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UPDATE: Stevens Building construction

February 24, 2015


According to Dewberry …

Wednesday, April 15

Aerial photo of progress to date.


Tuesday, April 7

Now that winter appears to be over there has been a great deal of construction activity at the Stevens Building site. Here’s the progress that has been made since the last of the snow melted.


North Wing roofLectureHall Final GradingNorth Wing HangersNorth Wing First Floor Framing

  • The wall in front of O’Connell Theatre has been started
  • The roof in the north wing has been installed and also above the Stage
  • Final grading in the Lecture Hall continues and the underground electrical to the tables has begun
  • North wing, second floor- hangers are being installed for the mechanical duct work and plumbing piping.
  • North wing, first floor- framing of interior walls has begun as well as installation of duct work and plumbing piping.

Progress in the west wing:

  • Much of the plumbing and electrical conduit has been installed
  • Electrical wire is being pulled
  • Insulation on plumbing piping continues to be installed
  • Framing around the exterior windows has been completed
  • Door frames installation has begun

In the next few weeks the steel for the Lobby will begin to be installed and excavation for the foundations of the Black Box and Scene Shop will begin.


Tuesday, February. 24

Stevens-Bldg-150224Much of the work being performed is electrical conduits and plumbing piping in the west wing.

The concrete floor for the second half of the north addition is to be poured today, and hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll start to see the roof being installed. The lower level of the north addition has to be heated in order to pour the concrete.

When the weather breaks, there will be a plethora of activity

Tuesday, Jan. 20


The hollow core plank is being installed and will create the second floor for the Anthropology area.

During the rest of the week the planks will be welded to the structure and then the concrete topping will be installed.

What is concrete topping you say?

Since the floor planks are not smooth and sometimes comes with slight deflection, a layer of concrete is placed on top of the precast plank to make a smooth floor finish.

Next week the remaining roof joists (as seen in the photo) will be installed as well as the roof deck. Temporary coverings are being installed in the window openings and then heat will be added so installation of the interior walls and MEP rough-ins can continue.

Friday, Jan. 16


Most of the construction activity on site has been occurring on the interior which includes:

  • West Wing, both upper and lower level.  The mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) and fire protection rough in is about 90% complete and after the new roof has been installed, the gypsum wall board installation will begin.
  • MEP work is also occurring in the old scene shop area.
  • Sprinkler piping has been installed above the ceiling in O’Connell Theatre.

Next week the hollow core floor plank for the north wing will be installed (this is the second floor for the Anthropology area) so we’ll see activity on the site with trucks entering and leaving and a large crane installing the hollow core planks. After the hollow core floor planks have been installed, the metal roof deck will be installed while window openings are covered with plastic.  Temporary heat will begin in this area which will allow work to occur.

The metal roof deck has also been installed on the Lecture Hall.


image001 image002


Friday, Dec. 12


Installing metal roof deck above lecture hall


Preparing north wing for concrete floor


Storm sewer installation


Grading of road between Gable and lecture hall

It’s been a productive few weeks but again much of the work is inside the west wing or below ground.

  • Mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-ins continue in the west wing
  • Underground sanitary and storm lines are being installed on the east and west sides of the north addition
  • Metal roof deck is being installed on the Lecture Hall
  • The concrete floor of the north wing is being poured this morning. After the roof is installed, sometime in mid-January, this will allow the area to be tempered with heat and interior MEP work can continue.

Tuesday, Nov. 25

stevens bldg renovationSteel is being installed in the Lecture Hall and north wing. The installation of steel will allow the second floor precast plank and roof deck to be installed.  Once these items are in place the roof can be installed, temporary heat can be added and interior work (metal wall framing, MEP) can begin.

MEP work continues in the west wing as well.


Tuesday, Nov. 18

Aerial photos of construction to date:

 110514_niustevens_2 110514_niustevens

Stevens BuildingMonday, Nov. 17

  • If everything is going as planned, there should be steel joists and decking lifted in the air and installed for the Lecture Hall roof today.
  • Most of the underground plumbing has been installed in the north wings, and the ground is covered with tarps in an attempt to keep the frost out of the ground.
  • Work continues in the west wing with duct work, piping ad electrical rough-ins. There is temporary heat in this portion of the building.
  • The precast wall panels are in the process of being realigned to take the camber out of the panel before the floor and roof systems are installed.
  • Miscellaneous masonry work will continue to be installed.
  • The chilled water line from Zulauf to Stevens will begin installation this week followed by the storm line.

Stevens BuildingFriday, Nov. 7

  • A great deal of work has occurred with underground plumbing and electrical for the new additions. This work needs to be complete so the slab on grade (concrete floor) can be installed. Steel delivery is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 14. Another crane will be on site the week of Nov. 17, lifting steel high in the air to set the steel joists on the Lecture Hall roof. Beams and columns will also be installed in the north wing.
  • Work continues in the west wing with installation of electrical conduit and mechanical ductwork.
  • The building continues to be sealed up in preparation for winter conditions. Temporary heaters will be installed in the west wing to allow finish work to be completed after all the electrical and mechanical rough-in has been completed. This work won’t occur for several months.

Stevens BuildingFriday, Oct. 31

A great deal of progress on installation of the exterior precast wall panels was made this week.

The remainder of the panels, which will include the Black Box and Scene Shop, will be installed next spring.

Work occurring in the next two weeks will include:

  • Backfilling stone on the interior side of the precast wall panels.
  • Finalizing the interior column pads; these are concrete pads on which the structural steel columns will rest.
  • Once the concrete pads are complete, steel erection will begin. This will include columns and beams for the north wing and steel joists and metal deck for the Lecture Hall. Once the steel beams are set in the north wing, the precast floor planks will be installed to create the second floor.
  • Underground plumbing will be installed to run sanitary and storm lines from within the building to the exterior. These sanitary and storm lines then will be connected on the exterior of the building to the existing site sanitary and storm lines.
  • Underground electrical will begin for the electrical floor boxes.
  • Work continues in the west wing with installation of mechanical duct work, electrical conduit, heating and plumbing pipes and fire protection lines.

Stevens BuildlingFriday, Oct. 24

The precast wall panels for the Lecture Hall and north wing are roughly 50 percent complete with the remainder of the precast wall panels will be finished Monday, Oct. 27, or Tuesday, Oct. 28.

Precast wall panels being installed are for the lobby and the north wing only; the precast for the Black Box and Scene Shop will not be installed for several months because there is limited access to the site.

Steel and precast floor planks still need to be set for the north wing, and this work needs to be completed before the foundations for the Black Box and Scene Shop can begin. Steel for the lecture hall and north wing will begin next week.

There’s also great progress in the west wing. The metal studs walls on the upper level are about 90 percent complete, and the lower level metal studs walls will begin today.

Underground work is still being performed.

Friday, Oct. 17


View of the south elevation of the lecture hall.

theatre & Dance office arealooking toward Players & Corner Theatre

Theatre & Dance office area looking toward Players & Corner Theatre

The precast wall panels erection began Thursday and will last about two weeks, completing the exterior of the building from the Lobby north.

The brick comes with a wax face so it can be released from the mold when it’s being made.  Often times there is a wax residue on the brick, causing panels to appear different colors. The manufacturer will be on site after all the panels have been erected to provide a final washing.

The metal wall framing on the upper level of the west wing (Theatre Arts & Dance) continues to be installed. After the metal framing is completed, the electrical conduits and mechanical systems are installed prior to the gypsum board (drywall) being installed.

Monday, October 13

The weather forecast calls for rain Monday through Thursday, so there will be a delay in the precast wall panel erection.  According to River City Construction, the process will begin Wednesday or Thursday.

Friday, Oct. 10

Preparation of the site for the crane arrival has been occurring this week and the cranes will arrive on Monday. Precast panels will arrive on Tuesday and the contractor will set between 6 – 12 panels per day. So over the next two weeks you’ll slowly see the formation of the Lecture Hall and the north wing.

Other exciting news is the metal walls for the upper level west wing (TA&D Classrooms and Faculty Offices) are being installed. Within the next few weeks the shape and size of the rooms will be apparent and mechanical, electrical and plumbing devices will begin to be constructed.

And yes, there is more underground work occurring.

Electrical conduits and rebar along north wall of O’Connell Theatre

Electrical conduits and rebar along north wall of O’Connell Theatre

Storm pipe from O’Connell Theatre

Storm pipe from O’Connell Theatre

Monday, Sept. 29

Preparations for the precast wall panels are being finalized and much of the work remains underground. Here’s a brief update:

  • Removing asphalt outside the existing Scene Shop
  • Demolition of the slab on grade in the existing Mechanical Room
  • Installing footing rebar and preparing formwork along north side of O’Connell
  • Install underground conduit in existing electrical room
  • Backfilling plumbing trenches in Make-up/Dressing area
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn led a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, Sept. 22.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn led a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, Sept. 22.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Much of the work occurring on the site this week consists of underground work.

  • Foundations and footings in preparation of the precast panels arriving at the end of the month
  • Underground electrical conduits being installed
  • Underground sanitary and storm piping being installed
  • Stone being placed for the interior building pad

Monday, Sept. 15

  • Work is continuing inside the west wing and existing Scene Shop and outside for the new construction.
  • Interior demolition is 95 percent complete with just a few items remaining.
  • Existing concrete floors in the west wing and Scene Shop are being saw cut for the installation of new plumbing pipes.
  • Footing installation continues for the new north wing and the Lecture Hall.

Monday, Aug. 25

  • Asbestos abatement nearly completed.
  • West wing, second floor demolition 80 percent complete
  • Installation of footings for north wing continues.
  • Excavation for Lecture Hall footings in progress.

Friday, Aug. 15

  • Demolition of lobby concrete floor is almost completed.
  • Site utilities are being removed.
  • Demolished brick has been salvaged for reinstallation.
  • Footings have begun for the north wing.
  • Striping of topsoil and site grading is ongoing.
  • Window removal on the west wing is in progress.
  • Interior demolition of the west wing to begin next week and take two weeks to complete.
  • Footings and foundations will continue for the next month.

Stevens BuildingFriday, Aug. 8

Exciting events are happening on the site and we’re almost finished with building demolition!

  • Demolition of the lobby is complete and the Box Office/Computer Lab are the only remaining items of building to be removed.
  • The footings and foundations of the north wing will be removed by next week.
  • Surveyor was on site laying out the footprint of the new building.
  • The excavating contractor will on site next week grading the site and preparing the footings for installation. (Footings are the lowest part of the foundation wall, typically a few feet wide which help spread the load of the structure to the ground).
  • Site utilities will continue to be demolished and installed.
  • Asbestos abatement of the west wing is complete and we’re just waiting for air sampling clearances which should be available by Monday.
  • West wing windows will be removed next week and then the start of interior demolition will begin.
  • The precast wall panels will not arrive for another 4-6 weeks so most of the work will be interior demolition and foundations.

image009Friday, July 18

  • Demolition continues on the north wing which is about 75 percent complete.
  • The Stevens Annex is completely demolished.
  • Asbestos abatement continues in the west wing should be complete by the end of the month.
  • Misc. electrical and plumbing work continues

Friday, July 11

Drastic changes are happening day by day.

  • Stevens Building Annex is 90 percent demolished. The contractor is leaving a few walls in place as a staging area for debris.
  • The one-story portion of the north wing is almost completely demolished.
  • Demolition of two-story portion of the north wing will begin next week and should be completed by next Friday.
  • The lobby roof structural framing bears on the north wall of the O’Connell Theatre so the demolition lobby will probably take a bit longer.
  • The slab on grade (concrete floor) of the north wing will remain in place and the contractor will use this area to separate the debris.
  • Mechanical work continues in the basement of Zulauf Hall. This work involves extending the campus steam and chilled water to the Stevens Building.
  • Asbestos abatement continues in the west wing and will probably take the remainder of July to complete.
  • After the asbestos has been removed in the west wing, interior demolition will begin.
  • After the few weeks of demolition, there will appear to be minimal activity on the site … construction is occurring but it’s not as exciting as demolition. During this phase the slab on grade (concrete floor) will be removed, site preparation will begin (moving soil), footings for the precast walls will begin (underground), and interior work in the west wing will begin.
  • Precast wall panels will probably be installed in September or October, and that’s when the building form will present itself.

Stevens Building constructionMonday, July 7

The progress on the site this week will be dramatic as building demolition begins. The Stevens Building Annex demolition should begin today followed by the north wing.

Progress to date:

  • The asbestos abatement has been completed in the north wing and work has begun on the west wing. Asbestos abatement should be completed by the end of July.
  • Light bulbs have been removed from all the light fixtures in the north wing and have been properly disposed of.
  • The sanitary and sewer lines have been capped.

Friday, June 27

Work that you can see has actually begun on the site!

Progress update:

  • Over the past weekend the trees were removed.
  • The asbestos abatement in the Stevens Building Annex and north wing have been completed and air sampling has passed inspection.
  • Asbestos abatement in the lobby is completed and air sampling test results should be available today.
  • Window removal in the Annex and north wing has begun and is approximately 60 percent complete.
  • Next week the top soil will be stripped from the site, light fixture and ballast removal will begin in the north wing, and asbestos abatement will begin in the west wing.
  • North wing building demolition will begin the following week.