August 14, 2012 Update
A tour of the NEC construction work this morning offered a revealing and impressive look at the dramatic changes being accomplished in the Brown and Jordan Hall buildings this summer. Thanks to tour guides Jim Anderson Senior Project Manager of Tishman Construction and Project Superintendent Steve Derochea.
Work crews have only been onsite for 18—19 days, but already significant progress has been made. This 3 ½ month project has been scheduled in minute detail in order to complete as much of the project as possible before the opening of school and to minimize disruption once students return. When construction is finished, both Brown and Williams Halls and 62 practice rooms or studios will have air-conditioning or ventilation systems as well as new heating systems. Brown and Williams will also be completely repainted. Acoustic treatment of windows with multiple layers of plywood and dry wall will also have been installed to mitigate the noise that will be produced by the YMCA and Northeastern University construction projects. Yes, the panels on the windows will block out the natural light, but they will only remain in place for a year.
The installation of air-conditioning is a prodigious undertaking. Beginning at the top of the buildings, the crews have opened sections of roof, then ceilings and floors all the way to the basement in order to mount duct work that will carry the intake and return air. Neatly carved sections of ceiling panels in Brown and Williams Halls have been exposed and new steel beams inserted to support the duct work
Walking down the third floor corridor adjacent to rooms 372—380, one could observe ductwork already mounted on the ceilings. Inside the rooms, new air conditioning consoles are hooked up on the walls. Turning the corner, the corridor adjacent to rooms 348—358 is in the process of being fitted for ductwork.
As they make their way through the building, crews have had to work around permanently installed organ consoles and deal with unexpected encounters with lead paint. Although some of these obstacles have resulted in delays, the team is working 10 hours a day to make up any lost time.
Steve Derochea maintains that by September rooms on the second and third floor will be mostly back in service. Brown and Williams are nearly ready and painters were beginning surface prep work in Williams.