Construction and the Cardiac Effect

By: Matt Foss, assistant director on May 22nd, 2013

As project coordinator for the Woodson Art Museum’s construction and renovation projects, my last job of each day is to check the blood pressure of our Samuels Group field superintendent, Bruce Bradley. As the one who oversees the work, Bruce can get stressed out by the daily happenings of such projects. For those who don’t know Bruce, he is a large, daunting figure, but a self-described “teddy bear.” Bruce wears his heart – as well as his sweat – on his sleeve in his efforts to ensure this project is done under budget, on time, and to our liking. Not an easy job.

To complete my afternoon routine, I keep a sphygmomanometer in my office. The renovation project has been smooth, so I’ve only had to record a few bad readings in my daily log of Bruce’s blood pressure. Here are a few highlights:

  • March 28: Subcontractor Stainless Specialists completes mechanical rough-ins two hours ahead of schedule – 120 over 75.
  •  April 11: All concrete pours went well, but Bruce saw snow in the forecast – 140 over 80.
  •  April 17: Bruce learns the new doors will be delivered three days later than promised – 190 over 100.
  •  April 24: A subcontractor uses colorful language to describe his recent honeymoon – 180 over 120.

  •  April 30: Museum administrative manager Shari Schroeder brings Bruce and crew big jar of candy – 125 over 80.
  •  May 3: Museum director Kathy Foley is the first person to notice one of the new exit lights is installed backwards – 240 over 12.

While some results of the health checks warranted concern, the majority have been good. During the next month or so, Museum visitors won’t use the main entrance as it’s receiving new doors and being reconfigured to serve many needs. When entering the 12th Street entrance, you’ll walk along a brief narrow path leading to the main galleries. Along the way, notice a new and improved room for our docents and a new small gallery for temporary exhibitions. Additionally, if you meander downstairs, you’ll soon see a revamped, expanded, and more colorful Art Park after its latest “landscaping.”

All in all, many positive things are happening at the Woodson, and we thank all of our visitors and volunteers for being patient and understanding during the process. I’m confident the final phase of work will go according to plan. If it doesn’t and you encounter a mountain of a man looking irate or with the weight of the world on his shoulders, give him a hug, a smile, or a Lipitor® if you can spare one.

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