Expansion Update! [October 2011]

It’s only been a month since the last Expansion update, but there are plenty of exciting developments to report.

The view from the corner of San Jacinto and Hermann Park Drive.

Spit and Polish.

Both the corridors among the lower level classrooms and conference spaces and the Paleo Hall have undergone seven passes with increasingly fine grit from a group of floor polisher-sanders. The intense polishing will seal the pores of the concrete, creating an impervious finish that does not require sealing (and resealing.) Not only will they look terrific, but the floors in these areas will also be durable and low maintenance.


Every Lobby Must Get Stone.

The design team has selected beautiful green and black stone slabs for the walls flanking the three new passenger elevator openings on each level. The stone compliments the ceramic tile, stainless steel, and carpet choices within the elevator lobbies, and it also provides an aesthetic continuity with the stone presently grading the elevator lobbies and other feature walls of the existing museum.


This month in the Duncan Family Wing’s version of the Secret Life of Buildings, the contractor has been installing miles and miles of low voltage wire, connecting temperature and humidity sensors, lighting control, and life safety and fire alarm strobes and sensors. These building controls will enable the museum staff to monitor the new wing’s spaces for safety and comfort – of both the visitors and the permanent and special artifacts – making adjustments automatically to ensure the optimal environment is maintained. Automated controls also help the building’s systems run more efficiently, keeping operating costs down.

Gimme Some Skin.

At last we are back to enjoying exciting developments that are easily observable from outside the construction fence. Over the past several weeks, the exterior scaffolding has come down – starting on the east side and winding around to the south before turning back up the west side. This activity has finally revealed the beautiful travertine panels along the southern and western façades.

Be sure to check out our updated flickr set (new photos at the bottom!) for more details on the project’s recent progress. The building is literally changing daily, both inside and out.

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About Susanna

Susanna joined the HMNS Expansion project team in October 2009 as the museum’s representative during construction of the new wing, which is scheduled for completion in 2012. When she’s not laughing her head off at the comic stylings of the HMNS Building department (while trying to get some work done) Susanna is also principal of The Sarrazin Group, a real estate investment and management company, and is pursuing her MBA through the weekend program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Follow the progress of the HMNS Expansion project through her monthly updates, which she hopes will make her as big an internet star as Zac.

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