant milestones in the past month.
Rio Grande Campus Renovations
By Paul Mason, Rio Grande Renovations Project Manager
The COVID-19-related shutdowns have really created a challenge for our team to keep construction progress moving forward, but we've been fortunate that no major issues have arisen thus far, except for feeling the impacts of some delays with construction materials arriving on-site, specifically light fixtures, handrail systems, HVAC equipment and some other finishes. The delay of these items could potentially impact the progress down the road, but we will have to monitor the situation week to week.
As for the construction itself, we reached a significant milestone at the end of March. The building is officially dried in, meaning the roofing is fully installed so that we aren't getting any water into the building. This has allowed us to make steady progress in April and complete interior drywall installation, including taping, floating, texturing, and painting walls on Level 1. We are now working on Levels 2 and 3 and should have all three levels 90 percent complete by the middle of May. We have also completed the subbase installation for all terrazzo flooring that will be poured on Levels 1 through 3. We have started installing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work in the main Library space, which is the last area of the building, other than the penthouse, where overhead work hadn't yet started. On Level 0, network cabling is being pulled in overhead trays to all data outlets in the rooms. All the Level 0 steel windows have been installed and are being sealed and caulked in by next week.
The vault, located northwest of the Annex in the north parking lot is substantially complete. We received our approval for the building final inspection and expect to turn over the building to Austin Energy to install two transformers within the next couple of weeks. We are still tracking for permanent power to be tied into RGC 1000 within the next month or so, which is another major milestone.
In the chiller house and basement of RGC 3000, mechanical system control panels are being set and programmed to all air handling units.
In the north parking lot, new concrete curbs around islands have been cut in, formed, and poured. Two new electric vehicle charging stations will be installed around the end of April.
Highland Campus 2014 Bond Phase 2
By Pamela Collier, ACC Highland Phase 2 Project Manager
The Riverbat has been installed on the Paseo canopy. It casts a shadow below that moves across the Paseo throughout the day Concrete placement on the west side is finishing up. Grading and concrete work will begin shortly on the east side. The chilled water line on the east has been installed, insulated, and inspected.
Electrical conduit and wire work is ongoing while the cyclorama — a wall arced to create the illusion that there is no end — is currently being installed in the TV/Film Studios for Radio-Television-Film. The metal wall panels are almost finished and metal ceiling tile installation will start soon in the Meeting Presentation Hall. The final painting, lighting installation, and concrete floor overlay are nearly complete throughout the entire building. Stair railing installation is nearly complete. Pipe grid and acoustical wall panels are being installed in many areas. Study rooms and study niche seating is complete throughout. Markerboards, tack boards, and display cases are still being installed. Appliances have been installed throughout. Floor and wall protection has been installed in many areas as furniture installation has begun in some office suites and some classrooms.