By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~
Workers involved with the Alter Hall project had continuously worked through the 2014 fall semester in order to achieve the building’s opening date this coming fall.
During the fall, the Physical Plant team finished the concrete frame that began with only one floor being filled and began more work on the exterior frame of the building. The metal frames have recently been put up along with green coverings that were placed over the frames. The green sheets were painted with a black vapor barrier to help keep moisture from entering the building.
“The exterior envelope going around the building is a very critical piece in getting our lead goal design,” head chairman of the Physical Plant Project Bob Sheeran said. “This will make the building very energy efficient.”
Once the walls are painted with the black vapor barrier, the bricks and stone are then placed onto the envelope. Some of the bricks have been placed but are covered up by the scaffolding and plastic that is providing temporary heat to the workers on the site during the cold weather.
On the east side, the scaffolding and plastic have been removed and the brick in now visible for students and staff to view.
Crew members have now begun work on to the west side — in front of the academic mall — and the south side to continue the laying of the bricks.
Workers on the roof are now 75 percent of the way completed, and the interior walls of the building are also in progress. The walls are in place on the ground level and first floor, but the second and third floors are still in progress.
“The other new trade that began this past week (was) the windows. The windows follow behind the laying of the bricks as you can see on the east side,” Sheeran said.
On the east side, glass and aluminum framing, the precursor to windows, can be seen.
Once the windows are complete, the building will have sprinklers installed for fire protection, as well as have its heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems installed.
Plumbing is also being installed along with the electric and several other mechanical systems.
“All of those mechanical systems — the heating, plumbing, electric, fire protection — all happen in conjunction with the walls going up,” Sheeran said.
The elevator development will begin in two weeks while the interior stairs will begin in about a month as well.
“We have had some days were there was ice on the roof and we couldn’t work, and there were days that it was just too cold. But we have had days up in the 40s allowing everything to run smoothly,” Sheeran said.
“We are still looking at finishing the building in June, and then we will move the furniture in during the month of July and be ready to occupy in August,” Sheeran said.
The 2015 fall semester begins on Aug. 24.
Some students say that they’re excited about the new building and cannot wait for it to finally be finished.
“I’m excited to see the completed renovation and more rooms to use for classes and studying,” first-year Mackenzie Stenroos said.
“From working in the Alumni Center and talking to different past students about their experience in Alter Hall, I’m excited to have new classrooms on campus,” first-year Kate Frank said.
Others are proud that Xavier is making more strides in sustainability with the new Alter Hall.
“I am excited that Xavier is making strides in sustainability. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, it is so important for us to be examples of environmental stewardship,” sophomore Gabi Ragusa said.
Students can find more information and watch the construction online at the physical plant website http://www.xavier.edu/plant/Alter-Hall-Transformation.cfm.