Friday, July 27, 2012

Hodge Hall: Week 11 -- The view from my desk

A little welcome rain on the window today.
A lot of the work at the Hodge Hall construction site was done on the inside this week.

Workers methodically removed windows on outside walls that will become inside walls with the addition to the undergrad building on the 10th Street and Fee Lane sides. Then they created blue paper "carpets" on the floors leading to the elevators and hauled cement blocks into the building to be used to seal the openings.

The top two floors were completed on the Fee Lane side, and most of those floors on the 10th Street side as well. They'll work on the ground level floor next, then tackle the smaller windows on the second floor.

Buck Reed was still hard at work on the jackhammer, too, continuing to break through rock to make way for the building's concrete and steel footings. Won't be long now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blog roundup: Kelley in Oxford, surviving I-Core, empowering entrepreneurs in emerging countries

Kelley undergrads visit the distribution center at Clarks shoe manufacturer in England.
Summer I-Core survivors.
Just because it's summer, it doesn't mean we slow down much at the Kelley School.

Aside from the major construction project we have going on, we have students studying across the pond, and we've hosted students and executives in Bloomington from across the country and on the other side of the world.

On the Undergrad blog, you can follow 25 students through our three-week Kelley in Oxford program as they learn about cross-cultural management.

We also had more than 200 students brave the accelerated Summer I-Core program, earning the coveted I-Core Survivor T-shirt. Student blogger Katharine Finn captures the challenges and benefits of taking the required integrated core classes during the summer.

Yousra Sherif Amin Ali Saleh of Cairo, Egypt,
 shows off her certificate after completing
 the GBI program.
Over on the IU Inc. blog, where George Vlahakis writes about the Kelley School and other major IU programs, see how the Coca-Cola company, the U.S. State Department and the Kelley School came together to create the Global Business Initiative, a month-long entrepreneurship program for students in the Middle East and North Africa that left 100 students from emerging countries with hope and new business skills.

Railway society recognizes retired Kelley expert in transportation

Retired Kelley professor George Smerk has been recognized by the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society for his outstanding contributions to railroad history.

Smerk, who founded the Institute for Urban Transportation at IU and co-authored "The Encyclopedia of North American Railroads," has received the Gerald M. Best senior achievement award for his accomplishments as a professor and historian in urban transportation. 

Among his landmark books is "The Federal Role in Urban Mass Transportation" published in 1992. He remains active as editor of the Railroads Past and Present series at Indiana University Press, and writes a transit column for Railfan & Railroad magazine.

In the 1970s, Smerk advised small Indiana cities, including Bloomington, on developing public transit plans. The Bloomington-IU transportation system now carries 7 million riders annually. He also represented the Indiana governor on the board of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District for 30 years. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hodge Hall: Week 10 -- The view from my desk

Workers have started removing windows from the undergrad building.

Buck Reed at the jackhammer controls.
We talk a lot at the Kelley School about the constant machine-gun sound of the jackhammer busting through bedrock on the Hodge Hall construction site, and wondered what it was like to be the guy sitting at the controls of that particularly loud and jarring piece of equipment all day.

Buck Reed admits it makes him a little "tingly."

Reed is one of the sons of Reed & Sons Construction, which won the contract to do the excavation work for the Kelley School's undergraduate building expansion. He and his brother took over the family business from their dad in the 1990s.For weeks during our record-breaking summer temperatures, he's been sitting in his un-air-conditioned cab busting through rock with the constant peck, peck, peck, peck of the jackhammer vibrating through the ground, the machine, and his body.

He wears ear muffs, but after a while, especially when the "feels like" temperature is 115 degrees outside, he has to let his ears get some air. Still, he can't take them off all the way.

"I'll put them on halfway, but you can still hear the noise," Reed said. "It won't be very long before I pull them back down."

He says it's like any other job with some kind of strain -- you get used to it. He can't imagine that sitting at a computer for eight hours every day wouldn't hurt a person's eyes or give them a headache, something he's thankful he doesn't get on the job.

But he says he'll never quite get used to the 100 degree heat. After work, he likes to be inside in the air conditioning, doing nothing. 

On the weekends, you might find Reed on Lake Monroe fishing for bass. He likes the competition of it -- figuring out how to catch them -- but the peacefulness is nice, too.

"There's nothing like first daylight on the water when it's all to yourself. It's calm and relaxing. Eagles fly over your head and you see the wildlife. It's calming."

Thanks for your part in helping build the future of the Kelley School, Buck. Here's to cooler days and quiet fishing trips.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hodge Hall: Week 9 -- The view from my desk

Getting a foothold: The gray patches of rock in the center of the photo are where some of the concrete footings will go.

To paraphrase "A Prairie Home Companion," it's been a noisy week at the Kelley School of Business.

While the removal of a thick layer of stone to clear the way for the Hodge Hall expansion was completed last week, the jackhammer is still hard at work busting through the bedrock in measured distances, making holes for the concrete footings what will support steel beams.

The hole at the corner of building that I thought was for a footing got much larger this week, and Nathan Morrison, Kelley's construction overseer, tells me it's actually for the elevator shaft.

We had a couple of downpours during the week (Thank you, Mother Nature!) that left a thin film of mud over much of the site, which makes it easier to see the patches of stone around the perimeter that the jackhammer churned up for the footings. 

Today, I watched the jackhammer hammering as another worker stood by with a surveyor's rod. A tripod with a rotating laser is situated near the 10th Street side. When it looks like the hole is deep enough, the rod is lowered in it to take a measurement. When the laser hits the rod, it lets the workers know if they've dug far enough or need to keep digging. If they've gone too far, they know more concrete will need to be added to make the footing level with the others.

That's the news from the Kelley School, where all the women are professional, all the men look good in suits, and all of the students are above average.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hodge Hall: Week 8 -- The view from my desk

Ready to build, almost.
Except for a couple of piles of rock, the Hodge Hall construction site became a blank canvas this week.
The water main was moved successfully on Monday, and after several water tests that came back clear, the drinking water supply and water fountains are being put back in service over the next few days.
Moving the water line cleared the way for the excavators to finish, um, clearing the way for the rest of the project.
Workers also installed a temporary storm drain, although it doesn't appear we'll get any rain to speak of anytime soon, unfortunately. For our friends out of state, have I mentioned that it's HOT here? 102 today, and we're setting all kinds of records for heat and lack of rain.

The jackhammer has been busy digging holes for the footings for the new building today -- that's what it's doing near the building's corner in the photo. Concrete will be poured in the hole and anchor bolts will be put in place in preparation for the steel beams.

After all of this digging down, it won't be too much longer before we start to see things going up.