Recladding of HSC tower on schedule

By Galvin Kennedy

The recladding of the Holmes Student Center tower, which began last March, is progressing “right on schedule” according to Conrad Miller, physical plant project manager.

The recladding is being done to replace crumbling surface brick that 20 years of freeze/thaw cycles has turned into a potential safety hazard for anyone walking below.

Last Monday, workers from the construction company J. P. Cullen & Sons Inc. started applying the first set of 2000 limestone panels on the west side of the student center, Miller said.

“The workers should be applying about 21 panels per day, weather permitting. After the first few days of recladding go by and we get used to the site, we should be able to pick up some speed,” Miller said.

“We plan to have all the recladding completed by early July at which time we will begin construction of the pyramid on top of the hotel,” Miller said.

Installation of the new windows, which are equipped with energy efficient material, is scheduled to begin the first week of August, Miller said, adding the entire project should be completed by November.

“The most important factor involved in the construction is the weather, which, fortunately for us, has been excellent,” he said.

One of the greatest fears the construction company has is that the work will be extended into the winter season when the weather turns cold, he said.

The project which cost $2,465,400 also has a $117,400 contingency fund in case of an unpredictable event such as the weather, he said.

The general construction contract was won by J. P. Cullen & Sons, Inc. of Janesville, Wis. through competitive bidding. Ware Associates from Rockford is the architectural firm for the project.

A model of what the completed project should look like is displayed on the main floor of the student center.