Friday, May 25, 2012

Hodge Hall: Week 2 -- The view from my desk

Excavation has begun. Did you know the current Undergrad building, which was built in the 1960s, was modeled after a  (then high-tech) computer punch card?

Workers cleared the way this week for excavation to begin on the Hodge Hall Undergraduate Center expansion.

A lot of heavy machinery has been moving in and out, and for all of the work we've watched above ground, there's been just as much below the surface, as workers have to install temporary storm pipes, water pipes and sanitary pipes in addition to pulling telecom cables. Right now I'm watching them dig around and under a large pipe that runs under Fee Lane.

As with the excavation on the site for the Godfrey Center in 2000, the excavator (at the top of the hole in the photo) hit rock not too far down. This is Indiana, after all. The machine with the jack-hammer attachment (bottom left) has been pounding away at it for much of the day.

As we've watched the workers maneuver the machines this week, we've been impressed with how nimbly they work as a team. They move the buckets, claws, front loaders and backhoes with amazing agility and speed. A time-lapse of it would look like some kind of choreographed Broadway show.

I'm not sure what kind of vine is growing on the side of the building. We love its tree-like shape and enjoyed watching it turn a beautiful vivid red in the fall before losing its leaves. Anyone know what it might be?

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