The concrete is (partly) poured!

I am pleased to say that today was a monumental step in the progress we’re making at Corinne Jones Park. With the help of Steve Gross, ten of the wall segments were poured and finished. It was a tedious process working with the concrete truck – filling, shoveling, vibrating, re-filling, shoveling out, vibrating more, shoveling back in, and leveling out. This multi-step process helped us to ensure there were no bubbles or imperfections (in theory) along the faces of the wall, and prevented us from having to transfer mass amounts of concrete from block to block. Steve gave us a quick and effective lesson in concrete pouring and finishing, and come Wednesday (when we take the formwork off) we will hopefully see the benefits of having a concrete professional around. For once, we didn’t have any major problems like we’ve seen in the past; no blowouts, funny edges, miscalculations, or setbacks, thanks mainly to the intricate and effective bracing we installed this weekend.

Once we filled all of the formwork and rough-leveled all of the blocks, we took a lunch break at the newly renovated neighborhood pride, Moe’s Crosstown Tavern, and let the concrete dry just enough to be prime for finishing. Half asleep after one of the best lunches we’ve had since the start of this project, we headed back to the park to level and trowel the tops of the concrete, which had miraculously dried to almost solid form. Yet again with a few pointers from Steve, we got the tops into pristine shape.

After a little Studio V pickup basketball game in celebration of the first major success of the project, we headed back to the shop to work on the trusses.

*Side note – the teams for the pickup game were the undergrads (Alex, Keith, Tyler, Richard, and myself) vs. the grads (Lindsay, Julie, Sara, Nick, Joseph, and a white, mustached version of Dikembe Mutombo). Although the latter team won, there are multiple reasons why a rematch is in order – mainly the fact that Joseph miraculously caught fire and lit up the court with 3 buckets from behind the arc to pull his team from behind for the win. We, the undergrads, believe this victory was a fluke, and openly welcome another chance to prove our dominance.

The rest of the night was spent cutting tapers for the beams of the trusses, and routing the columns to prepare them for assembly. The goal is to have them ready to slide into the keyways by Friday, ultimately giving our structure its form and beauty, and leaving only the louvers and benches to be completed by Thanksgiving. We’re getting there! And if nothing else, today was just a reminder that we’re actually going through with this. Our plans are set in stone (literally).

Come by and check it out if you get a chance! Tyler Smyth, a local architect and resident of Wagener Terrace, came by this weekend, and here is what he thought of the progress we’re making.

Thanks for reading!

-Teddy

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