Contractor Synergy Construction continues to work to keep the project on schedule, but lousy weather has disrupted initial plans.
“Nov. 9 is when the bottom fell out of the weather and things kind of went to pot,” Synergy Construction project manager Dean Tippetts told county commissioners last week. “And we’ve just been kind of trying to see what we can do ever since.”
Commissioners indicated they’re more concerned about the building being done well than being done by late July.
“My personal feeling is, boy, it’d be great to have it done on the target date, but I’d just as soon it was done right, and if it was late, so be it,” Commission Chairman Bucky Hall told Synergy officials Dec. 9. “And I know, obviously, you guys are going to make every effort you can and we appreciate that, but ... Mother Nature’s going to speak and we’ll just get it done when we can.”
“That’s our thoughts: We really want to give it a quality job,” said Synergy Construction owner Greg Rael.
Rael said his company didn’t get bolt patterns and other needed information about the building until early November. By then, bitter cold had set in and scuttled plans to pour the concrete by Thanksgiving.
It generally takes above-freezing temperatures to pour concrete.
Bringing in a ground heater might help, but they’re in short supply across the region — even in Denver and Salt Lake City, Tippetts said.
“Everybody’s using them right now,” he said.
Performing the pour in phases and covering each one with a heated tent is an option, but it would have to be an expensive, massive tent and it would have to be disassembled and moved around for each phase.
“That’s a pretty tough one,” Tippetts said.
There’s always the opportunity to wait and do all the pouring in one fell swoop in the spring, “but it really impacts the schedule to wait that long,” Rael said.
That’s why project managers decided to pour one phase of the concrete on Friday, while warmer temperatures allowed. If those warm conditions return before the ground freezes, things could get back on track.
“Go out and do a sacrifice to the Indian summer gods — whoever that may be,” Hall advised.
Even if the building isn’t completely finished by the end of July, the main, open portion of the building could still be ready to be used as an exhibit hall.
“If it works that way, great,” said Commissioner Tim French. “I think that’s where the main space, that we’ve taken away by tearing those buildings down, will be needed.”
The troublesome weather also won’t affect the project cost for the county.
“Cold weather procedures are expensive, but that’s just our luck, you know,” said Tippets.
Added Rael: “Life as a contractor. That’s the way it goes.”