Don't go out of your tree! The plaza's almost done
This artist's conception of the new tree plaza shows the concrete
islands and grass berms (each about a foot high) that will provide
groups with more seating and more flexibility for staging small-
scale events. Two micro-amphitheatres will take advantage of the
prime views. (Illustration courtesy FSS.)
The good news is that the Mesa Lab will have a brand-new tree
plaza--including trees--before winter sets in. The bad news is
that until then, ML employees will have to put up with a few more
weeks of periodic distraction.
The worst is over, promises Tina Bogott, head of the ML
refurbishment project. "It's going to continue to be noisy off and
on," she says, but the jackhammering required to tear up the old
tree plaza surface is finished. "The second layer of concrete
didn't come out as easily as we thought," she says. Instead of
trying to take up that layer, Tina and Facilities Support Services
staff decided to keep it in place and modify the new surface going
on top of it.
The new plaza will have upgraded drainage: its concrete surface
will slope gently toward drains (about 1/8" per horizontal foot),
"kind of like a driveway." A waterproof membrane and insulation
will go beneath the three-inch concrete slab. The concrete won't
be red aggregate, like the ML walls, but an admixture designed to
blend in with the building. The plaza's design includes several
grass berms and two amphitheatre-like spaces to accommodate small
gatherings. Patmore ash trees will replace the honey locusts that
were on their last legs.
Work space beneath the plaza is also being affected, says Tina.
"We've been installing new drainage piping in the labs, boiler
room, and shipping/receiving."
What's next? The new membrane will be installed over one to two
weeks in September. According to Tina, "This process will use a
hot asphalt kettle and may produce fumes similar to the roofing
operations at the Foothills Lab." At press time, the new plaza was
forecast to be complete by early November, which should give the
new trees a chance to settle in before winter arrives.
Rewiring, reroofing, and other renovations
MINT: The Millennium Infrastructure Networking Technology
project is giving the Foothills Lab a tenfold boost in networking
power. Groups of 20 to 40 staff have been moved to temporary
offices in FL1 for periods of two to three weeks while cabling is
improved and new telecommunications links are installed. The
overall communications infrastructure for the complex is also
MINT passed its halfway point in August and should be completed by
next April. According to Marla Meehl, manager of SCD's Network
Engineering and Technology Section, the new system can deliver a
dedicated 100 Mbps (megabits per second) to the desktop, with the
potential for 1,000 Mbps on copper cabling and 10 Gbps [gigabits
per second] on fiber-optic cabling. "The most critical element is
a wiring infrastructure able to provide network growth to the
desktop and in the backbone for at least ten years. We have an
excellent team working on this project and with the cooperation of
the FL staff, the project is going extremely well," says Marla.
For more details, see
the Web page.
New roofing at FL and FB: The new Foothills Lab roof
should be complete by late October. Physical Plant Services
director John Pereira says the new roof will be lighter, reducing
the physical load on the structure, and it will have a higher
insulation value, resulting in energy savings. "Also, the new roof
surface is designed for foot traffic, which will eliminate the
past problem of roof leaks associated with maintaining rooftop
mechanical and scientific equipment."
A reroofing of the Fleischmann Building is also in the cards,
although details have yet to be pinned down.
ML utilities upgrade: This $5 million project, starting
late in 2001, will install sprinklers throughout the building,
improve electrical distribution and capacity, provide more
efficient heating and air conditioning, and remove remnant
asbestos from the Mesa Lab lobby's ceiling. "Everybody will be
dislocated" in shifts that could last several weeks, says Tina. It
hasn't been decided whether people will use temporary space in ML
or go off site.
In this issue...
Other issues of Staff Notes Monthly
Edited by Bob Henson,
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Thu Sep 7 14:59:51 MDT 2000