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Summer season construction projects moving quickly

May 14, 2015

All about the new library

Construction news and progress

After commencement and before summer sessions, beginning Monday, May 11, expect loud work on the exterior of Cabell Library. The construction team will be jack-hammering the exterior plinth–the platform that surrounds the base of the building–to prepare it for being resurfaced with granite pavers that will match the exterior of the new building.

In other key actions:

  • The temporary Special Collections and Archives Reading Room, located in the Mapp Room on the fourth floor, will close May 13-15 due to construction-related activities.
  • The tower crane will be removed soon, likely May 16.
  • New restrooms on the first, second and third floors are expected to be available for public use before the end of May.
  • Starting May 28, the crew will start facing the first floor exterior with the same limestone that will be used on the new building. This work requires drilling anhors into the existing pre-cast, which will create loud and continuous noise. The work will be done mostly at night, when the building is closed, and will stop by 10 a.m. each day. Work will begin on the southside, which will take about three weeks to complete. Then, they will move to the east side and, last, west side. 
  • The second floor multipurpose room (250) is temporarily closed to public use. It will be used for staff work space while staff areas are under construction. 
  • The fourth floor restrooms will be complete in late June.
  • Inspections of new spaces include testing of the audible fire alarm and strobe lights. So, be prepared.
  • This summer we will see the completion of the new Special Collections and Archives space on the fourth floor. It is uncertain, pending arrival of new furnishings, when the space will be fully open to patrons.
  • The first and second floors, including the new entrance with revolving doors, will be ready by Sept. 30.
  • The lower level, future home of Innovative Media, will be completed in October.
  • The scheduled completion of third and fourth floors is Dec. 14, 2015. 

In other updates that will bring noise and mess:  

Drywall installation is scheduled to begin on the Lower Level June 10, then June 17 for the first floor and June 24 for the secnod floor. The third floor work will start July 3.  Expect noise. 

Demolition of the northeast corner of the third floor (Innovative Media space) will start June 2 with asbestos abatement. For the next month to six weeks, the third floor will be a loud and messy area. At times one or two of the elevators on the 3rd floor level won’t be available.

Replacement of the tile on the first floor tile will be done the July 4th weekend.  During the three nights prior while the building is closed, the existing tile will be demolished. The night of July 3 through July 4, the new tile will be laid. The tile will be grouted the night of July 5 and will be ready to walk on by Monday, July 6.

Updates regarding design and materials:

Work is going well inside the new building. Duct installation, chilled piping, framing, electrical rough in, hydronic piping, and sprinkler rough-in are all nearly complete. Limestone for the exterior of old Cabell Library and the new building has arrived and is ready to install.

There are a couple of design issues to resolve regarding the lighting intended for the trellis that will hang over the plinth on the east side of Cabell Library. 

Also, the sun screen at the cornice of the new building on the east side was fabricated incorrectly according to the architect’s drawings. The blades were to run east-west and instead are north-south.  It’s uncertain how that will be resolved. 

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James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
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(804) 828-1111
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