Before a single spade is turned to construct a building, first that building is an idea. And then it is a program. And then it is a design. And then it becomes construction documents, during which time it maybe become a slightly different design. And finally, with all the approvals in hand, it is time to build the building.
For the HMNS Expansion project, museum staff, board members, and project team members spent years preparing and planning for the February 2010 construction start. Preliminary design work by Gensler began at the end of 2006, and general contractor Linbeck was brought in to perform preconstruction services beginning in 2008. And while construction is by far the riskiest (and most expensive) phase of a project, after years of planning, the occasion of groundbreaking results in no small measure of relief for those involved in ferrying the project to that milestone.
So with all the excitement and anticipation built up over several years of planning, the first six months of construction at the HMNS Expansion site might have been a little anticlimactic to some, as eager project participants and spectators waited, and then waited, and then waited some more to see “the hole” for the Expansion wing’s basement level take shape. But rest assured, much was accomplished those first six months, albeit below the surface and behind the scenes, to prepare the site and the museum for all the activity ahead:
HMNS Major Accomplishments from February to August 2010:
Relocation of Existing Utilities at Donor Wing
Removal of Existing Delivery Driveway and Completion of First Phase of Permanent Delivery Driveway
Site Demolition and Rerouting of Underground Utilities
Initial 3’ Cut for the Building Foundation
Installation of 261 Soldier Piles for Foundation System
Forming and Pouring the Pile Cap
But as the project entered its seventh month, the signs of earnest construction activity appeared as the HMNS Expansion work kicked into high gear.
Visible Progress in September!
Arrival of the Tower Crane
Excavation of the Basement Level
Read our Q&A with Susanna from earlier this month for more insight into the construction process, and check back soon for more updates from the construction site.