Overall, construction is about 85 percent complete.
Laboratory casework installation is nearly complete in the science labs on Levels 1-3. All interior walls on Levels 0 and 1 have been constructed, which includes being taped, floated, textured, and primed. A finish coat of paint has been applied in most locations. On Levels 2 and 3, the walls are all taped and floated and ready for paint. Interior door frames are mostly installed on all levels. Ceiling grid installation is nearly complete on Levels 0 to 2 and partially complete on Level 3. All audiovisual cabling is being roughed-in in classrooms and labs. Rough-in of electrical and data cabling in the walls is complete on Levels 0 and 1 and nearly complete on Levels 2 and 3. Most light fixtures have been set into the ceiling grids on Levels 0 and 1.
We expect Austin Energy to power up the new transformers in the nearby vault, thereby establishing permanent power by the end of July. Next week, all major HVAC equipment will be started up and the main electrical panels will be hot. The commissioning of all mechanical and electrical systems will be the focus of efforts from August through November.
The COVID-19-related shutdowns have really created a challenge for our team to keep construction progress moving forward, but we’ve been fortunate that no major issues have arisen thus far, except for feeling the impacts of some delays with construction materials arriving on-site, specifically light fixtures, handrail systems, HVAC equipment and some other finishes. The delay of these items could potentially impact the progress down the road, but we will have to monitor the situation week to week.
As for the construction itself, we reached a significant milestone at the end of March. The building is officially dried in, meaning the roofing is fully installed so that we aren’t getting any water into the building. This has allowed us to make steady progress in April and complete interior drywall installation, including taping, floating, texturing, and painting walls on Level 1. We are now working on Levels 2 and 3 and should have all three levels 90 percent complete by the middle of May. We have also completed the sub-base installation for all terrazzo flooring that will be poured on Levels 1 through 3. We have started installing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work in the main Library space, which is the last area of the building, other than the penthouse, where overhead work hadn’t yet started. On Level 0, network cabling is being pulled in overhead trays to all data outlets in the rooms. All the Level 0 steel windows have been installed and are being sealed and caulked in by next week.
The vault, located northwest of the Annex in the north parking lot is substantially complete. We received our approval for the building final inspection and expect to turn over the building to Austin Energy to install two transformers within the next couple of weeks. We are still tracking for permanent power to be tied into RGC 1000 within the next month or so, which is another major milestone.
In the chiller house and basement of RGC 3000, mechanical system control panels are being set and programmed to all air handling units.
In the north parking lot, new concrete curbs around islands have been cut in, formed, and poured. Two new electric vehicle charging stations will be installed around the end of April.
Construction teams commemorated the topping-out of Rio Grande Campus on Wednesday, January 22. The event marked an important milestone for the project.
On Level 2, exterior wall spray foam was placed on all facades. Welding of steel roof supports was performed at both atriums and a crane erected the remaining roof-level penthouse steel framing. The science lab air handling units also were placed on the penthouse floor. On the south elevation, exterior metal clad wood windows were installed. Exterior window installation is nearly complete, with the exception of some special arched-shaped windows, which are special orders.The transformer vault foundation was poured and concrete back-up walls have been put up. The exterior brick veneer work has commenced.
Inside Rio Grande Campus, Building 1000, crews continue to pull electrical cables and pipelines for plumbing fixtures in restrooms across all floors. At the south atrium, cloud ceiling steel supports have been hung from the steel roof structure. Fireproofing has been sprayed on the steel structure of the penthouse at roof level. Science lab exhaust steel supports are being welded at the roof. Lastly, metal decking has been applied to the penthouse roof, marking the highest point of new structure on the building.
Across the street, next to Rio Grande Building 3000, the emergency generator equipment was placed over the holidays. The concrete back-up walls have been put up on the generator enclosure. The exterior brick veneer work has also commenced.
All the major flat slab reinforced concrete floors have been poured up to Level 3 in the core of the building. The shoring and formwork was removed last week. The concrete shaft walls for the two elevators have been erected to the roof and topped out. Brick repair and cleaning of the ornamental cast stone continues in both atriums. On the east side, all the window openings have been roughed in with wood blocking and are prepared to receive new windows, which are currently in production and arriving on-site in about a month.
Three construction-manager firm finalists — Flintco, Bartlett-Cocke, and SpawGlass — presented proposals to ACC’s Board of Trustees. Selection is expected by February.