Building Ascent: Chapter 10


Summing up work on the new Ascent building in July, Thomas Palm with Scull Construction said, "As promised, the job is now accelerating. We've really ramped up a number of areas." Several big milestones were reached this month: all concrete slabs were completed; masons began putting up brick; and both interior and exterior framing was under way. With the installation of frames and glass, it's looking more and more like a real building from the outside.

The framing, in particular, requires a lot of different materials; they range anywhere from two-foot studs that are 6" 16-gauge, up to 32-foot studs. Tim McCloud with Horst Acoustical underscored the importance of the framework. "If we don't get it right, it's terrible for the window guys and everybody else," he explained. "Everybody follows our stuff afterward; we have to keep ahead of them or else they have nothing to do." While Tim acknowledged the job is challenging and it's a lot to be keeping busy with, he believes "it'll be something to be proud of when it's all said and done."

Plumbing was another big focus in July. Heil Mechanical worked on the "rough ends"—all the hidden piping that goes in the walls. They installed plumbing for waste and vent, water, and hydronics—heating water that runs through the ductwork, allowing it to blow hot air. "I like the instant result part of it," Jesse Pleinis with Heil said. "You put up a bunch of pipe, and you can see what you've done that day."

Thomas Palm knows the clock is ticking. "We're looking at the calendar here moving into August," he said. "It's South Dakota, so we have 6-8 weeks pretty much guaranteed nice, and then after that it's a gift." 

Between 30-40 crew members from various subcontractors and Scull Construction are working onsite on any given day. 

"Depending on the day I either feel like a juggler, where I have 15 balls in the air and I'm trying to keep them all going," Thomas reflected. "Some days it's more like a field general where you're issuing orders to your troops and then, in the fog of war, it all falls apart that day. In general, I'm happy with the fact that we've really accelerated; we're definitely not through all the rough patches, but the really big ones are behind us."


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