Building Ascent: Chapter 8


Work on the new Ascent Innovation campus continued on pace during May, prompting Kenan Miller with Scull Construction to declare, "Every step of the project feels like it's starting to come together." 

The month was not without its challenges, from COVID-19 to the finicky western South Dakota spring weather. Kenan and his team began arriving onsite by 4:45 most mornings and started pouring concrete by 6:00 a.m. The real challenge involved pouring on the second floor, especially with the roof structure overhead; this limited the crew's ability to get the concrete where it was needed. Additionally, the hose is heavy and tends to snag on the rebar and Nelson studs. "It's a workout pulling that thing around," he said. 

A lot of the focus in May involved site work, especially dirt work. A detention pond was dug in order to collect runoff and prevent it from flooding the road. Ironworkers completed a large portion of the steel work, but are still putting on roof decking—a process that involves landing the deck, pulling measurements, getting a starter sheet, squaring it up, and laying it all down. 

"Safety is a big issue all the time," explained Derrick Chapin with National Crane Steel Erectors. "The wind blows every day here. You need to make sure things are fastened down because you're right on street corners. There's a lot of rain, too. If you stop for the weather, you'll be working a half day every day, so it's important to push, push, push." 

Horst Acoustical worked on putting in the metal stud framing, another step that—along with the concrete core—is considered a critical path item, something that the other trades must have completed before they can pursue their work. 

Karli Mattson with Scull Construction compiled some fun facts on the materials used in the construction process so far:

  • 26 miles of rebar
  • 370 tons of steel
  • 22,000 linear feet of 2x4 boards
  • 4,050,000 lbs. of concrete (estimated)

Those staggering figures are a testament to the hard work of all who are involved in the construction process.

"I am extremely proud of our team at Scull Construction," Karli said. "The design team, architects, engineers, field personnel...anyone that's been involved in this project so far."


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