Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The crew continues to work on the framing for the columns, store, and roof of the bathroom and storage area. The concrete plant on the island has again run into problems so we are using this time to finish up on all of our framing work. We had to bring our own cement to the plant today in order to continue on our schedule. They will mix it for us and bring it to the site so we can pour our retaining wall and the wall over the rock crates.

The framing of the store walls has continued nicely in the picture below you can see Nat and Edward working on attaching the snapties and wedges to the wall frame. This wall will eventually look like a mirror image of the adjacent building. The sloped roof will be covered with the same green house material that is being used in the pavilion. This material will allow for light to filter into the building and through the glass. In the image above you can see Cyrille working inside the store to finish up the roof support column and the rest of the framing inside.

Our Vice President Maggie has decided to add more recycled glass accents to the store entrance which will be a beautiful artistic addition to the pavilion. Jake Barron one of the glass blowers at Maho is currently working on these decorative glass blocks. The blocks will all be made of recycled materials from the Maho Bay Art Center. In the image to the left you can see that the crew has worked out a framing system for these blocks above the store entrance. The plan for the blocks is to fade from deep blue at the top to green at the bottom to mimic our surrounding landscape.

In the bathroom building glass accents have also been added to allow for sunlight and color to fill the otherwise boring rooms. The picture below is from inside of the soon to be finished bathroom area. This vertical space will also be fitted with more hand made glass blocks from Maho.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A light shower cooled off the morning as our crew set out for yet another day on the job. As the plywood comes down off the walls it becomes easier to see the final vision of our project. The entire job is coming together rather nicely.

The crew is working hard to take down the forms today. After the walls have cured you have to remove the boards so they can completely set using the sun and natural heat of the island. All of the walls came out great and they will continue forming up the store (Above Left) in time for our next pour in the coming week. You can also see the beginning of our column system behind Bernard. As mentioned before, we will have 4 columns formed to support the greenhouse roofing system between the two buildings.

The picture above shows the three storage rooms that will be used to store pavilion supplies like our yoga mats and extra chairs. Once a pour is complete and the forms are removed, all of the excess concrete must be removed from inside the rooms. There is always a great deal of splash that occurs when using a concrete pump truck. Patrick is working inside the storage rooms to insure that all of the material is removed and disposed of properly.

I was able to snap a picture of one of the column bases that will be formed up next week. Each of the columns will be 4' x 4' with a decorative Glen Spear original design. Dave and our new carpenter will beginning work on thest in the coming week. The columns, however, must be hand poured due to their intricate design so the crew has a great deal of concrete mixing to do very soon. I wonder if Dave has told them this yet? I can't wait to see how they will turn out.

There was enough concrete on Tuesday to also begin the pour along the rock cribs which will be the base for the railing system that will be installed along the entire perimeter of the pavilion site. Behind this new wall will eventually be the porch for the cafe.

We received our order of 40 windows yesterday through Tropical and hope to begin installing them in the next week. It finally feels like it is all coming to a close. We will soon have the coolers and other various supplies ready to be installed and stocked up for the guests.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hooray.... we recieved our concrete order!!!

The construction is back on schedule and we are doing a large pour today that will take a total of 5 truck loads full to complete. I was able to visit the site this morning to snap a few pictures of the guys working hard to pour the walls of the storage area and bathrooms for the pavilion. We will finish the framing for the store (below left) once we remove the forms for the bathrooms(below right). The plan is to reuse the wood for the framing on the store as well. There was a breakdown at the concrete plant and this has caused a delay in our concrete schedule but hopefully we will be back on schedule after this pour.

We have to use a concrete pumping truck to pour the walls of the building. It is always amazing to see these types of heavy machinery at work. It takes a great deal of power and precision to pump cement through a 20ft tube and into a wall yards away. Geff our pumping guy is great he always has a smile even when he is covered in cement (he probably wouldn't have it any other way).

Dave, our site contractor, takes a walk through of the site during the pour. He is working hard on the framing of our columns that will support the roofing material between the two buildings. On the right you can see how the walls will slope upward to meet the roof between them. The framing on the store side will have this same pitch.

The crew work hard perched on top of the wall while leveling off the freshly poured cement. They use various machined to insure that no air is trapped in the wall prior to it setting permanently. The steps of pouring concrete are very important to follow in order to have a structurally sound building.

This is a view of the East facing wall of the store. You can see salt pond bay in the distance and also the 6 windows that will allow for ample sunshine into the store. These windows will be placed all around the top floor of both the pavilion and cafe for natural light. We have insured that the maximum amount of natural light is let into the buildings.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The blogg has once again changed hands and I will continue posting updates since both Victor and Kirsten have left the Concordia team. My name is Audrey and I have lived on St. John for my entire life and have loved every minute of it. I recently graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL and my many positions at Concordia include but are not limited to Site Cordinator, Accountant, and also Activities in the soon to be completed general store. Feel free to ask me any questions regarding the hotel, construction, and about my wonderful island. I will do the best I can to give my honest opinion.

As we enter the final month and a half of the construction project we have definatly stepped the crew into over drive. Since the rock wall issue we have hired two additional crew members and are now working Saturdays in order to have the cafe completed on schedule. The new crew members are working well with the group and Segundo is positive that the pavilion project will be done on schedule.

I was able to borrow the camera from Maho and took some pictures of the crew framing the walls for the store and removing the framing for the floor of the general store. The picture above was taken from the pavilion site imagine having coffee and a bagel while overlooking this view every morning.

We recieved our first order of cafe supplies that included beer mugs, spatulas, plates, and other restaurant supplies. The order for our coolers and freezers is in and we are awaiting a few other items prior to the trailors departure from Miami.

As Christmas approaches it doesn't seem to be getting any cooler out on the South side of St. John but wearing long sleeves definatly helps the guys to limit their sun exposure. Currently we are also going through 12 5gal bottles of water a week which still does not seem like enough. I hope they all stay hydrated and motivated as the project comes to a close.

In the picture above Vaughn and Alfredo work together in the cafe to remove the plywood that was used for the framing of the store floor. We are still waiting for concrete but we should have a large pour this week or so.

As mentioned before the green house roofing system was finaly completed on the pavilion. It looks a bit industrial now but once hanging plants and fans are installed it will be a very nice place to have meeting and yoga sessions in while you stay at Estate Concordia Preserve.