Tower Talk: An interview with Boldt Construction
My name is Shelby Cielak and I’m a junior pursuing marketing and public relations majors. I was recently hired by Boldt Construction as a public relations intern to keep campus informed about The Tower. This means for the next couple of months, I am going to be the voice between Boldt and the student body. I feel extremely blessed that Boldt and Carthage have given me this opportunity, and I’m excited to share news about the Tower project with all of you.
On Friday, Dec. 1, I ventured onto the construction site and met Project Manager Scot Lauwasser and Onsite Supervisor Shane Scoles. I asked them a few questions about our new residential building. I very much enjoyed my time chatting with them, and I look forward to future interactions with them and their team. Check out our interview below!
How would you say the project is coming along?
The project is right on schedule. The start date had been pushed back from the initial plan, but we were able to get started on excavation in mid-July after working with our design team to resolve some comments from the City of Kenosha. Other than that, the construction and progress has been moving along great, especially due to great fall weather we had.
It has been advertised that The Tower will welcome residents next fall. Is the project still on schedule to finish in time?
Yes, it will be ready for residents to live in come fall 2018. The building will be done in July, but that’s when furniture and finishing touches will be added. It will be ready in time for those who move in early like those in sports and residential assistants.
How similar will the building be to the renderings that have been provided to students? Any major changes we should know about?
The finished product will be very similar to the renderings that have been provided for people to view. The team is trying their best to be cost effective but remain true to the original vision.
What do you think the most exciting feature will be?
The two-story glass window that is being referred to as the “lake lounge.” That area includes a fireplace and an awesome wood ceiling.
Will Boldt be taking care of the outside work as well, such as the patio and volleyball court? Or will someone else be coming in to take it over?
Yes, we will most definitely be doing the outside work such as the patio and other features. We have been doing all the outside work leading up to this point as well, including the land excavation that took place over the summer which flattened the area (that will be the patio) and dug down an entire building story into the ground. There were approximately 12,710 cubic yards of earth that needed to be excavated. The terrace area immediately next to the Tower is now around 9 feet lower than it was at the end of school last year.
What has been the most challenging part of the building process?
The most challenging part currently is, and will continue to be, the way the new building will tie in and connect to the existing residence halls, Madrigrano and Johnson.
Do you have a favorite machine?
The 100-ton red crane. It will complete its needed use and leave in February.
How will winter weather affect the construction process and timeline?
The weather will absolutely affect the construction, but we have planned for snow days, so the timeline should not be affected greatly. The most difficult weather element to deal with is the wind coming off the lake. If the wind is too forceful, the cranes and other specific machinery cannot operate properly and it becomes a safety concern for the workers. We haven’t had too many issues with wind yet, but we’re planning for it to be more of a concern as we continue to get higher. With the high winds last week, we did have one day where the wind was too strong to be able to use our crane. We were able to adjust our plan for the day and continue working on our underground mechanical systems and utilities in the terrace level, as well as pre-tying rebar for our concrete pours.
What are some impressions about Carthage you’ve gathered during your time here on the site?
The campus is beautiful. Everyone has been very helpful and accommodating and it’s an easy site to get stuff done.
Do you bring your own lunch or do you eat campus food?
Ninety percent of the workers bring their own lunch because there is only a 30-minute lunch break, but a few of them have visited the cafeteria as well as the Student Union for a few meals.