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Construction Chronicles

Ribbon Cutting Fall Festival!
Summer 2023
Ok, we admit it. It was really hard to keep up with the construction progress on this page throughout the spring semester. We were having too much fun in school and spent all our energy there. Meanwhile, the contractors made amazing progress. We're happy to say that we are on track for our October ribbon cutting. It is hard to believe we have come so far in just a year.  Take a scroll through some of the updated progress pictures, though be advised, progress moves faster than we can document it!
February 13-17
We had an awesome Topping Out Celebration this week. Topping Out ceremonies are a long-standing tradition in construction, commemorating the completion of a building's structure. After some words from Dr. Sarena, Levi (contractor site superintendent), and Mr. Steve, the 8th graders added their signatures to the beam.  (K-7 students had signed the day before.) Then, students yelled "ArtSpace" three times to signal the crane operator to lift the beam into place. It was phenomenal energy and a meaningful moment. Next, the roof will start going up and the concrete floors on the top level will be poured.
February 6-10
Steel is here and going up fast.  You can start to see the building take shape!  Check out these drone shots.  We're looking forward to the Topping Out Celebration, happening next Thursday!
Drone shot, steel installation
January 23-31Upper level corner
The backfilling of the upper level is complete!  The area is ready for footers and concrete.  It is really muddy because of all the rain.  Steel will start going up the week of February 6th and we cannot wait.  These pictures show half of the upper level.  This corner will be the dance studio. The opposite corner, facing the field, will be the visual art classroom.
Graded top floor
Think back (or scroll down) to the groundbreaking ceremony, when staff and board members brought a bag of dirt from home or other meaningful place to add to the school's foundation.  This second picture shows exactly where that dirt was placed.  There where the outline notches in is the front door and foyer area.  Under it is a proud history and a solid foundation.
January 9-13
First, a special thanks to the workers who poured the concrete slab Tuesday.  They stayed late to finish the job so we could stay on schedule and not lose time due to the winter weather. Next, you'll see the crew grading and backfilling the top floor, readying that for the next concrete pour.  When our friends from Tennoca are on site next week, they'll do a bit to remediate the muddy parking lot.  Later, footings will take shape for the top floor over the basement.  
Then... STEEL.  That will be a major step in the process and is scheduled for early February.  That's when we'll really see the building take shape.  The culmination of that phase is the Topping Out Ceremony, where students and staff sign their name to the last piece of steel and watch as it is hoisted into place. Anticipated at this time for mid-February. 
New Year, New Progress!
We've been so busy, it has been hard to keep you updated on our progress. Big things are happening on the job site.  In the past month, the team has completed the lower level foundation walls, underground rough-ins, upper level foundation prep, and perimeter foundations.  Duke Energy has also placed two new power line poles so a few others can be moved.  The rest of January will be more foundation work on the upper and lower levels.  We're looking forward to February when we'll start to see the steel structure take shape!  As a safety reminder for all - although the progress is exciting to see and the machinery is fun to watch... stay off the fence.  The holes you see cut into the blue screen are wind vents, not windows.
While this work is happening outdoors, the design team is also finalizing the details of the work that will be happening in our main building.  Don't forget we'll be moving and renovating our library and multipurpose spaces.  More on that soon!
October 17-21
The construction site is active once more!  This week, the team began working on the foundation of the building.  You can start to see how the building will have two very different levels.  The classrooms are on the top level, which will be at the same level as the street and our current building.  So the contractors will be adding dirt to make that area higher than it is now.  The lower level of the building is where we have storage and bathrooms.  That is on the same level as the field, so you will see them digging out to make that area lower.  
Meet the Team! 
Headshot 2
Meet Levi! Levi is the superintendent at Frank L. Blum Construction. Levi works to ensure quality control and project assurance, while bridging the gap between the sub-contractors and the design team. He helps the construction process by staying in contact with the client, as well as coordinating the integral parts of the construction process.
Levi looks forward to finding unique ways to engage ArtSpace students throughout the building process! 
Meet RJ! RJ is currently working on the architectural design aspect of the new Arts building. His main focus is planning, coordinating, and designing the new Arts building.  This includes communicating with electrical and mechanical counterparts, the plumbing company, and making sure there is clear communication with the contractors.
RJ is looking forward to witnessing the project move forward and seeing ArtSpace receive a new addition to their school! 
Headshot 3
Meet Cory! Cory is the project manager with Frank L. Blum Construction. His focus is getting the sub-contractors lined and up and making sure the budget is aligning with the construction process. Cory loves building schools because of the positivity and opportunities that schools bring to communities.
Cory looks forward to seeing all the ArtSpace students smiling and enjoying new building!
August 29- September 16
The construction fence was completed at the beginning of September.  You may not be seeing as much machinery moving this week, but the contractors are hard at work collaborating with subcontractors.  They are skill-based professionals, focused on one part of the bigger job.  Electricity, plumbing, masonry, and roofing are examples of these professional trades.  We expect to see "boots on the ground" in the coming weeks, beginning the work on the foundation.
In the next Construction Chronicle entry, you'll be learning more about our Frank Blum Contractors, our general contractors for the project.  
FenceAugust 22-26
Students came back this week!  Teachers spent time in class reviewing outdoor safety rules.  Some classes had lessons on the field and talked about the construction project.  This week, the construction fence was completed on the field side, with a nice privacy screen.  Why does it have holes in it?  The slots reduce "wind loading" - keeping the air/wind from creating unsafe pressures on either side of the fence.  On the other side of the field, our 8 foot wooden privacy fence was completed.  It makes our play area feel nice and secure.  Our general contractors, Frank Blum Construction, also put up a small trailer.  This is where the project manager and site superintendent will have all the building plans and where the crew will meet to plan out their work.  The site superintendent oversees the work and the crews on campus.  He collaborates with the school staff to so that we are all working as a team.  Next week, the contractors will finish the rest of the fence and prepare their work area.
August 15-19Groundbreaking
Wow! What a week!  We had our official groundbreaking ceremony on Friday with our staff, boards, and special guests.  It was special to have the previous two directors of the school join us - Dr. Tony and Ms. Lori.  Staff, board members, and alumni student council members each brought a bag of dirt from home or other meaningful place to add to the school's foundation.  This was special because it was poured into what will be the heart of the building, a symbol of how this project is more than a building, but a collection of its people.
In other construction news, the crews finished the runoff pond and took down the overgrown trees.  The parking lot is being graded (leveled) for better parking.  You'll also notice a new walking pathway for staff.  This is temporary, but helps them walk safely from the parking lot to the building.  We have a beautiful new construction sign going up so that everyone can see what the building will look like.
In the coming days, the construction fencing will be finished.  We will also have a new wooden privacy fence between us and our neighbors.
August 8-12
Field work
Tennoca, our site work contractors, are beginning work on the erosion/ run off pond.  They also started staking out where the construction fence will go.  This fence will be 8 feet tall and will go all the way around the project area to keep everyone safe.  The project area has to include space for materials and equipment.  It is called the "laydown area."  It may take up a bit of the field, but don't worry - there's still plenty of space to play on the playground, basketball courts, and outdoor classrooms.  Teachers will be reviewing safety rules with all students the first week back.  When the building is done, they remove the fence and run off pond and will fix everything up good as new.
Next, they'll be grading (leveling) the parking lot and cutting down the overgrown cypress trees.  The trees are also in a bad spot with the power lines and parking lot.  It may be sad to see them go for now, but we will replant trees when the construction is done.  
August 1-5
This was a very busy week, even if nothing happened on the ground.  This was the week all the paperwork was submitted and signed.  The financing from the bank and the contract with the builder was finalized.  This picture shows the PACE Board Chair, Candace and the FACE Board Chair, Lacy signing the official documents.  
Official Signing