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Library construction going well, excavations brought no surprises

Library construction going well, excavations brought no surprises
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HARVARD — The Library Building Committee met with the architects of the new public library for a review of work done so far and the schedule for the rest of the construction.

Several representatives from Child, Burtman and Tseckares (CBT) attended the meeting as did Dennis Pacitti of Design Techniques who has been working with CBT and the committee.

Pacitti reported that the excavation for the footing of the new addition is complete despite having lost a day to snow on Jan. 3. They will soon be pouring the retaining wall. The new addition will be a separate building attached to Old Bromfield via walkways.

“The next big thing is going to be the steel showing up,” said Pacitti. It should arrive at the end of January.

In the meantime, he said, CBT and the general contractor, CTA Construction, will continue to work on the addition and will begin selective demolition inside Old Bromfield.

“In our past history we have found some very interesting things, luckily this time we have not,” said Viccica. Findings that could halt construction would include graves, archeological finds and endangered species.

Viccica complimented CTA on its efficiency, and mentioned that they had found Old Bromfield’s rubble foundation to be intact. The decision not to underpin it has saved “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.

Patrick Tompkins, of CBT, spoke further about the selective demolition that will go on inside Old Bromfield. To be removed during demolition are stairways, some ceilings, holes that will be made for the passage to the new building and anything else that is not part of the new library plan.

“We have also done a lot of work on the grading of the parking area,” said Tompkins. It makes the site more workable as they now have a place to park delivery trucks and construction vehicles, he said.

Tompkins mentioned the plans to drill the shaft for the new building’s elevator. The elevator will use a hydraulic piston instead of a cable system, which is more effective for buildings that are only a few stories high, he stressed. The drilling is planned for this week.

Tree protection is another part of the construction that CBT is taking seriously. “Tree protection is item number one,” said Rick Greenlee, of CBT.

“We got the message from the drawing that tree protection is important,” added Tompkins.

“I am amazed at the number of people who came out and cut firewood from the trees we cut down,” mentioned Chairman Roy Moffa, referring to the trees that had to be cut down to make way for the addition.

Next, according to Viccica, is to arrange for the committee to have a tour of the construction. “Getting out to the site and looking at it is much more beneficial and productive,” he said.

The Harvard Public Library Building Committee plans to keep the public up to date on the progress of the construction through the library’s Web site at www.harvardpubliclibrary.org.

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