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Archive for March, 2011

Late last week we received our building permit from the City of Lincoln. This week the contractors are finishing up the electrical and plumbing rough-ins to allow for insulation and drywall can start next week.

More demo in the basement – what was known as B2 is now gone – the wall between the living area and the beds has been taken down. The far back part of the room will become the new electrical service room. The front part of the room will be a quiet study area and possibly a computer lab. The basement bathroom was cleared and will be replaced with new water-saving fixtures.

Individual shower stalls will be installed next week in the 2nd and 3rd old bathroom. Each bathroom will have two private shower stalls and a small dressing area.

The electrician has been busy installing can lights. The Board decided to use can lights in the rooms and hallways instead of traditional light fixtures. This will avoid the constant battle of replacing broken fixtures.

What was Room B2 — standing in the living room — looking to the south (the old electrical panels are on the wall).  A new wall will be put up in the back to serve as the electrical room.  The floor will be leveled where the beds use to be and this will be a new study/computer room.

Basement bathroom has been gutted.

New shower stalls.  These will be installed next week.

Can light in the new room 200.

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New windows on the old side of the house.

Dramatic changes this week – new windows were installed on the north, east and west side of the 1931 building.  The new windows will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the chapter house.  The existing windows were installed decades ago and had outlived their useful life.  Many of old window vinyl tracks had degraded to the point where it was a battle to keep the windows closed.  New windows are being installed in the entire building – from the 4th floor to the basement.  

The windows on the south side have not been installed. Fire code requires that any window within 10 feet of a fire escape be fire-rated.  These windows cost nearly four times of what the regular windows cost.  And, because it is an old building, everything is a custom size.

In addition to fire-rated windows, openings were cut into the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor to accommodate exit doors. Current fire code requires doors be used instead of the existing windows.

Fire sprinkler rough-ins have been installed.

Sleeping room furniture will be ordered this week.  The order includes 28 extra long twin bunk beds, 6 single beds, 3 lofted singled beds, 30 wardrobes, 30 dressers, 65 mattresses and 25 desks.  The items are built locally and will be delivered and installed in August.

Next week includes inspections of rough in electrical, mechanical and plumbing; insulating; and, starting drywall.

New windows on the east side of the building — next door to ATO.

West side of the house — new windows (and the old windows in the red dumpster).

South side of the building (like the bathroom?) — all of these windows will have to be fire-rated. On the left side of the photo — opening have been cut into the walls to accommodate new exit doors.

New windows in B2.  This will be one of the few three men rooms.

FIJI graffiti – it has been interesting what has been ‘found’ under the walls – including a “More PhiGam, Less Self” bronze plaque. This is in the area formerly known as B1.

2nd floor — will be room 200, looking south into the future room 201. 

New layout for the 2nd old bathroom — the metal walls will house individual shower stalls. The stools will be to the left.  This is taken standing on the south wall (where the sinks will be), looking north (the stairwell is behind the wall).

Standing in the educational area of the future room 300, looking north.

Laundry will move from the basement to 2nd and 3rd floors.  This is where the old sauna was located and will house a washer and dryer.

 The item that started this entire process — rough ins for the fire sprinkler (red pipe).  The Board of Regents has required all student housing (including greek housing) be sprinkled by 2017 — Phi Gamma Delta will be well ahead of the game on this issue.

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Mechanical rough-ins have started

Electrical and mechanical rough-ins started this week. The plan is to convert the existing boiler (installed in 1997) to hot water (currently hot water and steam) and install new air conditioning equipment. Each room will have their own heating and air conditioning units.

The exterior walls have been furred out to accommodate insulation. This will help with the overall efficiency of the building. There is currently no exterior insulation, other than air space. In addition, this will allow new wiring to be installed.

Asbestos removal continues in the basement.

New floor joists were installed in the bathrooms and the floor is down. Several of the existing floor joists had significant notches (up to ¾ the width of the joist) cut into them to accommodate different plumbing and remodels over the past 80 years. This was not safe to install the new bathroom without taking care of this structural issue.

Finally, a new subfloor was installed on the 4th floor. Several of the old floor boards were very thin or cracked. In addition, this separation was required for fire codes.

Next week, the windows for the old side should start to arrive and be installed. They are being replaced with a double pane insulated window.

The asbestos removal continues – this is the tent set up outside of B2.

Exterior walls are being furred out to accommodate insulation and provide a tight seal between levels.

2nd floor — north side — where the hallway continues to the new side. This will be the future site of a laundry room.

Taken in the new Room 200 — from the educational space looking into the two new sleeping rooms. 

The new 3rd Old bathroom — the floors have been replaced.  Plumbing should be installed in the next few weeks.

A new subfloor was installed on 4th floor. This is taken on the south wall — right next to the fire escape.

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From the housemother's living room -- looking up into 2nd and 3rd old bathroom -- up to the roof.

If you walk into the chapter house today, the most striking thing you will find would be standing in the housemother’s living room and looking up and you can see the roof. The floors in 2nd and 3rd old bathrooms have been removed to accommodate a new bathroom layout – which will include private shower stalls and finally fix the flooding issue in the housemother’s room and B1.

At least twice a year, the housemother’s room would ‘flood,’ or more accurately ‘rain’ from the ceiling, which then would drain into B1 – often times damaging contents in both rooms. For the past several years, the flooding was due to pipes going bad inside the walls – both plumbing and heating systems. These are costly repairs, as the plumber would have to make a hole to fix the issue – often times several holes to find the issue – then the wall or ceiling would have to be repaired. Thankfully, ‘moms’ Engelhard and the residents in B1 have been good sports over the years.

The radiators have been removed and recycled – along with the old AC equipment in the basement under the kitchen. This is making room for a new heating and air conditioning system to be installed over the next several months.

The walls are framed on 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors.

Mechanical, electrical and fire sprinkler rough-ins are scheduled to begin this week.

From the 3rd old bathroom — looking into the housemother’s living room.

3rd floor — from Room 300 — looking to the south.

2nd floor — standing by the south wall (Room 203) looking to the north (200).

Basement ceiling is down.

The few items left from the old chiller equipment.

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