By Colleen S. Good
Times West Virginian
The cold temperatures have temporarily halted progress on the Adams Street state office complex.
The previous West Virginia State Office Complex on Adams Street was closed in February of 2009 due to structural problems.
The new building was designed by Omni Associates, a Fairmont architecture firm. PJ Dick, Inc., a general contracting and construction company headquartered in Pittsburgh, was awarded the $17.2 million contract to build the complex in August 2013.
Ned Luthy, project architect for the building and principal with Omni Associates, said that, prior to the bad weather, construction was going along quickly.
“We were on schedule. We might even have made up a little time with the retaining walls,” Luthy said. “We had some pretty good weather up until a week ago.”
The project is currently 19 percent complete, and is still anticipated to be completed by the end of February of 2015.
The construction crew has lost five days so far.
Luthy said that a certain amount of weather delay is expected with any construction project.
“We go by some historical data that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) puts out about how many days we might expect to lose in a month historically,” Luthy said. “But what we’re experiencing now is way beyond the expected weather.”
Prior to the extreme cold temperatures, they had started the steel portion of the project. Unfortunately, steel cannot be worked with in cold temperatures.
“10 degrees is the limit for working with steel,” Luthy said. “Below that, you can’t handle the material.
“And then there’s workmen’s safety.”
Luthy said that, once indoor work starts, weather will be less of a concern. However, the building isn’t set to be fully enclosed until November.
Right now, Luthy said that the construction was set to continue Monday, though weather may change that.
“We may work Monday, and not work Tuesday and Wednesday,” Luthy said. “We’re watching it day by day.”
Luthy said that they’re looking forward to getting the building enclosed in November.
“We’re really looking at November as one of our next big milestones,” Luthy said.
Email Colleen S. Good at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.