More than two months after workers at the Connecticut Science Center affixed its last bit of steel and "topped" the building off, engineers have found a small problem.
The top is a little off.
The extreme eastern side of the building's sweeping, "magic carpet" roof hangs about a foot lower than it's supposed to. The western side of the $150 million building is a couple of inches off, too. The variances, resulting from the installation, pose no immediate safety hazard, but the engineers don't like it, so they're bringing back a crane, putting up scaffolding again and taking about a month to slightly raise the roof and make the necessary repair.
"It's not something you'd ever notice," said Matt Fleury, the center's executive vice president. "It's a matter of adjusting the angle of that portion of the roof upwards."
The center's quality control inspectors were taking a look at the roof not long ago and decided something didn't look right, Fleury said. The engineers ran a few numbers and determined that the low-hanging roof edges were "out of tolerance" with the building's specifications.
So the roof will get a lift-job, which entails detaching bolts and welding joints in enough places so it can be slightly raised. The bolts will then be re-bolted, the joints re-welded and the job - the cost of which will probably not be the center's responsibility - will be done.
Fleury said the work could take two to four weeks - with much of that time spent staging the scaffolding and getting the equipment back on site. But he thinks it could be done by the end of the year and that it won't cause a delay.
Beyond the roof, workers are doing plumbing and electrical work, pouring concrete and getting ready to put on the building's "skin" - half glass, half metal. Contractors will start producing the 200 exhibits next month, in time to have them in place by summer, Fleury said.
"The hope is still that we can get through these things and open by the end of next year," Fleury said.
The project - 180 feet at its highest - got $107 million from the state and the rest from the federal government and private donors.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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