Despite the constant rain and muddy site, the team was able to set the rebar and pour a few days later! By using Steve’s fancy plumb bob, and the previously set batter boards, we were able to find the center of the footings and consequently tie the rebar in the right location. After the rebar was all laid out, pins were staked into the ground (every 5 feet) as a reference where the level of the concrete should be poured to.
This week, Steve taught us some tips and tricks on setting up batter boards. These batter boards will be used not only as a guide for excavating but also for setting the rebar reinforcement and pouring concrete. The strings that are pulled from stake to stake mark the edges of the footing and the middle string helps to delineate the center, where the screens will connect to the concrete. After the lines were taut and centered, the ground was spray-painted as a reference for digging, and the string was rolled back.
In a day the footing trenches were excavated! Most of it was dug with a mini excavator, but in areas where there were pipes, the digging was done by hand.
Considering the rain in the next couple of days, the team made a provisional cover with 2″x4″ and plywood that was sloped to let the rain shed off to the side. Then tarps were placed on top of the plywood so that the plywood didn’t get soaked.
Scraps from the walkway grate used as a clamping surface on top
In order to set the grates into the exact place they needed to be, the team used a series of spacers, clamps, and crowbars. 2″x6″X10′ were cut to 9’10” to function as spacers for the brackets so that while the grates were moved around, the brackets stayed parallel to each other. 2″ C clamps were used to attach the grates to the bracket until welded, and 1″ spacers were made out of the wood to wedge between the two rows of grate. This dimension was chosen so that when looking at the grate it reads the same as the space from bearing bar to bearing bar.
This week, Mr.Hamilton, the brick mason finished filling-in the beam that is above the alcove opening. He laid them in an orientation that matched bricks above the windows and relates to the Flemish bond pattern in other parts of the building.
The Horseshoe Farm fellows and Dr. Dorsey came out on Sunday and helped prime and scrape the remaining of the block walls. By the end of the day, most of the Beacon Alley wall was primed and a coat of fresh paint put on the other wall!
The team finished installing the new waterlines and aligning the shut-off valve boxes at the north end of the site, as well as adding a connection for a water hose during construction.
This week Luis also came down from Columbiana, Alabama, and volunteered his time with the team. Luis is a certified welder, and one of the people that taught the team how to weld at Jim Turnipseed’s shop. After the galvanization was ground off at the bottom of the bracket connection, Luis welded the plates to the tube in order to make a stiffer connection.
As the semester kicked off to a rainy start, the team took advantage of the sunny days during the neckdown week to get things done on-site! With the help of Charlie, Livia, Hannah, and Jackie, the new waterline trench was dug, and the CMU block walls were scraped clean and prepped for painting.
While digging the trench, the team and crew found an assortment of whole bricks, dead metal pipes, old terracotta pipes, glass bottles, and remnants of an old foundation. The found bricks were stacked and will be used either on the masonry building to cover the metal beam or as part of the brick “rug” in the finished ground surface at the south end.