Monday, December 20, 2010


Although I haven’t reported on them in a while, construction activities continue at the Quarry Visitor Center. The majority of the work is still concentrated on the south wall. As I posted previously (Oct 5, 2010) the massive, vertical I-beams have been lowered and their heights adjusted so that their lower ends are all at the same height and rest on massive footers. However, some of the beams are out of plumb, i.e. they do not all align from one end of the building to the other. The reasons for this are unclear, although there is a possibility that they were out of plumb when were installed in 1957. Regardless, plans are afoot to correct this problem, with several possible solutions being discussed.

The south wall framing is being built and once the frames are completed the concrete wall can be poured. Only the lower part of the wall is solid, the upper parts will remain all glass to allow for maximum ambient light inside the building. That glass part of the wall will be installed much later.

A large concrete abutment is now in place towards the west end of the south wall. This will be the support for part of the long entrance ramp that will run on the outside of the building.

On the west side of the Visitor Center a concrete pad has been poured that will serve as base for the large heating, air circulation, and ventilation unit for the building. With this system there will be temperature control in the new Visitor Center. Such a system was lacking in the old building and so bays of windows were opened for cooling in the summer. That allowed vast amounts of dust to be blown into the building during the summer windstorms, as well as providing access for birds and bats to come in, roost, and crap on the fossil wall.

And what would working on the QVC be without abatement? Teams have been completing abatement of the lead paint on the I-beams on all four walls of the structure.

So progress continues. Maybe not as dramatic work as tearing down a building with heavy equipment, but still major steps towards getting the project completed next year. However, winter – and snow – has finally arrived. The real question now is will this winter be as cold as the last few, with temperatures well below 0oF for weeks on end? That could certainly complicate the construction situation.

Photos: NPS

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