Construction Update 6/14/2016

Progress 6/14/2016

Site Construction

  • Backfilling of planting soil complete at bio-ponds 1, 2, & 3. Wetland seed mix has been sprayed at all bio-ponds, plantings and mulch only items remaining.
  • The different seed mixes (wetland, salt tolerant, low maintenance) required in phase 1 area have been sprayed, with exception to the overflow parking area, which is still being utilized as a laydown area for material.
  • The concrete sidewalk and handicap ramps in phase 1 area are complete, with minimal finish work remaining.
  • The proposed swale alongside the new main entrance roadway is complete.
  • Paving at parking area 2 & adjacent roadway, loop around bio-pond 2 is scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday, 6/15 & 6/16. The base and binder will be installed Wednesday, and the porous pavement will be installed on Thursday.
  • We are planning to start installing signage, prepping the pathway, and moving equipment for the construction entrance/Five Rivers entrance switch on Friday, 6/17. Then on Monday, 6/20, we will initiate the entrance switch.

Building Construction

  • The basement floor slab has been poured.
  • The new Visitor’s Center floor slab is being poured in three sections. The first pour on the west end (over the basement) was completed Thursday, 6/9. The middle section was poured today, 6/10. The final pour on the east end is scheduled for Monday, 6/13.
  • The contractor is currently fabricating the gluelam beams.

Progress 5/18/2016

Site Construction

  • Bio-retention ponds 1, 2, & 3 are in place with drainage structures installed. Backfilling of planting soil near complete at all bio-ponds, landscaping is the last remaining item.
  • New main entrance roadway sub base was raised. The proposed swale alongside the road to be completed in the near future.
  • (2) Rainwater harvest tanks associated piping completed and backfilled.
  • Electrician’s and plumbers underground piping & conduit on the outside perimeter of new Visitor’s Center is installed and backfilled.
  • The phase 1 area (parking area 2 and adjacent roadway, parking area 3 and loop around bio-pond 2) paving to be completed around early June.

Building Construction

  • The last remaining section of frost wall on the east side of the new Visitor’s Center has been poured.
  • Under slab plumbing work complete. HVAC to complete remaining under slab blue duct install at east side of new Visitor’s Center in the next couple weeks. The electricians are continuing under slab conduit installs, to be completed within the next couple weeks.
  • The basement floor slab to be poured tomorrow, 5/17/16, at 7:00AM.
  • The new Visitor’s Center slab is projected to be poured around early June, with timber framing/glulam beams and SIP (Structural Insulated Panels) walls to follow shortly after.
  • Framing, Roofing and interior finish at new Visitor’s Center projected to be completed around mid to late October.

Progress 4/20/2016

- Bio-retention ponds 1 & 2 are in place, backfilling of soil and landscaping remaining.
- Bio-retention pond 3 excavation is underway, the flared end section and (1) catch basin has been installed to date. Work will continue in the near future after the new Visitor’s Center foundation work is complete.
- Building 7A (Bear Pen) was demolished last week.
- New main entrance roadway sub base to be raised and adjacent swale installed in the upcoming weeks.
- (2) Rainwater harvest tanks have been set in the ground and partially backfilled, associated piping to be completed in the next few weeks.
- Contractor currently prepping for curbing around bio-pond 2 and parking area 3.

Building Construction
- The last remaining section of frost wall on the east side of the new Visitor’s Center is being formed and will be poured this week.
- Under slab HVAC and plumbing work near complete at new Visitor’s Center, electrical work currently underway.
- The new Visitor’s Center slab is projected to be poured around the week of 5/16/16.

Progress 3/16/2016


More pictures here.

Excavation is complete for Bio-Retention Pond 2, though they need to reconfigure the base of the pond to conform with the contract documents in regards to the underdrain and gravel layer, which will be completed in the near future. The roadway loop sub-base surrounding Bio Retention pond 2 has been completed for bus turnaround.

The underground electric, plumbing, and mechanical for the new visitors center is underway. This will be our main focus for the upcoming weeks. Formwork for the footings and inside walls is also underway.

The electricians have begun installing site lighting & conduit. Two light pole bases at parking area 3 have been set to date.

Construction at parking area 3 is underway. The plan of action is to complete the lot in two sections, focusing on the south side first.

An issue arose concerning the elevation of the new main entrance road. Per design, it is lower than the existing grade surrounding it. The architect visited the site; they are in the process of providing a re-design of the roadway.

Progress 2/16/2016

The basement footings and frostwalls for the visitor center are complete, with the exception of a small section on the northeast side of the building needed for construction entry.

The school bus parking lot is near complete, and curbing has been installed. We are awaiting warm weather for the blacktop work.

Excavation of the educational pond and bio-retention pond #1 is complete. Construction is underway for bio-retention pond #2 and the roadway loop surrounding it (for bus turnaround). This should be completed before mid-March.

Storm structures are in place at the school bus parking lot, educational pond, bio-retention pond #1, and bio-retention pond #2.

The roadway adjacent to the school bus parking lot is near complete, blacktop to be completed in the spring.

The generator and transformer have been set on their pads.

The new main entranceway is under construction, the woods have been cleared and grubbed and the woodlot trail has been demoed where signified on contract drawings.

Except for the small cluster of trees near the GSP building, all of the cutting and clearing for the new building has been completed. There may be some collateral clearing for equipment for the demolition of the existing building. For those who are concerned about losing trees or natural areas, we are at the end of that process. And on the plus side, there is an extensive landscape plan, so trees and vegetation will be planted. The end result will be very nice. It just gets messy in the meantime.

Progress 1/28/2016: Woodlot Trail


What is being done, where and why?

The construction of the new state of the art nature center provided the opportunity to make entering and exiting the facility parking lot much safer. Some trees, shrubs and a portion of the raised wooden boardwalk have been removed to facilitate construction of a new entrance drive to improve accessibility.

Some trees and shrubs have also been removed for installation of a new path so that the Woodlot Trail will continue to be a loop trail.

What is happening to the owl tree?

The snag that has been used intermittently by Eastern Screech-Owls will remain, and prior to construction, the owls had been leaving the cavity for a week or more at a time. The contractors are aware of the presence of the owls (at least two different individuals, one gray, one rufous), and we do not believe construction activities are adversely impacting their use of this snag.

How long will the tree cutting take?

The tree cutting and removal of the boardwalk has been completed. No more trees will be cut on the Woodlot Trail. Clearing of the roadway will continue today. Additional work to prepare the road base will continue next week. On or before February 5 work on the Woodlot Trail will be suspended.

What’s next?

The willow trees and spruce near the parking lot were removed on January 27. The willow trees showed considerable signs of rot. A small cluster of trees near the Guided School Program may be removed at a later date to allow easier access for people with disabilities.

Barrier fences will be moved for the weekend to allow visitors to walk the entire Woodlot Trail loop. The trail will again be partially closed beginning Monday until they complete work on the road base later in the week.

For more information:

An artist’s rendering of the completed project can be viewed on the project site as well as a smaller version in the education building. There are also plans that may be viewed in the education Building near the bird viewing area. The building is open from 9-4:30 every day except Sunday and State Holidays.