Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

As we wind down 2007, the folks at the Goffs Cultural Center
wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2008!

Watch a month's progress compressed into two seconds...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Winding down for the holidays

Report and photos by Dennis Casebier

Dan Cordova & Co. showed up a little before 7:00 AM this morning. The wind came up at about the same time and picked up here throughout the morning. It was pretty cool at about 40 degrees at mid-morning.

The framers are out there putting plywood up on the walls. Mr. Cordova hopes to have it completely around the building by the time they leave today, which is likely to be before noon.

The understanding is that there will be a break from construction next week.

More and more it is beginning to feel like a building.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Framed walls go up

Report and photos by Dennis Casebier

The exciting news is that most if not all the framed walls of the Library/Depot are up. Dan Cordova and crew are here through tomorrow squaring it all up. Looks great. I have a wonderful view of the new building from my office window across Lanfair Road.

A lumber truck arrived this morning with the plywood to be used for the sheer panels.

The framing crew's progress almost ground to a halt mid-day. They needed the special heavy duty square washers for the anchor bolts and didn't have any. They are required by code. Mr. Cordova checked with Lowes and Home Depot yesterday evening and they didn't have any. A truck was coming out with the plywood so he asked the supplier to bring some out. They didn't have any either.

Goffians to the rescue! Once Dan told me what the problem was we produced a whole box of them within five minutes. Bill Fullerton [rest in peace] had squirreled them away in the metal cabinet behind the AT&T shed. So the crew was able to go foward and raise the walls.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Walls are framed

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

General contractor Cordova arrived with his crew at about 7:45 AM this morning and went right to work. They were busy framing all day. They got most, if not all, of the first floor walls done.

Tomorrow some time, the framed walls will be stood up into place. That's going to be exciting and it should be a real photo op. Mr. Cordova and crew are expected back bright and early tomorrow morning.

We are being blessed with ideal weather for this time of year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Framing begins

Report by Dennis Casebier

It was a productive day today with things little less frantic than yesterday. General contractor Dan Cordova uses his own crew to do the framing. They showed up bright and early this morning (five of them altogether) and commenced working on the Library/Depot.

First, they went around marking out construction lines on the slab poured just yesterday. Then, they spent the rest of the day installing the treated wood (keeps termites away) bottom plate to the bolts that protrude above the concrete. It was music to our ears to hear the saws buzzing away. Tomorrow there is the prospect we'll hear hammers.

Mr. Cordova hopes – if the weather holds – he'll have the entire bottom floor framed by the end of this week. Unlike yesterday, there wasn't much for us locals to do except stand by and gaze on in amazement.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Slab poured and lumber delivered

Report and photos by Dennis Casebier

Today was a very busy day for the Goffs Cultural Center with all activities centering around construction of the new Library/Depot.

Craig Merriam's concrete crew came on to the property at 6:00 AM. The four concrete trucks from Mohave Valley began arriving a little before 7:00 AM, staggered at about fifteen minute intervals. This was in addition to the three trucks that poured the footings Friday.

The five men comprising the concrete crew worked frantically handling that amount of mud. But in not much more than a hour and a half the footprint of the slab was filled in and the four trucks had come and gone.

The crew spent much of the rest of the day finishing it off. The result is a really fine-looking slab upon which the Library/Depot will be based.

At mid-afternoon, a huge lumber delivery truck arrived with a heavy load from Palm Springs. The contractors had all left. They had indicated to us where they'd like the lumber placed, so it fell to the Goffs crew to direct the placement of the lumber and assist the driver in the actual unloading.

That required nearly three hours - it was getting dark and a cold breeze had come up before that work was done.

So now there's a massive assortment of lumber out there ready to be made into a building and we understand the contractor will be back tomorrow morning and begin nailing boards together! This is pretty exciting stuff for us MDHCA members at Goffs.

For our part, the following people were present and helping out as they could throughout the day: Gus and Stella Lind, Ron Shepard, John Harrington, Hugh & Carol Brown, Morris & Judy Swain, Jan Sears, Jerry Sears, and Dennis & Jo Ann Casebier.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Burro bush whapping continues

Report by Dennis Casebier

Jerry Sears is out there continuing his burro bush whapping. He'll soon have all the burro bushes removed in between the creosotes from the Library/Depot site to the caboose, thereby diminishing the threat by wildfire. He's done a lot of work on it and Jan has helped.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

30 yards of concrete footings poured

Concrete is poured into the stem wall forms.

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

Craig Merriam and his three-person concrete crew rolled onto the property at 6:45 AM this morning. Within fifteen minutes the first of three concrete trucks from Mohave Valley arrived. The other two trucks of "mud" showed up at 45 minute intervals.

Pretty soon Gus and Stella and I were out there, joined later by Jo Ann and John Harrington. So there were plenty of supervisors! These three loads were for the footings and it turned out three full loads was not quite enough. The shortage will be made up when the slab is poured.

Craig had hoped to pour the slab tomorrow (Friday) but the forecast is for 14 MPH winds early in the morning, building up to something closer to 20 MPH by the afternoon. Craig says that's too much so the slab will not be poured tomorrow. The next window of opportunity will be Monday.

It was cold this morning - right at 30 degrees. We had ice on the bird water for the first time this season. But there was very little breeze so it was not uncomfortable.

By 9:00 AM, the last of the three concrete trucks were cleaning out.

Around 1:00 PM, I noticed an extra white pickup at the work site. I found general contractor Dan Cordova there. He was pouring over the plans and had detailed questions about measurements and a few other items. I got John Harrington so we could all go over the details together. We had about an hour-long meeting over the details.

General contractor Dan Cordova is a carpenter by trade. His crew will be doing the framing. He had hoped to begin framing on Monday, but now that will have to be delayed. Dan says they'll start framing Tuesday and have the first story done by the end of the week. He said the lumber will arrive Monday and he showed me where he wants it placed.

Craig Merriam's crew is still out there working with the forms and concrete poured this morning.

I went to the pantry and fetched the notebook with all the photos we have of the Depot for show and tell. Everyone was very interested.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

First inspection passed

Report by Dennis Casebier

We had our first inspection today. Building Inspector Stephen Given was here by 8:30 this morning. I took him out to the work site. Outside temperature was 31 degrees, the coldest we've had this season.

He checked things over and gave his approval on temporary power, foundation reinforcing steel, excavation and forms, slab grade, and ground plumbing.

I called Craig and gave him the green light. If he'd known the inspection would happen this early he would have poured some concrete today. Anyway, he'll be here early tomorrow morning and will be pouring by 7:00 AM. He'll pour footings tomorrow.

Craig had hoped to pour the slab on Friday but looking ahead at the weather he's afraid it is going to be too windy. He'll have his eye on the weather.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Steel is ready for inspection

Bay window footing forms and steel for the depot slab.

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

Craig Merriam with his crew arrived here before 7:15 AM. General contractor Dan Cordova was also here this morning. Here's a summary of the work done today;

The "steel" is in place and ready for concrete to be delivered. It looks good. Craig expects to call for about three 10-yard trucks Thursday and maybe five or more on Friday. He'll have the normal crew of three or four here Thursday but maybe even one extra on Friday. Of course Craig will be out here Thursday and Friday. I get the impression all our concrete may be poured this week.

Gus Lind was here all day providing contact backup with Craig and for awhile with Dan Cordova while we had appointments in town.

I'll be interfacing with the building inspector tomorrow. It appears everyone has done their homework so we don't expect any issues.

John E. Masterson from Rinker Materials of Mohave Valley was here this afternoon. He and Craig went over the ground and the approaches the concrete trucks are to use. Gus will is firing up the tractor late this afternoon to smooth out two of the approaches the concrete trucks will have to use.

We are grateful Gus was here today. He was out on the grounds most of the day interfacing with Craig and Dan.

It was cold and windy in Goffs today. Even colder and windier in Bullhead City.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Steel and bush whacking

The concrete crew constructs the form for the stem wall.

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

The concrete crew - four strong - started work a little after six this morning. They are leveling out the ground by hand and have also brought a trailer load of "steel" (various kinds of reinforcing steel). They are determined to be ready for inspection on Wednesday.

At 7:30 AM the temperature was 34 degrees and a bit of a breeze.

A little before noon Jo Ann and I were out at the work site. Craig was talking about trying to get concrete lined up from Rinker of Mohave Valley. He has hopes of getting some delivered later this week.

Jerry and Jan Sears, with assistance from Gus on the tractor, have been working for a week now clearing burro brushes from in between the creosote bushes between the west side of the Library/Depot construction site and the caboose. This is a precaution in case of wildfire from the west.

Director Kaldenberg visits the construction site

Craig Merriam and Russ Kaldenberg consult on progress.

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

MDHCA director, archaeologist, and cultural resources expert Russ Kaldenberg stopped by this afternoon on his way from California to Wyoming. I gave him a tour of the Library building site. Russ had an opportunity to talk with contractors about their construction plans, provide his expertise on their work, plans, concrete needs, scheduling, and other matters. We also discussed historic accuracy regarding the east wall.

It was good Russ got to see the work and progress.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rained out today

Report by Dennis Casebier

It rained a little here during the night. It is windy and heavy overcast now, but not actually raining. The concrete man, Craig, didn't show up this morning. Apparently it rained more over in the Morongo Basin than here in Goffs and the wind is blowing hard. Anyway, they have decided not to come today but they'll be back to work Monday and Tuesday to be ready for inspection on Wednesday.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Forms and plumbing

The concrete crew continues construction of the forms.

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

Looks like another busy day. Two pickup loads of the concrete workers arrived from Twentynine Palms area at 6:30 am. These boys get up early.

The plumber Tim Henry is here. He'll stub out the sewer line and the water line and fill back in behind himself. I asked him to mark and tag the two places where these stubs will be buried.

The greatest excitement this morning is that the nine volt battery expired in concrete man Craig's laser machine. Everything ground to a halt. They had to stop putting forms in. Craig jumped in his vehicle and sped off to Fenner. No batteries. That's when it occurred to him he might call me. We had one and had them back on line in a jiffy.

They are moving right along with the forms. I would be hard pressed to guess what percentage they have done, but considerable. Craig tells me the job is going to require about 50 yards of concrete.

It is heavy overcast, gloomy, and cool today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Trenching for the footings

Craig Merriam's concrete crew begins digging trenchs for the footings.

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

Things are hopping at Goffs. The contractors began arriving from Twentynine Palms at 6:30 am.

Presently the graders (whose job is essentially done), concrete man, and trenchers, and General Contractor Dan Cordova are on the ground. Must be ten people out there. I've been out there continuously since 6:45 am. The weather doesn't get nicer.

With Chris on the phone so I could verify my logic, I approved the exact siting of the building. The building is now marked out on the ground and the trencher is going to dig for the footings.

The cement man is expecting a pretty thorough inspection a week from today. The way seems clear for a quick inspection. The concrete man, Craig Merriam, can begin to pour when and if they pass inspection next Wednesday. He plans to pour the entire thing before Christmas. It'll take two pouring days and will be dependent upon weather. Craig has three people here besides himself.

Electrical is being done by Fred of CWS electrical. A/C is in the hands of High Desert Air. The trenching man is Bruce Pendergrass.

New workampers, Jerry and Jan Sears, worked hard whapping burro bushes out west of the Library/Depot site. This effort is designed to expand the perimeter of our fire breaks around our beautiful new building.

By the end of the day, all of the trenching for footings was completed. John Marnell checked the trenches on the ground with John Harrington's model of the Depot and has certified they are correct. The weather is beautiful but I'm hearing there may be heavy weather moving in by this coming weekend.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The pad is done

Camera angle makes it difficult to see pad of dirt built up for base for the Library. This extra elevation will go a long way in keeping water away from the Library.

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

Lehman Excavators completed the pad for the Library about noon today. Nice job. General contractor Dan Cordova will be here tomorrow to inspect the pad and the concrete man will be here to lay out the foundation forms on the pad.

I'm not an expert on pads but I think they did a great job. The people from whom they rented the tractor (out of Bullhead) will come and pick up the tractor in the morning. I had them lift me up in the bucket of the tractor to get the photo of the pad. If the rest of the subcontractors are as good as Lehman Excavators then we'll do very well.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Grading for the Library pad begins

Report by Dennis Casebier

7:00 AM
A big truck pulling a trailer with the tractor on board has arrived. It is out on Lanfair Road and the tractor is being unloaded. Sam and Mike supervising. Something is about to happen. Overnight low in low 30s but not freezing. Looks clear out today.

9:00 AM
It is happening! Those boys are out there moving dirt. Because of the recent rains, the soil is perfect. All us local Goffians are out there standing around ... there is a smile on every face ... there is excitement in the air. There is a sense that something of importance is underway! Like when the Route 66 House came up from Essex and when we started on restoration of the Schoolhouse. We are embarked on something of the greatest importance. Sam mentioned that general contractor Dan Cordova will be out some time today.

12:00 Noon
The pad is coming together nicely. The soil is perfect, thanks to two days of rain. When do we get two days of rain back-to-back coming down slowly enough that it soaks in instead of running off? Must be a good sign. Everything is very positive around here. Everyone can see something is going to happen. That beautiful and distinctive building is going to rise up out of the desert.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Grader arrives

Report by Dennis Casebier

Actual construction work commenced when Sam and Mike Lehman of "Lehman Excavators" out of Joshua Tree started work forming the pad of dirt that the Library/Depot will be built upon. The pad is designed to raise the floor of the Library one foot above "grade" to avoid the potential of water intrusion during a flash flood.

Later in this week the concrete subcontractor will be here putting in forms. Soon cement trucks will be rumbling up and down the hill from Mohave Valley. And, over the next five or six months, our beautiful new library building, constructed in the image of the old (1900-1956) Goffs railway depot, will take shape.