Monday, May 14, 2007


One of the historical Purnell stories we tell at work was how they were going to have more basement in the building than we do. That was supposed to be where all our storage was going to be. However when they did the excavation during the construction phase they ran into bedrock. Legend has it that they would have had to blast to clear the rock and that the addition just wasn't in the budget.

I am beginning to think this story may be apocryphal.

So this is a picture of the space behind the Purnell center where they are currently in the construction phase for the new Gates Center for Computer Science (yes, that Gates). As you can see they have once again run into bedrock, but have gone on ahead as planned - and without any blasting I might add. Just day after day of one of those big machines with a jack-hammer attachment.

I guess the true excavation costs were just absorbed by something else in the construction of the Purnell Center.

Let this be a lesson to anyone out there building their own theatre building. Protect your storage areas at all costs, and make sure you've got some healthy contingencies built in.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I don't think it was the blasting, but jacking out 50,000 cu. ft of storage is majorly expensive (esp if you didn't expect the bedrock). I do seem to remember that the warehouse costs the first two years PCA was open pretty much offset the additional cost of building the storage. (However, operational costs and construction costs generally come from two different pots)

Storage is the FIRST thing to get cut from the program when money gets tight, and the important thing to remember during a construction project is that those who show up to the meetings get what they want, or at least get to defend their territory. Ever wonder why PCA has a TV studio and no strong TV program?