March/April 2020 | Rio Grande Campus Renovations

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.

March/April 2020 | ACC Highland Phase 2

The Riverbat has been installed on the Paseo canopy. It casts a shadow below that moves across the Paseo throughout the day. Concrete placement on the west side is finishing up. Grading and concrete work will begin shortly on the east side. The chilled water line on the east has been installed, insulated, and inspected.

Electrical conduit and wire work is ongoing while the cyclorama — a wall arced to create the illusion that there is no end — is currently being installed in the TV/Film Studios for Radio-Television-Film. The metal wall panels are almost finished and metal ceiling tile installation will start soon in the Meeting Presentation Hall. The final painting, lighting installation, and concrete floor overlay are nearly complete throughout the entire building. Stair railing installation is nearly complete. Pipe grid and acoustical wall panels are being installed in many areas. Study rooms and study niche seating is complete throughout. Markerboards, tack boards, and display cases are still being installed. Appliances have been installed throughout. Floor and wall protection has been installed in many areas as furniture installation has begun in some office suites and some classrooms.

February 2020 | ACC Highland Phase 2

Interior finishes and specialties are being installed and drywall finishing is ongoing. Overhead acoustical panel installation is ongoing. Cabinetry and built-in desks continue to be installed. Culinary equipment is being installed. Signage installation has begun. Restroom accessory installation is about to begin. Tile work, carpet, and other flooring activities are ongoing. Decorative metal railing posts have been installed at the open stairs and perforated panels will be installed in March. Glass railing at floor openings is complete. Three of the five elevators are complete. Cable tray installation, wire pulling, and pipe insulation are nearly complete.

Exterior metal panel activities are ongoing on the upper paseo. Paseo waterproofing is nearly complete and elevated concrete topping slab will be poured soon afterward. Sitework is currently ongoing in the paseo and on the west side. Sidewalks are being installed. Landscaping and finishes to begin shortly.

February 2020 | Rio Grande Campus Renovations

Persistent rainy, damp conditions slowed the rate of progress a bit in February, but construction continued to progress well.

Spray foam insulation applied to exterior walls has been completed on levels 1 and 2 and continues on level 3. Drywall installation in the electrical rooms on level 0 is complete. About 80 percent of the electrical conduit and air conditioning ductwork has been run overhead on level 3 and is 95 percent complete on the lower levels.

Construction crews are 25 percent complete with roofing the whole building. Despite the bad weather, the entire roof should be installed by the first or second week of March. Once the roof is complete and attached to the parapet walls, the building will be essentially “dried in,” which allows crews to make much more steady progress inside the building with installing drywall and finishing it in other areas of the building.

Crews are in the process of installing the metal clad wood windows on the inward facing atrium walls in both the north and south atrium. The steel windows are being painted and new glazing is being installed window by window. The atrium steel structural frames are 100 percent installed and the suspended ceiling hangers that provide the backing for the decorative ceiling finishes are also 100 percent installed in both atriums. Construction crews are now ready to start installation of the roof pillows, which will dry-in the atriums when their new roofs are completed. This installation should take about 2 to 3 weeks, pending good weather.

The installation of roof penthouse mechanical equipment is complete. Ductwork and piping is now being installed to connect the equipment to chase ductwork, pumps, and chilled water piping. Hardie-plank siding is also now onsite and ready to be installed on the exterior penthouse walls.

In the core of the building, the central stair is now poured with concrete and able to be accessed. On level 0, the main electrical switchgear is being installed in the main electrical room. Electrical lines are being run through pathways underground from this room over to the newly constructed Austin Energy (AE) vault at the northwest corner of the Annex in the north parking lot. The vault is complete and waiting for AE to deliver and install new transformers. This work is also pending the completion of new electrical lines being buried in trenches cut into 13½ Street, which is work being performed by a separate AE subcontractor. These lines will connect the primary AE electrical cabling under Rio Grande Street that serves the whole area to the vault to help establish permanent power for the building. This work will take another 2 or so weeks to complete and the building is expected to have permanent power around April 1.

March 2019 | Rio Grande Campus Renovations

At Rio Grande Campus, crews have completed pouring walls at the north basement mechanical room and are working on electrical and telecom systems. Metal wall framing also has gone up on the second and third floors, walls are being installed in the south atrium, and crews are pouring columns in the campus ACCelerator. In the coming weeks, work will focus on window removal and duct installation.

Crews begin construction

Construction crews have started the next phase of development at Elgin Campus. Site work for the project currently includes moving dirt, trenching, leveling off land, etc. Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed for classes beginning spring 2018.