Friday, February 29, 2008

Warm leap day

Second floor bay windows letting in the morning light. Photo by Chris Ervin

Report by Dennis Casebier

Beautiful day today. The temperature hit 85 degrees on our front porch. There was very litle breeze.

The roofers showed up at 11:00 AM and tend to work late. Likely it is that they don't want to start laying shingles until it warms up and then they like to keep going. A little less than half the roofing is laid on the east side of the Freight House and they have begun to work on the west side. No work yet on the roof over the second story of the Depot.

The electricians did not come back today. We are well into the time for each of the "trades" to do their job.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Roofers arrive!

The roofers arrived to this scene on the west side of the Freight Building roof.

Report by Dennis Casebier

It was a beautiful day all day today. The temperature was well over 80 degrees in the afternoon. I'm seeing ants beginning to clean out their nests, lizards scurrying around, and sparrows hurrying everywhere with nesting material.

The two electricians were here all day. They are nearly finished.

A man was here this afternoon to develop a bid to put in some security features on the new building.

Then late this afternoon, the roofing crew showed up under the direction of Fred Carrido of Alpine Roof Company. Gus and I went out to connect with him. Fred was determined to get started this afternoon.

He has brought some special material with him to put down on the roof to serve as an undercoat. It was late in the afternoon but they not only unloaded, but got up on the roof and started to work.

In fact, here at 5:30 PM they are still up on the roof working. They won't be able to work much more, but the days are getting longer. They are to come back tomorrow and Friday and plan to finish up next week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Electrical wires strung

Report by Dennis Casebier
Photo by Chris Ervin

Fred Compton (Jr.), the electrician from C & S Electric has just finished stringing what he calls the "high voltage" wires, which is just ordinary stuff like plugs, switches, and outlets. He'll be doing the "low voltage" stuff tomorrow. That's the phone, data, and cable TV lines. He's coming right along and is expecting his father, Fred Compton (Sr.), to come along this evening with the low voltage supplies.

Steve Davis of Pacific Raingutters was here today. He looked things over and didn't see any problems. His plan is to go with aluminum gutters and down spouts. He'll bring a machine and sheet metal and manufacture what they need right on the spot. He left a color chart tacked to the wall in the north Freight House room. He plans to go with Forest Green which will more or less match the trim.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Second story blocks and chimney

Photos by Chris Ervin

Dan Cordova did an amazing job of recreating the original Depot chimney. One almost expects smoke to rise out of it. Yet it's only an ersatz chimney.

Here's an example of the electrical blocks placed for high and low voltage outlets under one of the second story windows.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stairway to second floor built

Report by Dennis Casebier
Photos by Chris Ervin

There was a lot of rain in the East Mojave today. It rained off and on here in Goffs all day but it was not particularly heavy. Searchlight, on the other hand, experienced heavy rain more than once today and then heavy fog late in the day.

In spite of the bad weather much was accomplished on the Library/Depot project. General Contractor Dan Cordova and two of his crew showed up early in the morning and spent the day building the stairs to the second floor of the depot. For the first time there's a convenient way to reach that space. Before you had to use a ladder.

A crew consisting of Gail Andress, Gus and Stella Lind, and even myself through part of the day, laid a 2" water line all along the west side of the Library/Depot. That included digging the ditch (that's Gail's specialty using the backhoe), laying the pipe, and getting it glued together. Gail then covered the ditch and smoothed it out.

It was a long working day under adverse weather conditions, but the job is done. That finishes most of what we can do in the way of laying pipes now until the water tanks are delivered and put in place.

MDHCA Director Russ Kaldenberg spent a good part of the day here today. He'd been following construction progress on this blog, but today was the first he'd actually seen it. He got here just in time to be able to access the second story of the Depot with the new stairs.

The electrician Fred Compton was here today. He brought a load of electrical supplies and is due back tomorrow.

It is cold and wet here in Goffs tonight.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Outside painting finished

Report by Dennis Casebier
Photos by Chris Ervin

This was quite a day. As previously reported, the Case backhoe tractor was down due to the failure of a seal in a hydraulic piston. Gail Andress got up early this morning so as to be at the Case tractor parts place in Las Vegas when they opened at 6:00 AM. He bought the necessary part and then high-tailed it for Goffs.

Gail arrived here at 7:30 AM and then he, Gus and Stella Lind, and Morris Swain worked for four hours to get the piston repaired. And, lo and behold, it worked just fine! (Gail said he used to make repairs like this all the time, but he hadn't done one in 40 years!).

The crew was back out there right after lunch. They dug a trench along on the west side of the building adjacent to where the stairs will be, laid the water pipe, connected a pipe to the input to the new building, and got it all covered back up again. It was getting dark by the time the job was finished. It was necessary to get that stretch of pipe laid because Mr. Cordova plans to work at that spot tomorrow to build the stairs.

The plumber was here today running a line into the attic for humidifiers. He made other adjustments to the water system.

The painters finished with outside painting today. They finished all the yellow and green.

Mr. Cordova thinks the roofers will come out soon to get the tar paper on the roof to make it water proof. He will call early tomorrow morning to get a weather check before sending the roofer out.

The weather today was pretty good. Not especially cold early-on, but by late afternoon there was a stiff breeze out of the west and it was colder.

Spirits are high at Goffs as this beautiful new building comes into focus. A lot of good work was done at Goffs by a lot of good people today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Many highlights during a busy, full day

Report by Dennis Casebier

It was 42 degrees on our front porch at 6:30 AM with little or no breeze. By 11:00 AM it got up to 60 degrees with a pretty good little breeze out of the northeast.

The painters arrived just before 7:00 AM. The new building got a lot more yellow color yesterday. Much of today was spent touching up the green trim.

Building inspectors Gary Given and Steve Given were here this morning and toured the construction site.

Gail Andress and Gus Lind completed the pad for the 2,500 gallon potable water tanks today along with considerable work on our drainage system. That's the good news.

The bad news is that there was a failure in one of the hydraulic pistons that operates the backhoe on the tractor. Inasmuch as we were about to start on ditches for water lines, requiring the backhoe to be in constant and heavy use, that puts us in a bit of a bind.

But you can't hold down Messrs. Andress and Lind. Gail went back home to Nelson this afternoon and got on the phone to the Case Tractor dealer and parts supplier in Las Vegas and made arrangements to pick up the needed part early in the morning before he comes over tomorrow. Once here, he and Gus plan to fix the piston and, assuming everything goes OK, we'll be back in business and can start digging the ditches for water lines.

As if that wasn't enough, beginning at about 2:30 PM we were hit by a squall, accompanied by lightning, thunder, and even some rain. It was severe enough that we turned off the breaker on the deep well pump and shut down the computers to avoid any damage from stray lightning.

That wasn't the last of the highlights for today. A break in the clouds permitted observation of the full moon rising in partial eclipse just as it was getting dark.

But now at 7:00 PM we're back about where we started this morning. Heavy overcast, very little wind, and about 43 degrees on our front porch. The full moon has disappeared behind the clouds.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Painting and padding

Report and photos from Dennis Casebier

The painters showed up at 7:00 AM this morning. The weather was nice and continued nice all day. The temperatures got up to 70 degrees with little or no wind.

There are two painters: Brandon Bates and Rich Hernandez. As with everyone that has come out to work on our project, they are really nice guys and very competent. They painters worked through the day until 5:30 and got a lot done.

There's a lot more yellow on our beautiful new building than there was early this morning. They will be back early tomorrow and we can hope the good weather will continue.

Gail Andress arrived on site at 7:30 AM this morning. He manned the tractor and, assisted by Morris Swain and Gus Lind, worked all day to build the pad that will hold the two 5,000 gallon water tanks. It took all day.

Gail plans to be back tomorrow morning early and the day will be spent digging ditches and laying pipe. So we're beginning to make progress on the water system.

We're going great guns at Goffs!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Painters arrive

Report by Dennis Casebier

It was about 35 degrees on the front porch at 6:30 AM. There's a bit of a breeze this morning.

As I come back south on and along Lanfair Road I always angle over and walk through the construction site. I was surprised to find the painters there getting ready for several days of painting.

The guy in charge is Brandon and his work force is Rich. Nice guys. As a convenience to us ditch diggers and backhoe operators, they are going to do the west side fist since we have a tentative plan of laying a 2" water line along there tomorrow in a ditch to be excavated by Gail Andress.

As I understand it the weather should be clear through sometime Wednesday or Thursday when some kind of system might come in. Hopefully they'll get the painting finished.

This morning Gus and Morris are busy moving scrap lumber away from the construction site out to the lumber yard so it won't be in our way when we are digging tomorrow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Picking up the wood scraps

Report by Dennis Casebier

Well, the Cordova crew is gone. And guess what? We're having the most beautiful day we've had in a long time. It got up to about 70 today and no wind! Now isn't that the way it is. Those poor guys have been struggling out there against the wind for weeks. Then they leave and the next day is like spring!

Gus and Morris have begun moving the lumber scraps. We are laying claim to them to use for firewood in the schoolhouse. So they are using the big bucket on the tractor to load the lumber scraps and take them to the lumber yard on the 5th segment. They'll have to dry out a bit before they will make good firewood. But there's a lot of scraps so we've got something of a windfall there.

Otherwise, nothing to report on the Library/Depot construction project today.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Roofing materials delivered

Report and photos by Dennis Casebier

It was 37 degrees on the front porch at 6:30 AM with a VERY strong wind out of the northeast, likely in the 40 MPH range. Right now it is about as bad as I've seen.

I stopped at the job site and talked with Dan. He and his crew are finishing up boxing in under the eaves. I expect they'll be gone mid-afternoon. Then the whole crew won't be back next week. They are mostly done with the outside. It doesn't appear that the stairs will get done today.

Dan said someone will be here next week to finish painting on the underside of the eaves and and touchup around the windows and elsewhere. Electrician Fred Compton is scheduled to be here on the 25th. Dan says after that will be the "combo" inspection. That's a big one.

The roofing just arrived! The delivery vehicle has a conveyer belt thing so the material can be positioned on the roofline of the Freight House. Nothing will be done with it today because the roofers aren't here and it's too windy. Dan is hopeful the roofers will come next week.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Framing nearing completion

Report by Dennis Casebier

Gail Andress was scheduled to come over this morning from Nelson, Nevada. He made it OK. He, Gus Lind, and I assembled out by the new well and redesigned how we were going to position the two 5,000 gallon tanks and the associated pipes. At that point we agreed to abandon the digging project for the day because of the weather.

Cold strong winds were blowing out of the northeast. When I went out on our front porch at 6:30 AM this morning it was 42 degrees. By 9:00 AM, instead of warming up the temperature had fallen to 39 degrees and it subsequently went lower. So we called a "stand down" until next week. That should work out better anyway because we might have gotten in General Contractor Cordova's way today, and he and his crew will be gone next week.

Dan says he and his crew will be through up through the "combo" inspection) by tomorrow afternoon. After that it'll be up to the subcontractors. Dan will be out from time to time, but I believe his crew will be done with the framing job.

The electrician is presently scheduled to be here Monday, 25 February 2008.

Dan & Crew are working on the soffits covering the underside of the roof overhangs. In other words, the underside of the overhangs will be boxed in. That'll look a lot nicer and it'll permit the roofers to use longer nails on the shingles which will make them stay down better in the wind.

Dan hopes to get the stairs to the upper floor of the Depot completed by tomorrow.

At exactly 12:00 noon the temperature on the front porch has risen some but it is still blowing a gale.

Today is the 18th anniversary of our taking over the Goffs Schoolhouse property. What will the next 18 years bring?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ersatz chimney

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

It was 44 degrees on the front porch this morning at 6:30 AM with a light breeze. It has been bright and sunny all day. At 1:50 PM it is 82 degrees on the front porch and continuing with a light balmy breeze.

General contractor Dan Cordova and crew showed up a little before 7:00 AM and they are out there "making hay while the sun shines." They are finishing the siding and also they have fabricated the ersatz or artificial chimney and it is being put in place.

Dan tells me he plans to have most of the framing work completed this week and then it'll be mostly up to "the trades;" meaning electrician, insulation, drywall, etc. Each of them will be in and out. In other words, we're getting down towards the end of the framing. The electrician may be here as early as next week.

All the wood scraps are being left for us for firewood and it is approaching time to gather all that kind of thing up and get it carried out to the lumber yard for aging. We could use help moving all this scrap lumber.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Board members tour Library construction

Photos and captioning by Chris Ervin

One of the items of business on today's MDHCA Board meeting agenda was for the members to tour the new Mojave Desert Archives Library construction site.

From left to right; MDHCA Directors Hugh Brown, Jo Ann Casebier, Dennis Casebier, John Terrill, and Steve Mongrain enjoy a moment in the sun.

The two large rooms of the Freight House will serve as the stacks for the Library.

View from the reading room looking out east through the bay windows.

It's easy to see the two-story Depot from quite a distance in any direction.

Board members inspect the corrugated metal siding on the south end of the Freight Building. Much satisfaction with the progress and quality of work was expressed by all directors.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Finally, not much wind!

Report and photo by Dennis Casebier

It turned out to be a beautiful day and the workers took full advantage of it. It was 25 degrees on our front porch at 6:15 AM. The Cordova crew showed up a little before 7:00 AM.

The builders got the corrugated siding installed on the west side of the Freight House, but not yet on the south end. The yellow lap siding all around the two-story Depot section looks to be mostly completed. Also they got the green paint on the fascia board all around the building today. They were staying later than usual today because of the improvement in the weather.

Dan said he needs to finish the siding and the roofing and after that it will be mostly various subcontractors installing insulation, electrical, drywall, etc. The electrical is a biggie. He said he had hopes the electrician will be here in about two weeks.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Corrugated metal siding installed

Report and photos by Dennis Casebier

The Cordova team have continued to wrap the building, install lap siding, and install the corrugated metal siding on the east side of the Freight House. Also, most of the doors are installed.

On interior work, the crew has installed some ducting for air conditioning and heating in the ceiling of the first floor of the Depot.

Lance Cody of Hi-Desert Air and his crew of three or four showed up in the late afternoon and began laying out the air conditioning.

It has been tough working out there all day in the cold wind. Mostly sunny though. I'm hopeful they'll get a break in the weather soon.

They have two lifts on the site but they can't use the original one because it's less stable in the wind and could potentially blow over.

Monday, February 4, 2008

First CCHE reimbursement received

Report by Dennis Casebier

It was 32 degrees and clear at 6:30 AM and absolutely no wind. by 9:00 AM it was 44 degrees and the wind came back up. I believe the wind yesterday was the strongest we've had this season and it was right out of the northeast as it has a way of doing in the winter.

General Contractor Cordova and his crew arrived at right about 7:00 AM, coming today from Yucca Valley. They'll be staying in Laughlin through the week.

I met with Dan. Everything is on track. He said he'll be getting another lift tomorrow. He'll have this second lift for just one week. It is needed to focus the crew on finishing spray painting the eaves and installation of siding. There's no reason the siding can't proceed to completion.

Also Dan had a new roofing sample. Jo Ann and I took the camera over and shot a sequence of digital photos of the sample against the siding, roofing on the power house, and trim and have sent selections off to Chris to support his making the final selection on a shingle product.

A highlight of today was that we received the first reimbursement check from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) and the State of California demonstrating that the system actually works! Chris and Leslie Ervin get our great appreciation for administering the grant which culminates in the submission of invoices for reimbursement. We have another larger invoice pending and a third one will be sent in this week.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Doors are delivered

Report by Dennis Casebier

It turned out to be a very nice day for working on the Library/Depot. Sunny with moderate temperature, and no wind.

The doors for the new building were delivered this morning at about 8:30 AM and some were put up right away. Work continues on wrapping of the building and installation of siding.

Mr. Cordova said they'd be leaving about 1:00 PM today and sure enough they left at about 1:15 PM. He said they'll be back Monday.