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STEM Center Construction Blog

Monitor the Maglio Family STEM Center construction progress here!

4/26/19 STAFF TOUR NEW STEM CENTER

There were lots of “oohs” and “aahs” as Business Office staff saw the interior of the STEM Center for the first time. Almost complete, the pristine facility impressed all of those who came along on the tour. AMC construction is currently going through a “punch list” of items and awaiting modular furniture delivery before handing over the building to the School.  Lastly, we are also waiting for the certificate of occupancy before allowing students in for tours in May. Tall ceilings, large windows and big rooms coupled with the latest educational technology await our students for the 2019-2020 school year.

4/11/19 Flooring Installed

Workers started installing VCT or Vinyl Composition Tiles on the first floor of the Maglio Family STEM Center. VCT is the kind of flooring used throughout most of the lower/middle school campus. In the STEM Center, designers added “pops” of color in each classroom. You will find blue, orange and other colors sprinkled throughout the floor. The colors are intended to complement “accent” walls in each classroom.

4/5/19 DOORS, COUNTERTOPS INSTALLED

Interior work continues in earnest in the Maglio Family STEM Center. 8 foot by 3 foot birch wood doors have been installed on the first floor. At the same time, workers are installing epoxy resin countertops on all built-in furniture. Epoxy resin is a chemical and heat resistant material that is standard in science classrooms.

3/28/19 VIDEO: STEM CENTER GOES GREEN

Landscaping crews layed down the lawn that surrounds the Maglio Family STEM Center. New shrubs and trees were also planted along with sod. The new greenery replaces much of the grass that was removed during the construction process.



3/27/19 SIGNAGE AND LIGHTING INSTALLED

The external Maglio Family STEM Center sign was installed on the first floor facade of the facility. The 7 foot long letters in “Benjamin Blue” were installed next to the main entrance. Meanwhile, workers continue to install modern lighting fixtures in the classrooms specifically designed for this project. The first floor will feature triangle lights in two rooms while the rest will feature cell-like shaped lighting fixtures.
 

3/6/19 EXTERIOR PAINT WORK PROGRESS

If you drive by the Maglio Family STEM Center, you may notice a touch or two of “Benjamin Blue”. That is the name of the official blue paint used throughout the lower and middle school campus. Now the new STEM facility has received its first coat of “Benjamin Blue” on several windows and the column that spans the length of the the building’s front facade. Inside, work continues on the ceiling grid with workers in the process of installing air ducts and lighting fixtures.

3/1/2019 Sidewalks Formed

Construction workers have finished pouring cement in a network of sidewalks that will enable students to walk to and from the Maglio Family STEM Center. The sidewalk starts at the middle school’s outdoor eating area and connects to stairs underneath the bridge that spans from the new facility to the existing building next door. The sidewalk continues up the hill parallel to the gym and snakes around to lower school classroom buildings.

2/25/19 EXTERIOR PAINT WORK BEGINS

The Maglio Family STEM Center is undergoing yet another change as the facade’s color changes from cement gray to white. Painters applied a coat of primer and two coats of white paint to the building’s exterior. The white will be complemented by columns and window areas painted in “Benjamin Blue”. Inside, workers are installing the drop ceiling grid on the first floor.

2/20/19 INTERIOR PAINTING AND TILE WORK BEGINS

Painters started working on the first floor walls of the Maglio Family STEM Center. Already, the main hallways and central court have received the first coating. All classrooms in the building will have an accent wall featuring pastel colors. The exterior of the building will be painted similarly to other buildings on campus, off-white with a touch of “Benjamin Blue”.  Workers have also begun installing tile in the first floor restrooms. In all, there will be four restrooms in the new building.

2/14/19 Sidewalks Formed, Bridge Canopy Installed

AMC Construction workers started laying out the stairs and sidewalks that will enable students to make their way to and from the Maglio Family STEM Center. The new stairs will allow students to egress from the new facility to the adjacent building which sits on higher ground. The stairs also meet sidewalks that come from other Lower and Middle School buildings. Elsewhere, crews completed the installation of the bridge canopy. The metal structure will provide protection from the elements as Middle School students make their way to the second floor of the STEM Center.

2/11/19 BRIDGE CANOPY TAKES SHAPE

Construction crews installed aluminum columns on the bridge connecting the Maglio Family STEM Center and the adjacent building. The columns will support an aluminum canopy that will provide shelter to students as they make their way to and from the STEM Center on the second floor. Once completed, the canopy will also include lighting.

2/5/19 NEW AERIAL PICTURES

AMC Construction flew over the STEM Center recently revealing the full scope of the construction progress. Workers have already put the underlayment and insulation on the flat roof which will be followed by a layer of asphalt to keep the building watertight. The aerial pictures also reveal that much of the exterior stucco work has been completed.

2/4/19 DRYWALL INSTALLED

AMC Construction crews have installed drywall in the entire first floor of the Maglio Family STEM Center including hallways and classrooms. They will start hanging drywall on the second floor later this week. In addition, they also have installed the track mechanism on the second floor which will allow teachers to fold a wall and combine two classrooms. Classroom 201, an engineering lab, has the collapsible wall that opens to classroom 202, a makerspace.

1/22/19 HVAC, STUCCO WORK BEGINS

Construction crews are installing air conditioning ducts in the first and second floors of the Maglio Family STEM Center. The supply ducts carry the chilled air, while return ducts transfer air from other locations to a centralized thermometer. AMC Construction is also putting the finishing touches on one of the architectural highlights of the building, a two-story glass window which envelops the building’s west stairway. Stucco work on the building’s facade is also underway with about a third of the exterior already completed.

1/11/19 STAIRCASES INSTALLED

AMC Construction crews just finished installing two staircases in the STEM Center’s northeast and northwest sides. In addition to an elevator, the staircases will enable students to go from the first floor to the second floor. The metal staircases were fabricated off-site, installed and then topped off with concrete. Workers needed four days for the concrete to dry.

12/21/18 WIRING, PIPES AND WINDOWS INSTALLED

While the roof has yet to go up on the second floor, construction crews are making a lot of progress on the first floor. Pipes for drinking water and sanitary have been installed. At the same time, contractors are working on electrical and network wiring. All of the first floor hurricane-rated impact windows have also been put in.

12/18/18 VIDEO: SECOND FLOOR ROOF WORK BEGINS

A mobile crane  was brought in to lift beams and joists for the second floor roof. The crane’s telescopic boom was extended more than 80 feet into the air to be able to lift the roof pieces onto the second floor. Once the joists are in, AMC construction will be able to cover the roof and complete the building’s “dry-in” process by January. “Dry-in” means that the building shell has been completed sufficiently to keep out wind, rain, or the weather in general, assuring work can begin indoors without those materials suffering weather damage.



12/11/18 VIDEO: WALK THE BRIDGE

The bridge connecting the Maglio Family STEM Center with the second floor of the adjacent building is mostly complete. Although it still needs a metal canopy, the structure itself is walkable as seen in this video. The bridge deck spans 47 feet and is 25 feet high providing some new views of the lower/middle school campus. Handrails, lighting as well as a canopy will be installed after the new year as the rest of the building takes shape.



11/28/18 INTERIOR WORK BEGINS

Construction workers have begun installing metal frames in the first floor giving shape to the Lower School classroom area of the Maglio Family STEM Center. As part of the “rough” framing, electrical boxes and door frames are also being installed. Soaring 10-foot-high ceilings and expansive windows are now visible as well. Once all framing is complete, workers will start installing the drywall.
 

11/27/18 AERIAL PICTURES SHOW PROGRESS

New aerial pictures of the Maglio Family STEM Center construction site show the progress made on the second floor. Concrete block walls are going up and the bridge connecting the STEM Center to the adjacent building is visible. Temporary power has been connected to give construction crews lighting while working inside the building. The pictures were provided by AMC Construction.

11/14/18 VIDEO: SECOND FLOOR CONCRETE POUR

The second floor of the Maglio Family STEM Center is literally taking shape with construction crews pouring 100 cubic yards or 135 tons of concrete on the steel deck. A concrete pump truck with a boom extending 50 feet up in the air was brought to complete the job which lasted the entire morning.




11/13/18 CONSTRUCTION MID-POINT REACHED

AMC Construction has reached the halfway point on the construction of the Maglio Family STEM Center with the entire first floor structure complete. Last week, steel decking was put in place. Concrete will be poured over it to form the concrete slab for the second floor. Once the concrete settles, construction workers will begin putting up the block walls. Already,  some of the architectural design elements of the new building are becoming visible. The “eyebrows” are flat projections which protrude horizontally from the building and are located just above the first floor windows.
 

11/1/18 VIDEO: STEEL BEAMS INSTALLED

A large crane was brought in to hoist steel beams in place at the Maglio Family STEM Center. The beams, which form the backbone of the second floor, are attached to two main supporting columns and the first floor walls. Once all beams are in installed, AMC construction crews will put in metal decking which will hold the cement for the second floor. The second floor cement slab should be poured November 14. The structural build is approaching the halfway point.



10/22/18 SECOND FLOOR CONSTRUCTION NEARS

AMC Construction crews are spending this entire week finishing up the first floor walls of the Maglio Family STEM Center and prepping for the second floor. Two load-bearing columns will be placed on the ground floor and steel beams will be put in place next week. Some of the beams are attached to first floor walls, so construction workers have to make sure they are ready to support the weight.

10/11/18 FIRST FLOOR TOPPED OFF

AMC Construction has put up all of the exterior walls of the first floor of the Maglio Family STEM Center. Up next, construction workers will put in two main columns on the ground floor which will help sustain beams forming the second floor. All of the formwork around the bridge has been removed revealing that structure.

10/3/18 Video: First Floor Slab Completed

The concrete slab for the first floor of the Maglio Family STEM Center has been completed. That will allow for construction workers to start vertical construction in earnest with most of the first floor walls going up soon. AMC construction crews also spent this week pouring concrete in the columns and beams of the bridge that connects the new facility to the second floor of the building next door. Presently, a temporary scaffold of wooden planks outlines the shape of the bridge. Once the concrete sets, the wood will be removed.



9/26/18 NEW AERIAL PICTURES

Aerial photos of the construction site show major progress has been made on the first floor of the Maglio Family STEM Center. Crews have completed the footings for the ground floor as well as the bridge that will connect the facility’s second floor with the adjacent building. Wood panels are being used to form the molding for the concrete columns that will sustain the bridge deck. Once completed in the Spring of 2019, the STEM Center will house lower school students on the first floor and middle school students on the second floor.

9/21/18 FIRST LOOK: Classroom Interior Revealed

The Benjamin School has received its first sneak peak at one of the classrooms in the Maglio Family STEM Center. The 3-D renderings are of classroom 102. The pictures show the ergonomic furniture, a hydroponic plant growing tower, new high-powered microscopes and more. All first floor rooms have unique helix-shaped lighting fixtures that feature a green trim meant to inspire our youngest BUC’s in their new learning environment.  The building’s first floor is intended for lower school students with middle school occupying the second level.
 

8/31/18 VIDEO: Major concrete pour

AMC Construction brought in a boom pump to help pour liquid concrete into the remaining footing of the building. All told, workers pumped in about 100 cubic yards of concrete which is the equivalent to 202 tons. The boom pump, which is attached to a tractor trailer, is about 80 feet tall enabling it to reach the entire construction site.



8/22/18 Video: Site Leveled

The entire construction site has been leveled including the West side. This will now allow construction crews to install footings in that part of the building. Footings precede the foundation. Once the foundation is poured, AMC construction will build the walls encompassing the entire first floor. Also visible in this video, the rebar for the bridge columns. The 30-foot-tall bridge will connect the second floor of the  Maglio Family STEM Center with the existing classroom building next door.



8/10/18 Walls go up

8-foot-tall block walls have gone up in the east end of the Maglio Family STEM Center. The area covers about a third of the building’s first floor. Next week, crews will work to waterproof the structure and backfill the surrounding area. In two weeks, AMC Construction will begin laying the foundation and putting up the walls on the west side of the building. The all-new Maglio Family STEM Center is expected to open its doors in the Spring of 2019.

7/30/18 Aerial Pictures: Courtesy AMC Construction

This is our first aerial look at the vast construction site. The Maglio Family STEM Center is 13,171 square feet and will sit in a plot of land adjacent to the gymnasium/classroom building on the 14-acre Lower and Middle School Campus. From the air, one can see the land has been cleared and retaining walls have been built to accommodate the footing and foundation of the structure. Once built, the architectural style of the building will be notably modern and eclectic. However, it will take some of the architectural “language” from the different building styles located on campus.
 

7/25/18 Storm Drainage in Place

All storm/water drainage structures are now connected to underground pipes. That means construction crews are moving closer to pouring the foundation. Already, trenches have been dug to accommodate the building’s footing.

7/11/18 Footing Trenches Excavated

Construction crews have dug trenches for the footing of the STEM Center. Footings are made of concrete with rebar reinforcement that has been poured into an excavated trench. The purpose of the footing is to support the foundation and prevent settling. Part of the STEM Center is being built on a slope so the footing is essential. In addition to supporting the building’s foundation, footing is also needed to support a bridge that will connect the second floor of the STEM Center with existing classrooms in the adjacent building.

6/20/18 Pre-foundation work begins

Before the foundation is poured for the STEM Center, builders must first install all drain and sewage lines underneath the building. AMC construction crews have brought in two excavators to start digging the earth at the construction site. Several large green pipes will soon be installed to provide all necessary drainage for the 2-story structure.
 

6/7/18 Video: Land clearing continues

Utility crews have already identified all fiber optic, power and water lines that run through the construction area. This allows for the entire construction site to be cleared of trees and excess soil.  Backhoes could be seen scooping up the soil and loading it onto dump trucks. Several truck loads of soil were removed in one day.

5/29/18 Furniture Road Show

Furniture manufacturer KI came to The Benjamin School with a dozen pieces of furniture including tables, chairs and modular seats as part of their “KI Road Show”. Head of School Bob Goldberg, Head of Middle School Dr. Kristen Sheehan, Lower School Science Coordinator Susan Bickel and Middle School Science teacher Stephanie Oster tested out the furniture. They were joined by several lower and middle school students currently attending summer camp who also provided feedback. KI is one of several vendors being considered to furnish part of the Maglio Family STEM Center which is set to debut in 2019. Among the most interesting pieces of furniture a cylindrical seat which reduces external noise.

5/16/18 Color Selection Process Begins

Benjamin Trustee Bob Martin, CFO/COO Leslie Downs and architects review possible color selections for the Maglio Family STEM Center. Anything from Bathroom tile, wall paint, back splashes to the elevator cab floor has to adhere to Benjamin colors and tones. The 13,171 square foot building will feature modern light fixtures and modular furniture when it debuts in 2019!

5/8/18 Construction Site Clearing

Crews continue to clear the site of all debris and vegetation. Some trees will have to removed in the coming days as they sit right in the middle of the construction area or would obstruct drainage.

5/3/18 Playground Equipment Removed

AMC Construction crews removed the playground equipment that sat on the construction site. The equipment was temporarily relocated to a staging area. Once the building is complete,  the School will decide how much of the playground can be salvaged and where it will be placed.
 

5/1/18 Furniture Selection Process Begins

Assistant Head for Academics Ken Didsbury, teachers Susan Bickell, Matt and Stephanie Oster and Head of Lower School Dr. Kristen Sheehan met with representatives of an educational furniture company. The new Maglio Family STEM Center will be a learning environment unlike any other and the chairs, tables and stands have to promote student movement and collaboration. The colors used have to reflect our Benjamin traditions while also being aesthetically pleasing. Once completed, the STEM Center will promote uninhibited exploration, support curiosity and encourage collaboration-- and furniture is a big part of that.

4/30/18 Fencing Completed at Construction Site

The fencing of the construction area began on schedule. The 7 feet tall, green mesh fences went up around the construction site only. Some initial work will include relocating fiber optic lines and the removal of some trees. Red dot parking car line will not be impacted for the last month of the school year. The fenced in area will keep students out from the site and the mesh will provide less of a distraction for students in nearby classrooms.

4/10/18 Pre-Construction Meeting

The Benjamin School's CFO Leslie Downs and Head of Lower School Dr. Kristen Sheehan and Head of Middle School Chuck Hagy met with Anderson Moore Construction representatives to go over the construction timeline and impact on the North Palm Beach Campus. AMC said fencing of the construction site will begin by May 1, 2018 with construction set to start as soon as school lets out for the summer. We all then walked the perimeter of the construction site to confirm the best placement of the fence.
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.