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The fire sprinkler main is open

Lots of progress this week – with dorm room furniture scheduled to be delivered on Friday, July 15 for the 1931 side.  The crews have been busy installing the fire sprinkler system (the item that started this entire project), HVAC equipment, carpet and paint.  Based on all known information at this point, the project is scheduled to be ready for the undergraduates to move in on August 15.

Inspections were approved to start finish work on the 1964 addition.  Drywall has been hung in the dining room, foyer, 2nd floor ceiling and 3rd floor.  Work continues on the bathroom.

The entire building will now enjoy central air.  The cooling equipment sits in the corner of the parking lot – where the ‘new’ and ‘old’ houses meet.  While this location is not ideal, it is the best solution that could be developed given the multiple factors that needed to be considered (including distance from the mechanical room and costs).  We were able to continue to use the boiler that was installed in 1997 for heat.

An individual ‘make-up’ air unit was installed for the kitchen.  This will provide both additional heat and air conditioning for this specific area of the chapter house.  The guys are going to have some cool cooks.   In addition, a new stove and refrigerator are on order for the kitchen.

The new AC has been installed on its pad.  While not ideal, this was the best of many not-so-good options.

Make-up air unit for the kitchen.  This will provide additional heating and cooling.

The living room has been primed with tinted primer.

The dining room has had drywall hung.

The housemother’s bedroom. Due to changes to the women’s restroom (will now be an ADA complain unisex restroom), the housemother’s bedroom gained much-needed, and I’m sure apprecaited, square footage.

Room 200 (formerly 200 and 201) carpet has been installed.  The camera continues not to do the actual colors justice.

Room 302 (formerly 303).

The 1964 addition has a little ways to go — this is taken in the study room of the new 309 (formerly 310 and 311), standing on the south wall — looking to the north.

The poor back lot took a beating and is scheduled to be paved next week.  The cement pad at the top of the photo is the location of the new transformer that will be installed next week as well.

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Refinished dining room tables

The painters have finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the 1931 building. The camera is not doing the colors justice – the hallways and individual sleeping rooms are light beige with the study rooms a light brown.  Carpet should be installed next week.

Mechanical and electrical rough-ins continue in the 1964 addition.  Fire sprinklers are being installed in the entire building.

Lincoln Electric System buried the power line last week.  While it is nice to have this line concealed, the downside is the back lot took a beating.  Luckily, as they dug a trench from the pole to the back of the 1931 building, no surprises were found (such as a buried fuel tank).

A new stove and refrigerator has been ordered to replace the 1964 appliances.  The fraternity’s freezer is relatively new and will be reused.

The board was able to contract with Cornhusker State Industries to custom build dorm room furniture (will be installed in the completed rooms next week).  CSI also refinished the dining room tables and a few other wood pieces from the chapter house.  The dining room tables look brand new and are ready for another 50 years of FIJIs celebrating lunch and dinner together.

Room 200 — the study room and sleeping room has been painted.

Room 401 (old 4 south) — the hallway that leads to the main study room. The sleeping rooms  are off to the right. 

The bathroom on the 1931 building — 3rd floor — ready for final finishes.

Mechanical and electrical rough-ins. Photo is taken on 2nd floor — looking west into room 210 (old 212 and cleaning closet).

3rd floor bathroom, 1964 addition — plumbing rough-ins are installed.  Drywall should start soon.

Fire sprinkler rough-ins on the 3rd floor, 1964 addition.

The 1964 appliances have been removed and new ones are on order.  The kitchen layout will remain relatively the same.

The poor back lot has seen better days — LES dug a trench from the pole in the middle of the photo to the back of the 1931 building to install a new power main.

Framing on 3rd new

Wood studs and beams are being framed in on the 3rd floor of the 1964 addition. The original plan was to install cinder blocks, but the project engineer put a kibosh to that when the original manufacture of the floor joist system was not able to find records to confirm it the floor was designed to carry that kind of load. The modified plan calls for wood studs to be used, along with a handful of wood beams, to carry the load of the roof structure.

The heating and air conditioning work is being finished on the 1931 building.  For the first time, the entire building will be able to experience the joy of central air. Each room is equipped with its own fan coil unit — which will provide cool air in the summer and fall and heat during the winter.

The 1st floor and basement ceilings have been finished and painting will begin next week.  All of the rough-ins on the 1964 addition should be complete next week and ready for inspection.

Ceilings and drywall work is complete in the living room.

Fancoil units have been installed in the 1931 building.  This is taken in room 401 (old 4-South) — southwest corner.

Drywall will start next week in the dining room.

Carpeting starts

Carpet installed in room 300.A

The 1931 building final finishes continue – carpeting is being installed in sleeping rooms, the living room and basement drywall should be finished this week and the painter is scheduled to return next.  The plan is to refinish the 1st floor original hardwood floors after the painter is done.

As noted last week, the 3rd floor and roof of the 1964 addition did not meet current building codes.  A plan has been developed and approved to  install additional support beams – framing should begin next week.

Ceilings will be installed next week in the dining room and 2nd floor of the 1964 addition next week.

The project is on target for an August 15 finish date.

2nd ‘old’ bathroom — standing in the southwest corner (where the showers use to be) looking to the northeast.  Each bathroom will have two private shower stalls.

Drywall work continues in the living room and should finish this week.  Insulation was installed in the exterior walls.  The cove above the 2nd set of windows conceal the heating and air conditioning systems for rooms 200 and 201.

Workers install the ceiling system in the dining room.  The drywall can not be screwed directly to beams as that alters the structural integrity — so instead they screw the drywall to these channels — which also helps reduce sound transmitting from floor to floor.

The new fire sprinkler shut-off valve.

Doors will be installed to the 1964 addition fire escape. In addition, any window within 10 feet of the fire escape must be a fire-rated window. These non-operable windows have a wire mesh imbedded in the glass.  In the event of a fire, this would delay the window from breaking under — thus allowing the residents to safely exit the building using the fire escape.

Is FIJI building a pool?

Passersby on R Street may be wondering what FIJI is doing with all the digging?  Is it a pool?  Nope.  Is it a ditch? Nope. Is it a moat? Nope (but I wish). It’s the primary reason this entire project started – fire sprinklers.  A dedicated water source is required for fire sprinklers and was installed this week. The fire sprinkler equipment will be located in the old bomb shelter.

The 1931 side of the house is nearing completion. The drywall crews moved to first floor and basement this week and painters have been to work on 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors.  The tile crew has finished the ‘old’ bathrooms.  The side of the house should be finished in the next few weeks.

The 1964 ‘new’ side – that’s another story. Third floor framing is currently on hold while the architect and structural engineer address existing structural concerns based on the original construction.

Next week ceilings will be installed on 2nd floor, new electrical service is being brought into the building and hopefully, the 3rd new framing will begin.

New windows have been installed in the 1964 addition.

Ceiling is up in the basement.  Fire code required the old exposed beams to be covered.

2nd ‘old’ bathroom — tile work is complete.

The entire house has new plumbing — this is take in the house mother’s living room — looking up to the plumbing for the 2nd old bathroom.

1931 building hallways have been painted.

Plumbing rough-ins have started on the 1964 addition — this is taken in the 2nd new bathroom — looking at the west wall (where the trash can use to sit). This will now be where the sinks are located.

Our trouble child – the 3rd floor of the 1964 addition — Now, I’m not a structural engineer – but it appears that the quite a bit of the roofing structure is resting on the interior walls.  This has caused challenges as the House Corporation changes the layout to the new suite style floor plan.  Stay-tuned on this one…

 

1st floor fire-rated window -- contains a wire mesh to prevent the window from breaking

When you start an extensive project – you expect there to be issues that will have to be addressed.  Sure, we knew there was asbestos that needed to go, fire sprinklers had to be installed even a few ADA issues that would need to be addressed – but, we did not know that we would have to install special windows on the fire escape. These fire-rated windows are specially designed to contain a fire inside the building. In addition to the new exit doors on each floor, these help ensure the safety of our Brothers in the event the building would need to be evacuated. Let’s just say, they cost a pretty penny – but, like the asbestos, it had to be done. 

New windows were installed in the 1964 addition on 2nd and 3rd floors. With these energy-efficient windows and all the new insulation, the chapter should save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars each year in energy bills.  Last school year, the electricity bill ran between $1,000 to $1,400 a month and gas was $600 (without the boiler) to $3,000 (with boiler). It will be interesting to see how much these decrease.

Painting started on the 1931 side of the building this week.  All rooms are being painted the same color. To help keep the property looking nice for years to come, the house corporation is making several changes to the rental agreements – one of them being that undergraduate brothers will no longer be able to paint their room. 

The tile is down in both ‘old’ bathrooms and rough-in work continues in the ‘new’ bathrooms.

Rooms will be heated and air-conditioned using fan coil units, which arrived this week and will be installed on the 1931 side over the next few weeks.

New windows installed in the 1964 addition.  The 1st floor windows will go in next week.

A fire-rated window is ready to be installed in room 209 (was room 210).  Any window within 10′ of a fire escape must be fire-rated.

Painting has started in the 1931 building. This is room 300.A (north side of old room 300) and will be a sleeping room.
 
New windows in room 310 (was room 312).
 
Tile work is nearly done in the 3rd ‘old’ bath.
 
Rough-in’s continue in the ‘new’ bathrooms — this is 2nd new — standing at the door — looking to where the toilets use to be located.
Boxes of fancoils are stored in the dining room.
 
Bye-bye old door out of what was room B1 — it has now been bricked up. The stairs are scheduled to be removed when the new pad for the air conditioning equipment is poured.

Tile floor has been installed in the 3rd old bathroom

Finish work started on the “old” side of the build – old is in quotes, because after this project is compete both the old, 1931 building, and the “new,” 1964 addition, will be virtually the same.

Tile work started in the 2nd and 3rd old bathrooms, ceilings are done and painters should move in next week to start painting walls on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the old side of the chapter house.  Windows are also scheduled to be installed next week in the 1964 side of the building and the fire escape windows of the 1931 building.

The City of Lincoln will install a new water line to the building tomorrow for the fire sprinkler system.  The air conditioner compressor unit has arrived.  The 1964 chiller equipment was removed as part of this project. The old chiller has not worked for at least 20 years. The chiller room, located under the kitchen, will be used for storage.

Special thanks to Walter Gerlach (Nebraska 1958) for helping solve the mystery of the brass “More Phi Gam, Less Self” plaque that was found during demolition last February.  Brother Gerlach made two of these plaques (one for each door of the second and third floor bathroom) in foundry located in the basement of Richards Hall.  One of the plaques has been mounted to an exterior column for the Undergraduate Brothers to see as they leave the house and to remind them of this fraternity creed. Thank you again Brother Gerlach for helping solve this mystery.

Windows will be installed next week on the 1964 addition.

Living room ceiling has been installed and will be finished next week.

Patch work will need to be done in the kitchen. Thankfully, the entire ceiling did not need to come down, just select areas to gain access to the heating system. The kitchen will also receive new appliances. If anyone wants to buy the old fridge (heck, if you want to get it out of there) drop the house corporation an email. It works fine, however, the bottom is starting to rust away.

Study area of room 200. The ceiling is done.

Room 210’s (formerly room 212) study area.  This room has two sleeping rooms of this shared area. 

New windows in room 400 (formerly known as 4-North).

The study area of room 401 (formerly 4-South).  This is looking at the south wall of the chapter house.

Walls are going up in the new basement study room (formerly B1). The old stairs will blocked off.

All kinds of new pipes and pumps in the boiler room.

And, the new air condition compressor unit. This will be installed in the next few weeks.