Fall 2016 Update
The kitchen and common area will only be opened in mid-November, significantly behind our original prediction. The soil conditions under Building A were worse than projected and significant time was needed to assess the situation, come to agreement and validate the solution before entering the loud noisy period to actually fix the issue. Construction is a combination of planning, projecting, measuring and engineering to bring you to the actual work by experienced craftsman who turn the plan into reality. However, the reality of the construction work is full of noise, flying dust and dirt, and the inevitable hazards created by the process. There is constant vigilance regarding health and safety issues that are monitored by the project contractor, construction workers, inspectors, board and committee members, visitors and residents. Our residents have been through quite a lot.
Despite the challenges, our epic construction project is marching forward and by the close of this year the buttresses and improvements to ensure Buildings A and B are structurally sound will be complete. Renovation of two thirds the individual units will be done, other than “punch” list items that will be done at the end of the project.
Additionally, Wi-Fi will be available throughout the entire project, including each unit; two new offices; a basement lounge with accessible restrooms, beverage bar, and computer server room will be complete. We even have furniture being delivered for this portion of the renovation. The kitchen, dining room and common area will be available for use by the end of 2016 and sooner barring unforeseen circumstances.
At our cost, all of the residents in Buildings A and B needed to move to temporary housing during the last several months, but each one of them will be back in their renovated home before Christmas. The Building C residents will have their units redone during the first quarter of 2017.
Also during the Winter, the boiler (finally!), roofs and solar arrays will be replaced. Following this work we can concentrate on the outdoor common area and garden plots for the residents.
The project should be finished on time in April 2017, a few months before our Fiftieth (50th) Anniversary!!
We look forward to sharing our progress with you again soon.
Spring 2016 Update
Through the winter much of the Project work focused on identifying issues that could enhance the lives of our residents that were not strictly building issues, and improving the overall flow of the facility that makes more sense for our residents, visitors and staff. These items include ensuring we will have Wi-Fi throughout the facility, upgrading the media systems, computer and digital media, adding office space and improving the common areas and kitchen.
The Site Operations Committee is responsible for oversight for the project: this is a synopsis of the key work done and to be done.
Unfortunately, soil conditions inferior to those predicted by our engineers have necessitated re-engineering and are delaying progress in that area. The good news is the footings for the buttresses in Building A have been started. As one of the Buttresses is right in the middle of the kitchen, food service will be impossible until the problems are resolved. Allowances were made in the over-all budget and at this point, we expect to finish on time. Meanwhile work has begun on the foundations of Building 2.
Some of the sewer system in building A has been replaced, the IT infrastructure has been replaced, and the stairs between Buildings A & B have been demolished to make way for new stairwells. The rest of the work to improve the major systems such as electrical, plumbing and the life safety issues will be engaged as the structural work progresses.
The biggest logistic challenge is presented by the apartment refurbishing. The plan is to move tenants out to off-site housing while replacing the kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, lighting, and built in cabinets of each unit. Every unit will get new paint, appliances and Wi-Fi connection as well.
This will be done in flights of ten contiguous units. The first flight, on the third floor of Building A is underway. Over the next eleven months we will continue through the rest of the apartments in Building A, followed by Building B and finally Building C.
A key consideration is for the residents to once again have their dinner meal service prepared by the in-house chef and served on real plates and silverware back in our kitchen. Since November the meal service was supplied by a caterer using paper and plastic dishes and utensils. We are very fortunate to be located next to the Universal Unitarian Church that graciously hosted our residents for dinner, but there is no place like home.
The finishing touches are being applied to the dining commons and the new offices. These areas will be reopened soon. Over the next eleven months the apartments in the three buildings will be refurbished and then, with another month of finish work and landscaping and we will be done stable, strong, efficient and ready for the next 56 years.