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.

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