First walls installed this week for new municipal building
Construction on the Forest Lake City Center entered its most visually stimulating stage this week, as Kraus-Anderson Construction workers on Monday hoisted the first precast wall into place. It was the first of many that will be installed by March, providing most of the $13.3 million building’s permanent look.
“What you’ll see in the next month and a half is a lot of work going on,” Kraus-Anderson Project Manager Brett Baldry said. “As soon as we get roofing on, there will be more interior activity and you won’t see as much. We are at the exciting part now.”
The precast walls, which will make up 80 percent of the building’s exterior, consist of many panels assembled off-site and are dropped into place by crane. Steel stud walls will make up the rest of the exterior and be installed next month, with exterior brick laid in March.
Installation of the footings and foundation went well, according to Baldry. In approving the project in late 2012, City Council members raised concerns about how much soil correction would be needed, as the property’s ground has a history of settling.
“A good portion of the new facility goes over the old facility with the corrected material,” Baldry said. “Outside of that (area), it went a little smoother than anticipated.”
Also, a dry fall kept the soil in good working condition, Baldry said. Crews took two days off during last week’s near-record chill due both to safety policy and the inability of cranes to work in that cold of temperatures. Construction resumed over the weekend to make up for the lost time, and remains on schedule to finish around Oct. 1.
The Economic Development Authority on Monday approved the purchase of a monument sign that will sit near the entrance from Lake Street. Though final design details have not been finalized, it will likely be around 15 feet high and include a 32-square-foot LED message board.