James Center for the Performing Arts – Phase II
Groundbreaking & Week 1 Construction – October 3-8
A formal groundbreaking took place after our September 2022 concert.
The 1st week of construction began on 3 October 2022. Construction fencing was installed and excavators removed the concrete sidewalk just east of the present Swisher Hall (part of the James Center for the Performing Arts complex). The exploratory excavation was done to identify all of the pipes (e.g., rain gutter run-off pipe, sewer pipe) that will impact the construction of the rehearsal hall.
Week 2 Construction – October 10-15
The footing forms are built and the concrete trucks are on the way.
It is a beautiful Sequim day to be pouring concrete.
At this point, the pour is about 1/3 of the way around the footings.
The pour looks complete and it’s time to use the screed.
The weather forecast for the next 6 days is for sunny skies, lows in the upper 40s, and highs from 65F-73F. We couldn’t ask for better conditions.
Week 3 Construction – October 17-22
The foundation forms are assembled on top of the cured concrete footings and ready for the concrete.
A day later the construction team prepares for the rain storms that are forecast to travel through the area later this week. The excavated dirt piles are covered with tarps and flexible storm water diversion pipes have been affixed to the two ends of the gutter on the east wall of existing Swisher Hall. The high cirrus clouds portend the arrival of rain clouds. The autumn rains are coming late to Sequim and the rains are welcome. They should help clear out the smoke from wildfires that have been plaguing Sequim for the past couple of weeks.
Demolition of the interior of the existing Swisher Hall includes removal of the carpet tiles, removal of the rest room fixtures (e.g., sink, commode), and removal of the concrete floor in the old rest room. The studs for the walls of the two new rest rooms are seen in this photo, as are the window framing of the IT/recording room and the doorway framing between Swisher Hall and the planned new rehearsal room.
Week 4 Construction – October 24-29
This last full week of October 2022 saw work directed at the new restrooms. The plumbers began work on the newly framed restrooms.
Outside the soil substructure under the floor of the new rehearsal hall was packed. Then gravel was brought in and the gravel layer was leveled and packed firm.
Plastic sheeting was laid and parallel rows of rebar were arranged on top. A concrete pour of the floor is scheduled for next Monday (October 31st), provided the rain forecast for that day does not come to pass.
Week 5 Construction – October 31 – November 5
The large rain storm moved through the area overnight and the skies partially cleared Halloween morn. The pour of the concrete slab started on schedule.
The crew made short work of spreading and smoothing the concrete. When completed there will be about 40 yards of concrete forming the slab – that’s over 4 concrete truck loads.
Even though there were some intermittent rain showers throughout the day, the concrete slab was poured and left to cure over the next few days. Construction remains on schedule. It will be satisfying to see the next big step – wall framing
Week 6 Construction – November 7-12
A crucial part of construction occurred during Week 6 of construction – specifically the common wall that is the east wall of the current one-story room was extended vertically. This higher roof line will be the west wall of the new room.
The full height of the new room is evident in this photo. Detailed work is crucial here because the connection of this extended wall needs to be water-tight. Next week’s schedule is to begin building the panels that will make up the walls of the new room.
Week 7 Construction – November 14-19
There did not appear to be much action forward this week, but the carpenters were busy building the panels that would make up the 3 new walls, thus framing in the new hall. The plan was to position the panels on the concrete slab so that next week a crane could easy ‘stand up’ the panels, while the carpenters secure each panel to the existing building and its neighboring panel. Raising the walls and anchoring the skeleton of the building by adding the trusses is planned for 2 consecutive days next week.
Week 8 Construction – November 21-26
This short Thanksgiving week has been jam packed with easily visible changes at the build site. On Monday, a crane lifted, and carpenters helped guide, 6 panels (2 panels for each of 3 walls) upright into place. Each panel weighs approximately 2,400 lbs – so the 3 new walls of the hall are over 7 tons. The crane is rated to lift up to 15 tons, so raising a 1 ton section of the wall was no strain.
On Tuesday the crane operator starting lifting the trusses for placement atop the walls. Work progressed from the east end of the new building towards the west end of the hall. Now that it is obvious what the size and shape of the addition to the James Center will be, we added a banner to the construction fence so that on-lookers have a better idea about the scope of the project.
The boom truck with attached crane prepares to lift a truss off the stack of trusses located on the south side of the new hall.
A carpenter, working from the bucket of a ‘cherry picker’ located on the north side of the building, is ready to guide the north end of the truss into its proper place.
Week 9 Construction – November 28-December 3
At the beginning of the week, the trusses were installed but the room is still open to the skies. For perspective, the bottom of the trusses are 21 feet from the floor.
As one can see in this view, the roof sheathing is being installed and it’s good that the carpenters are not afraid of heights. The height of the roof line at it’s peak is 28 feet above the ground.
The roof sheathing was completely installed by the end of the week. This view from the south shows the elevated height of the new room compared to the smaller, low ceiling room that served as the band’s rehearsal space from 2005 until February 2020. That original room – named Swisher Hall in honor of the founding music director Chuck Swisher – is part of the James Center for the Performing Arts complex and will house the Sequim City Band’s music library and provide storage for the band’s chairs, music stands, and large percussion instruments (i.e., timpani, bass drum, baby grand piano, marimba, orchestral chimes).
Week 10 Construction – December 5-10
Since the building has been topped off, attention turned to installing the vapor barrier. This view from the east shows the second of the three exterior walls with the entire wall covered. The west wall is one that is shared with the original Swisher Hall, thus the first story is not an exterior wall requiring the vapor barrier.
Natural sunlight streams through the opening of the door on the south wall (in the southeast corner) that will be installed in a few weeks. This photo is taken before the electricians have started placing conduit, power outlet boxes, and other pieces that will comprise the lighting, 120 V power and low voltage power systems for audio/video, and digital data cables.
The metal door frames have arrived and will installed in the near future. The west wall (the one shared with the single-story original Swisher Hall) is yet to be covered with wall sheathing. The heating ducts and electrical wires will be run from the original Swisher Hall to the new room, so it still needs to remain accessible. The double-door opening on the north wall is essential because that is the door through which the band will move large percussion equipment onto the James Center’s open air stage.
Week 11 Construction – December 12-17
Cedar siding with battens are in the process of being installed – starting on the south wall of the new hall. This view from the southwest shows (from left to right): Phase 1 of the James Center with the west green room, the stage (which is open to the north), and Swisher Hall (the combination storage room and original rehearsal room). The new construction on the right is the James Center for the Performing Arts – Phase 2.
The carpenters are continuing in a counterclockwise direction around the building to ultimately side the east and north walls of the new hall. On the upper east wall, as it goes up to the peak of the ridge line, cedar shakes are applied. This exterior will mimic the exterior of the James Center – Phase 1. Packs of roof shingles are pre-staged on the top of the roof, awaiting installation.
Electrical conduit is being installed throughout the room. This photo is of the ceiling at the west end of the hall. When completed the electrical, sound/video, and data wires will be in the one foot space between the bottom of the trusses (at a height of 21 feet) and the ceiling tiles (at a height of 20 feet).
Week 12 Construction – December 19-24
As Sequim faced a snow storm moving into the area overnight, the exterior finish of the new rehearsal space is almost complete. This photo, taken the afternoon of December 19th, revealed the higher roof line of the new hall raising above the roof ridge of the single-story storage space – itself a part of the 2005 James Center complex situated to the south (right in this view) of the open stage. The west exterior wall of the new construction is awaiting the application of the cedar shakes.
Snow began to accumulate on the branches of Sequim’s Christmas Tree at Sequim Ave and Washington St during the first few hours of the January 19th-20th snow storm.
A few days later a couple of inches remained on the ground and a construction trailer. The cedar siding and cedar shakes on the north and east walls have been installed. Black plastic wraps the lower 3 feet of the exterior walls, where a river rock veneer will be applied. The siding and rock veneer of the Phase II addition will match the exterior of the existing James Center (Phase I).
While snow remained on the ground, the crew moved indoors. Installation of insulation of the 3 new walls of the hall is almost complete in this photo taken December 22nd.
Week 13 Construction – December 26-31
What a difference a week makes in the weather in Sequim!! The snow has melted – leaving bright green grass in its stead. And it is warm and dry enough so that the carpenters can proceed with finishing the west exterior wall by installing the cedar shakes to the peak of the new rehearsal hall.
One can readily see how the new rehearsal hall will look from the perspective of the audience. Because the addition is situated to the east, the view of Hurricane Ridge remains unimpeded for audience members who will enjoy concerts of live music throughout future summers. Once warmer temperatures return in late winter the addition will be stained to replicate that of the James Center (Phase I).
The year of 2022 concluded with a rainbow over the Phase II addition to The James Center for the Performing Arts – a resource for the music community of the Upper Olympic Peninsula.
Week 14 Construction – January 2-7
The carpenters continued the construction into the 2023 with the installation of dry wall. The west wall of the new hall (the shared wall with the previous storage room / rehearsal space) is on the right side of this photo. This wall includes a wide doorway that will allow the movement of large percussion equipment (i.e., timpani) from storage into the rehearsal hall. The large square window will allow viewing from the IT/electrical/recording booth into the hall.
Turning around, the shared west wall is now seen on the left with doorways to two restrooms at the northern section of the wall. Straight ahead there is a double-width doorway that leads outside. The band will move instruments, music stands, and chairs through these doors to place these items on the James Center stage.
The insulated west wall of the restrooms and the IT/electrical/recording booth is seen in this photo taken in the original storage room. Stacked insulation bundles, awaiting installation, are seen on the right. Note the low ceiling height of this room, which was previously used as the rehearsal space for the Sequim City Band.
Weeks 15-16 Construction – January 9-22
There are no photos to share as the construction crew pulled the electrical wire, continued installing the dry wall and ceiling insulation, and the walls were painted. Then work moves to installing the suspended ceiling tiles and ceiling lights. These are all important items for the interior space but the progress does not make for interesting photos.
Week 17 Construction – January 23-29
With the improved weather, the construction workers were able to move their work outside. Significant progress was made applying the exterior stain. Below is the progress from Tuesday to Friday of the 4th week of January.
Weeks 18-19 – January 30 – February 12
Week 18 started out with all of the drywall installed and painted. Also, in place are the ceiling lights, wall sconces, and mini-split units. Installation of the ceiling panels will be going in next.
In the the top photo, notice the placement of the numerous openings in the dry wall These will house the outlets for various low-voltage audiovisual equipment.
These low-voltage wires, which are already run through the ceiling space and walls, will run into the control room.
Meanwhile outside – the PUD began installing the new transformer and electric meter. In this photo, their work is shielded by a PUD vehicle and a pile of native soil with the typical amount of “Sequim Potatoes”.
Week 20 – February 13-19
Various pieces of the electrical and HVAC systems were installed. Starting on the upper left and moving clockwise are: the heat pump compressor for the four minisplit units is located on the south side of the single-story storage room, the electrical meter & transformer are located to the west side of the storage room, the heat recovery ventilator (HRV) and manifold for the minisplit system are located above the rest rooms (thus, accessible from the storage room), and the janitor’s wet closet houses the hot water heater.
Two large ceiling fans were installed. Installation of the ceiling lights, flat ceiling tiles, and acoustical barrel tiles was complete. And, the carpet pieces were laid.
Week 21 – February 20-26
Two large screen LG TVs and two Peavey speakers were delivered. Various uses of the AV equipment include: display of notes from the conductor (i.e., the evening’s rehearsal order) and presentation of recorded performances of specific pieces of music for study.
Week 22 – February 27 – March 5
A major project this week was mounting the TV monitor and speakers on the walls. The TV monitors are located behind the conductor – facing the musicians.
Outside preparations were made for the sidewalk and handicap parking spots.