With construction well underway at St. Charles Public Library, we can see the teen reading room taking shape along with the new main lobby and entry. We’re invigorated by the progress being made, and can’t wait for completion in 2021. We asked our own Brianna Saviano, Assoc. AIA, about the status of our library addition/renovation project.
How far along in construction is the project?
We’re around 45-50% completion. Right now we’re working on getting the building enclosed before winter. The building shell, roof decking, and masonry are a primary focus. We are scheduled to be complete in summer 2021.
As different industries grapple with issues related the Covid-19 pandemic, how is the site prioritizing safety?
SNHA requires mask-wearing for all site visits. The leads for each subcontractor are utilizing their safety meetings to update mask-wearing requirements, especially as the building is closed-in and workers will necessarily be indoors.
Have there been any construction challenges to overcome thus far?
With the pandemic, city and state offices went remote; it was difficult to get permits and inspections approved as quickly as they would have been otherwise, but we’ve learned how to adjust and overcome.
Another challenge, typical of a historic building that has been added onto over decades, there are sometimes surprises when we start to open up walls. Unforeseen conditions result in a Request for Information (RFI) from the Contractor, and we will re-issue drawings as appropriate to resolve the potential obstacle.
What do find most interesting about the construction process?
Site visits are great because you work on drawings for months and months, so finally being able be onsite is a welcome change. It’s really interesting to see the adaptability needed when you go from paper to ‘real-life.’
What are your responsibilities during construction administration?
I’m responsible for all day-to-day activities, organizing change orders, coordination with subcontractors, reviewing RFI’s and submittals, and any issues that may occur onsite.
I attend weekly OAC (Owner/Architect/Contractor) meetings which are currently all virtual, however our site and schedule meetings occur onsite.
What do you enjoy most about working with Library and Construction personnel?
On the architectural side, we get to wear a lot of hats, and I enjoy being able to interface with the different groups involved in a project. Coordinating with the contractor and subs is very technical, and I get to see our drawings come to life. Working with Library personnel is also a joy—this is my first time working on civic project like this—they are so excited about getting to share this building with the public and have them experience the new St. Charles Public Library.