Director of Facilities Services Scott Maust says that the demolition process in renovations to the A-Core has been largely completed. He described the project as now being in the process of laying out rooms, installing mechanical equipment and putting in sprinkler and electrical systems.
“It’s a major project you know, there was a lot of demolition, saw cutting, jack hammering, about every loud noise you could think of. Dust and some asbestos abatement. But everything went really really well,” Maust said.
Maust also stated that this week will see the beginning of steel being set on the addition to the east side of the A-Core of SMC. The project is said to remain on schedule to be substantially completed by December.
While the project will not be fully completed before Homecoming, Maust stated that Knox does hope to be able to arrange tours of the updated central core facility during that time period. Classes in the remodeled area remain set to begin in Winter Term of next school year.
Maust described the construction project as not having been met with any major challenges, noting that it has remained on budget with only a minimal amount of the contingency budget being used so far.
“Contingencies are what we build in for the unforeseen … something is behind the wall that you didn’t know was there. So we’ve been very fortunate there really hasn’t been any major surprises,” Maust said.
While Maust says that he has heard complaints about certain aspects of the construction, he felt they had been successful in responding to and handling the concerns that have been raised with the project.
“Still a fair amount of dust … that ought to be getting less and less everyday since they’re putting stuff back together,” Maust said. “… we tried to keep the dust down as much as possible. We tried to maintain accessibility to all the wings and stuff to minimize disruption.”
Maust felt that the project has moved forward without trouble in part because of the established relationship between the school and the contractor, P.J. Hoerr, with whom Knox has worked on projects ranging from the Alumni Hall to the Beta House renovation.
“They know us, their guys know us, they really like working for Knox College. They go the extra mile for us,” Maust said.