June/July Construction -Blog
June and July have been exciting months at cSPACE King Edward as we have made huge progress on our exterior work! With skylights now installed and new shingles added, the roof-scape of the project is being transformed. On the interior, our partners at RGO Flooring have ramped up the installation of finished floors while our painters continue to brighten our former historic classrooms!
The transformation of our attic studios into light filled character spaces was a significant moment in June – new skylights began to be installed in the 4th Floor attic space (formerly the school’s ‘museum’). After many months of imagining how these spaces could inspire artistic practice, the evidence is here!
With drywall in place and a fresh coat of paint, exposed brick and sandstone features now richly come to life under natural light and the possibility of fresh air.
In June, work commenced on the historic pitched roof of King Edward to finally improve the deteriorating condition with new shingles.
With skylights in place, the next step of the process involved elevating all the roofing equipment and supplies by lift to an accessible place above the eaves. The view of a roofer guiding these boomed materials from the close proximity of the roof’s edge was quite the sight.
While we didn’t recreate the original slate tiles from 1912, we sourced some beautiful shingles that work well with the historic architecture.
The cupola and standing seam metal roofing had to be extensively repaired as well.
Details like pressed-metal cornice brackets will also get rehabilitated and it has been great to get a close-up view of the progress!
Around the perimeter of the school, site concrete has been initiated in several locations. With a very wet July now nearing its end, we look forward to seeing sidewalk curbs come together and some of the site paving to commence.
On the north side of the site along 29th avenue, formwork was constructed for our service enclosure – housing everything from our cooling plant, recycling, bike storage, and power.
Once this enclosure with its consolidated services is fully installed, the finished facade of steel and exposed concrete will be surrounded with a sheltering bosque of pines to brace north winter winds and add to the streetscape.
Another grove of trembling aspens will eventually filter light to the west wing addition – for now, seeing a rendering and the tops of new concrete piles in place will have to do!
Along the east side of the school, the foundations are now ready for our east pavilion that will accommodate a children’s play area during the day and a gathering space for the community on evenings and weekends.
For Maria Montessori Education Centre, this outdoor space will be utilized throughout the school year, directly viewable from their new classroom windows.
In their lower floor space, a corner expanse of windows now allows natural light back in after being covered up for 50 years.
Unique details also grace the space that include a former arched entry (revised to meet current building code) that will be left as a niche to showcase the historic fabric of King Edward.
The new entryways that have been adapted from the historic configuration will see original brick left exposed to add an interesting character element throughout the building.
On the south lower level of the school, openings cut into the 1950s concrete wall now see reinstated windows in place and partitioning being installed for two future studios.
Elsewhere throughout the facility, new storm windows and nearly all of the operable transom windows are on schedule for installation.
Next up will be the reinstallation of restored historic windows to the inside – where divided light windows of a 100-year-vintage will be enjoyed by tenants for years to come.
For the meantime, our mockup room has been completed and other spaces on the 4th floor are receiving new paint to walls and the exposed mechanical and electrical systems.
Together with restored historic trim work and new flooring, these changes are all beginning to signal great spaces for our creative community.
Seeing the transformation of this luminous space for Alexandra Writers Society will undoubtedly become an inspiring place for their members when compared with their current basement location.
Getting up to this 4th floor location will soon be made easier with the new elevator coming along – yes, it’s deep enough to fit a grand piano!
Down on the lower level, mechanical work continues unabated to complete the installation of all the mechanical systems. The heat recovery ventilation unit is now disguised amidst a complex network of piping and ductwork.
At the end of July, hydrostatic testing of all the mechanical lines was initiated. With the system lines first pressurized with air, and then with 100 plus pounds of water pressure, cleaning and flushing of mechanical system was commenced. This important step ensures that the sediment and slag from welders was removed prior to interjecting additives for corrosive protection throughout the system.
As we proceed into August, progress on our community’s spaces and commissioning of mechanical systems will continue in preparation for occupancy later this year! With the new west wing now also underway, we look forward to finalizing material selections with our architect for the full scope of the project and keeping you informed along the way!