The January weather is cold and the Science at Play outdoor exhibit at Science City stands empty most days, but inside, preparations are being made to open two new exhibits, Creative Corner and Let’s Play.
Union Station in Kansas City is a celebrated historical landmark and home of the internationally awarded Science City.
As the renovation project got under way, the general contractor decided the original mechanical contractor was not performing as expected, so they asked P1 to participate in the re-bid process and P1 was awarded the work.
Due to the size and scope of the project, Operations Manager Steve Hinshaw thought it would be the perfect opportunity for one of P1 Group’s newest Project Engineers, Vince Bailey, to run solo. “I heard about the project two days before we were starting demolition.
It was a short project and we came in late, so we had to mobilize immediately,” Vince said.
The project involved servicing and relocating the existing fan coil units (FCUs), installing new duct that connects return and supply air to the existing air handling units (AHUs), and pipe and duct to a new HVAC system for the exhibits.
Although a smaller project, Vince says there were still challenges, the most concerning being children in the area. All of P1 Group’s equipment came in beside the outdoor exhibit that kids still had access to.
“Having the presence of children with one fence between them and heavy equipment is something we had to be extremely mindful of,” Vince explained.
There was also a noise restriction. Concrete cutting, jack hammers, impact wrenches, and other loud equipment couldn’t be used while the surrounding exhibits were open for visitors. All loud work had to be done early in the morning and complete by 9 a.m. every day.
Because it is a historic building that has been remodeled several times, not all of the architectural drawings were accurate. When the team went to map out where to cut the concrete for the return air access, they discovered it was over an original exterior wall - six feet of solid concrete and rebar. A new plan had to be drawn up for return air access that would work with the floor plan.
Vince learned that being able to switch gears and change things up on the fly is all part of the project management process.
“It has been interesting for me, being new, to learn what questions to ask. I have been really fortunate to have a good support system, making the project a success.”