Interview with Fransen Pittmen
Q: What is going on behind the scenes that most people won’t see?
They pointed two things out to me:
1. Acid-neutralization drains, and clay traps is the short answer. These are to be fitted in the new science and art rooms. The acid-neutralization drains in the science classrooms will allow more materials to be dumped straight down the specialized drains instead of having to be handled separately by the teacher. The art rooms will also see this benefit with clay; the new clay traps will prevent the sinks from becoming clogged with various art supplies. These new features will allow teachers and students to have greater efficiency when working on projects and experiments.
2. Added isolation Valves for better control. This will allow one room to be serviced without shutting down the whole wing. This feature will also increase the efficiency of the entire wing, allowing teachers to continue like normal, even if a room next door needs repairs.
Q: What is your opinion on the renovations we are doing to the building?
It is Travis and Ryan’s opinion that Silver Creek and the St. Vrain Valley School District, made some great decisions throughout the design phase, working alongside Eidos Architecture and Fransen Pittman. That allowed for the school to receive a lot of great upgrades and features, while always working to make sure the scope fell within project budget.
Q: What happens if we don’t finish on time?
The “critical path” refers to the events and deadlines that need to be met in order to complete the project on time. They don't believe the project will fall behind because everything on the critical path is on time. One of these critical events is the delivery of steel, if the steel does not arrive when scheduled it will push the entire project back. Because the teachers need time to move back into the classrooms and get settled, they are aiming to finish the first week of August. That is only 8 weeks to build the entire renovations inside the building. They are confident that they will be able to finish the project within that time period.
Q: What has been a challenge that the project has run into so far?
Fire alarms. They have to tie the fire alarms in the expansion to the existing fire alarm system, resulting in the whole system having to be shut down. If the fire alarm system is shut down it means that no one can occupy the building, which means no access to the weight room, gym, or auditorium. However, there is hope. Ryan is working with the school district fire alarm manager to see if it is possible to only disable the section they are working on, allowing the rest of the school to be occupied.
An important piece that I took away from the interview was that this is a challenging process and we as a community need to be understanding of that. I gained the insight from Ryan that building a $10 million-dollar church from scratch can be easier than building an addition to a school. The reason for the added difficultly is the field conditions sometime cause build teams to place a pipe or beam somewhere completely different than what is specified on the blueprints. Ryan told me about his experience drilling holes around the school for a week trying to find a pipe that was not where it was supposed to be. These roadblocks can occur at any time and they are not the fault of anyone, they are just a part of construction. We do know one thing; the expansion will be completed before the start of school next year. From the hour that I spent with Ryan and Travis, I can say for certain that the future of Silver Creek is in good hands. These guys have been working together for a few years now and know how to do a project on time and on budget.