Little Building construction on schedule despite delays


An electrical fire at the at the Quebec-facility which manufactures the concrete exterior of the building setback production by about a month. Cullen Granzen / Beacon Staff

By Parker Purifoy, Emerson '21

The Little Building will still open August 2019 despite delays setting the project back several weeks, according to college officials.

An electrical fire at the Quebec facility that manufactures the concrete exterior of the building setback production by about a month, according to Arthur Mombourquette, senior associate vice president for real estate. Mombourquette said the manufacturing company, Béton Préfabriqué du Lac Inc, created a temporary space to continue its work, but the delay caused the college to rearrange the sequence of the Little Building construction.

Mombourquette said the college is still trying to figure out how much the setback will cost. Emerson, Suffolk Construction Company—the general contractor—and BPDL all have insurance policies that should cover costs directly relating to the fire.

Because the delays only affect the exterior materials, the college’s timeline for the project shifted to prioritize the interior first. The exterior of a building is typically completed before the interior, but Mombourquette said the change is needed in order to meet the August 2019 deadline for renovations.

To move faster, Mombourquette said Suffolk Construction assigned additional workers to the project. This ensures the building construction will meet the deadline without rushing. The cost for the additional labor will be covered by insurance.

Michael Faia, director of construction management, said the college is working to make the building watertight, or closely sealed so that water doesn’t pass through, by installing temporary walls four feet in from the exterior. This allows work to be done on the interior and exterior at the same time.

Once these watertight walls are built, workers can begin transforming the inside while they wait for the concrete pieces of the exterior. The amount of money the college will have to provide for this is unconfirmed, according to Mombourquette.

“Every project of this complexity presents challenges that force constant adjustments to construction approaches and schedules,” Mombourquette said. “The Little Building is no exception. We are working with our contractor to react to any issues that come up and make sure that at the end of the day, we deliver the project on time.”