Tag Archives: construction

Come to our Annual Meeting, Thu., Sept. 18

groundbreakinglogoUpdates on our new theater and our coming season of shows will be featured at Near West Theatre’s Annual Meeting this Thursday, Sept. 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the Gordon Square Arcade Building, 6516 Detroit Ave. We’ll also honor our 2013-2014 volunteers and show some brief snippets from among hours of footage collected by filmmaker Ted Sikora about the art, mission, process and spirit of Near West Theatre. A business meeting of the Board of Trustees will follow. All are welcome! Free parking is available in several Gordon Square Arts District lots and in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church lot, 6928 Detroit Ave.

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and for special support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio for equipment used by young people in technical workshops and other backstage experiences.

The Near West Theatre construction site in the Gordon Square Arts District, viewed frmo the southeast on Sept. 12, 2014. Photo by Hans Holznagel

The Near West Theatre construction site in the Gordon Square Arts District, viewed from the southeast on Sept. 12, 2014. Photo by Hans Holznagel


The art of theater construction

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Mineral-wood insulation (right), soon to be encased in plywood (left). Photos by Hans Holznagel

A late-summer afternoon at our construction site in the Gordon Square Arts District brought to mind the art of theater and the art of building. Process and detail matter. Light matters. Point of view matters. Good results rely on design, framework, inner work and ensemble. A lot goes on behind the scenes that the audience never sees. And so on. Pick an anaology.

Poignantly, as with rehearsals and performances, the beauty and interest you find on the construction site one day won’t be quite the same the next. Audiences in our building next year will enjoy wonderful things, but the cast of construction professionals and a handful of others are the only ones who get to be in the presence of the struggles and beauty of these days of preparation. Here, then, captured on Sept. 4, are a few still-life views of this work in progress. For frequent photo updates of a more standard variety, click “like” at the Near West Theatre Facebook page— Hans Holznagel

Especially long screws connect wood batten to "dense board" sheathing that has been coated with a "fluid-applied air barrier."

Especially long screws connect wood batten to gypsum-board sheathing that has been coated with a “fluid-applied air barrier.”

Future elevator shaft.

Future elevator shaft.

A framed-in control booth in the balcony, looking toward the house and stage below.

A framed-in control booth in the balcony, looking toward the house and stage below.

An initial piece of insulation occupies a niche in the metal-framed part of the south wall, outside the elevator shaft.

An initial piece of insulation occupies a niche in the metal-framed part of the south wall, outside the elevator shaft.

The south wall, awaiting further layers, catches the afternoon sun.

The south wall, awaiting further layers, catches the afternoon sun.

Green is beautiful.

Green is beautiful.

Gypsum is gold.

Gypsum is gold.

Overview from the southeast.

Overview from the southeast.


Construction update: Video and pictures

A coating called "fluid applied air barrier" is being sprayed on this week over golden "dense board." They're they'll be followed by more layers of insulation before metal siding goes on. Photos by Hans Holznagel

A coating called “fluid applied air barrier” is being sprayed this week onto gold-colored “dense board.” They’ll be followed by more kinds of insulation before metal siding goes on this fall. Photos by Hans Holznagel

With cranes gone and steel beams no longer flying overhead, we’ve been able walk through our framed-in future home several times during these latter weeks of summer. With just over four months of basic construction to go, we’re now seeing three-dimensional spaces that in the past we could only visualize with drawings, models and lots of imagination. Filmmaker Ted Sikora, who has been shooting a piece about our art and mission since Move On! rehearsals, took a quick August tour with two guys who will spend long work hours in the new building once it’s done: Technical Director and Production Manager Josh Padgett and Stage Manager and Assistant Production Manager Ryan Wolf. Here’s the fun result. (By the way, actors and staff, that side door, with the ladder: it’ll be a real door with stairs when it’s done!)

Below are still photos of a few emerging features of the building that might help you envision what the theater will eventually look like, even with daylight currently streaming through places that will eventually be sealed up tightly for the sake energy efficiency and the beauty of theatrical lighting.

As for timing: We’re still planning on getting occupancy to the building in early January 2015, holding a series of “sneak preview, theater-in-progress” events and parties there from February through April (including our Annual Benefit on a Saturday in late February), and producing our grand-opening, main-stage musical in April and May. — Hans Holznagel

Donors Chuck and Char Fowler, Board President Jason Bristol, and staffers Stephanie Morrison Hrbek and Josh Padgett toured the auditorium Aug. 21.

Donors Chuck and Char Fowler, Board President Jason Bristol, and staffers Stephanie Morrison Hrbek and Josh Padgett toured the auditorium Aug. 21.

Jason Bristol, president of NWT Board of Trustees, and donors Char and Chuck Fowler pause of an upstage-center picture Aug. 21 on recently completed concrete.

Jason Bristol, president of NWT Board of Trustees, and donors Char and Chuck Fowler paused Aug. 21 for an upstage-center picture on recently completed concrete.

The back wall separating the auditorium from the lobby was becoming visible in this Aug. 25 photo.

The back wall separating the auditorium from the lobby was becoming visible in this Aug. 25 photo. Above it is the balcony.

A ramp from the house to the stage, seen here Aug. 21, is one of the features that will make us compliant -- and gladly so -- with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A ramp from the house to the stage, seen here Aug. 21, is one of the features that will make us compliant — and gladly so — with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

One of two sets of stairs connecting lower level, lobby and balcony was being installed Aug. 20.

One of two sets of stairs connecting lower level, lobby and balcony was being installed Aug. 20.

The windows that will serve our lower-level refreshment counter were becoming visible on Aug. 20.

The windows that will serve our lower-level refreshment counter were becoming visible on Aug. 20.

On Aug. 25, only the northwest corner remained to be closed in with "dense board" insulation over the wood that surrounds the steel frame.

On Aug. 25, only the northwest corner remained to be closed in with “dense board” — the first layer of insulation — over the wood that surrounds the steel frame.

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Near West Theatre’s $7.3 million construction project is part of the cooperative Gordon Square Arts District capital campaign, which has raised nearly $30 million not only for the new NWT but also for the renovation of the now-reopened Capitol (film) Theatre, extensive physical improvements at Cleveland Public Theatre, districtwide streetscape improvements and parking. Near West Theatre is also grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and for special support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio for equipment used by young people in technical workshops and other backstage experiences.


Clear air space over our future home

Removal of utility poles, completed Oct. 22, cleared the air over the gateway to our future home at West 67th Street and Detroit Avenue. Photos by Hans Holznagel

Removal of utility poles, completed Oct. 22, left clear skies over the gateway to our future home at West 67th St. and Detroit Ave. Photos by Hans Holznagel

If we seem unusually excited about a utility project, please understand that the removal of transformers and poles from the edge of West 67th Street north of Detroit Avenue is an important step in clearing the way for construction of Near West Theatre’s new home in the Gordon Square Arts District. A planned power outage in the Gordon Square Arcade Building, described in this earlier post, went as scheduled on Sunday, Oct. 20. Electricity was cut over from the old pole-mounted system to new underground cables and ground-mounted transformers. There was even time left over Sunday for Cleveland Public Power crews to begin the removal of aerial wires and transformers. Today the removal was completed. The air over the site of our future home never looked so clear.

Near West Theatre tips its collective cap to the many workers from Cleveland Public Power who did it all, from street cutting to electrical hookups to transformer installation to jackhammering and removing the utility poles.

More photos of the project are posted in an album at the Near West Theatre Facebook page, here. — Hans Holznagel

Aerial cables across West 67th Street connected the transformers on the west side of the street to the Gordon Square Arcade Building on the east side.

Aerial cables across West 67th Street, seen here on Oct. 11, connected the transformers on the west side of the street to the Gordon Square Arcade Building on the east side.

Wires and transformers were deactivated Oct. 20. Some were removed that day.

Wires and transformers were deactivated Oct. 20. Some were removed that day.

Cleveland Public Power crews had the project covered.

Cleveland Public Power crews, seen here Oct. 21, had the project covered.

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

 


Electrical work ending; theater construction near

We’re looking forward to a power outage in Near West Theatre’s business office this Sunday. It’s one more sign that our new theater will soon be under construction.

A Cleveland Public Power Crew works on existing cables on the west end of the Gordon Square Arcade Building on Oct. 17. Photos by Hans Holznagel

A Cleveland Public Power Crew works on existing cables on the west end of the Gordon Square Arcade Building on Oct. 17. More photos below. Photos by Hans Holznagel

The electrical supply to the Gordon Square Arcade building will be switched over that day from an old pole-mounted system to underground cables and brand-new, ground-mounted transformers that now sit behind the building. Then, after a few more days’ work by Cleveland Public Power crews, the old poles and overhead lines will finally be gone from the edge of our site, across West 67th Street from the Arcade building, clearing the way for construction preparation. The first signs of actual work on our site by Panzica Construction will be the appearance of a superintendent’s trailer. Fencing will start to surround the perimeter around Oct. 28. After a few more days of preparatory work, excavation will begin — the actual start of a construction process that will take 12 months, and possibly less.

We’re grateful to the office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and to Cleveland Public Power for funding the relocation of this power system. It’s an important economic and aesthetic contribution to this evolving neighborhood, and not just because it makes Near West Theatre’s future home possible. It removes a worrisome eyesore and updates the electrical infrastructure of the Gordon Square Arts District’s central building, home to many longtime residents, new businesses, movies at the Capitol Theatre and offices like ours. Going dark feels really good right now. — Hans Holznagel

New ground-mounted transformers, seen here Oct. 17, occupy the southwest corner of the parking lot north of the Gordon Square Arcade Building.

New ground-mounted transformers, seen here Oct. 17, occupy the southwest corner of the parking lot just north of the Gordon Square Arcade Building.

Apartments, businesses and the Capitol Theatre will benefit from these new electrical transformers, set to go live on Oct. 20.

Apartments, businesses and the Capitol Theatre will benefit from these new electrical transformers, set to go live on Oct. 20.

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.


Long-awaited street work paves way for fall construction

Hopes are high that a barrier to the construction of Near West Theatre’s new home will be removed by this fall, now that a key utility project has begun. Big saws from Cleveland Public Power sliced into the pavement at West 67th Street and Detroit Avenue on Aug. 23, the first step in underground electrical work that will allow old, overhead electrical transformers next to the theater site to be relocated and replaced. Meantime, Near West Theatre’s Board of Trustees this week is deliberating on critical financing and fundraising plans that will also inform the construction schedule.

These poles, wires and transformers, as seen on Aug. 30, must go away before the new theater can be built in the open space to the left. Photos by Hans Holznagel

These poles, wires and transformers, as seen on Aug. 30, must go away before the new theater can be built in the open space to the left. More pictures are below. Photos by Hans Holznagel

Before construction can start, old, overhead electrical wires and transformers must be relocated. They serve the Gordon Square Arcade Building across the street and must be replaced by underground cables and new, ground-mounted transformers elsewhere. Since first cutting into the pavement, CPP crews have been at work intermittently with jack hammers, excavators, dump trucks and cement mixers, creating the trenches that will house the underground system.  Their deadline for switching power to the new system and removing the old poles and transformers is Oct. 20.

At their meeting on Sept. 19, the NWT Trustees will receive a construction update and lean into several issues related to the project.  With about $800,000 left to raise to complete the project, they will consider financing options to cover that amount plus portions of capital pledges that are being paid out over several years.  Fundraising would then continue while the theater is built. Also on the agenda are a proposed one-year extension of the Gordon Square Arts District capital campaign, through 2014; a transfer of land to the City of Cleveland for eventual construction of an 18-space parking lot just north of the new theater; nominations of two new Trustees; and an action plan in key areas: completing the new building, boosting earned income, measuring Near West Theatre’s impact, and continuing a Board-approved succession plan.

Near West Theatre’s Board meetings are public, by the way, and this one – also functioning as the Annual Meeting called for in the bylaws – will begin at 5:40 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Community Room in the basement of the Gordon Square Arcade Building, 6516 Detroit Ave.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Lindsay Doerr, ldoerr@nearwesttheatre.org, 216-961-9750. — Hans Holznagel

A worker jackhammers West 67th Street on Sept. 16 to make way for new underground cables.

A worker jackhammers West 67th Street on Sept. 16 to make way for new underground cables.

A Cleveland Public Power crew on Sept. 3 works with underground cables at  W. 67th St. and Detroit Ave. that feed the Gordon Square Arcade Building and eventually will serve the new Near West Theatre.

A Cleveland Public Power crew on Sept. 3 works on an underground junction at W. 67th St. and Detroit Ave. that feeds the Gordon Square Arcade Building and eventually will serve the new Near West Theatre.


Theater construction: boring

Workers are at Near West Theatre’s construction site today, but don’t get too excited. They’re boring. Literally. To find out exactly what’s underneath the site of our future home, workers from Professional Service Industries, Inc., are boring into the soil in seven selected spots — in some cases as far as 50 feet below the surface. Using the samples that are being extracted, PSI will provide our architect and other professionals with facts about the soil itself, its ability to bear pressure, whether there’s fill or rock in it that could obstruct work, the minimum width a foundation should be, how deep the groundwater is, and so on. This is done by visually inspecting and lab-testing the samples. It’s among a number of kinds of site preparation work under way this winter for what we hope will be an April 2013 start of construction. — Hans Holznagel

Workers bore into the soil on Jan. 9, 2013, at the site of Near West Theatre's future home. Photos by Hans Holznagel

Workers take soil samples on Jan. 9, 2013, at the site of Near West Theatre’s future home. Photos by Hans Holznagel

Truck-mounted drill and core extractors are among the tools of the trade.

A truck-mounted drill and core extractors are among the tools of the trade.

It takes a rig this tall -- seen here on Jan. 9, right about where the Nov. 27 groundbreaking circle gathered -- to sample 50 feet below the surface.

It takes a rig this tall — seen here on Jan. 9, near where the Nov. 27 groundbreaking circle gathered — to sample 50 feet below the surface.