Sunrise and Ribbon Cutting

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The grand opening of the South Retail Center at University Commons came early on the morning of August 28. The mayors of Knoxville, Knox County and city council members lined up with the big scissors ready to cut the ribbon.

Several donations were made to local charities, then the rush began to inspect this special multi-story tenant space. By noon the store was full and the shopping cart conveyor system seemed to be the talk of the day.

Mean while other smaller retail centers made ready for their openings this week. It seems many were determined to be open for the first weekend of football here in Knoxville. This has been a special project with great team work from all.

From Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.) to Cutting the Ribbon

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The University Commons Mall complex was buzzing this week as the final C.O. was issued to the Northern Retail Center. Landscape, paving and stripping crews worked overnight and through the weekend on final touches. Final preparations were made inside the store, windows were shined and the stage was set for our grand opening.

Dignitaries from the city were on hand for the ribbon cutting, including city of Knoxville’s Mayor, the Mayor of Knox County and city council members. Several local news reporters were also on hand to cover the special event.

Other areas of progress included the smaller retails shops, most of which have their Certificate of Completion. Now build-out contractors have started their work.

On the other end of the project, the store team has taken over the Southern Retail Center, stocking for an end of August grand opening.

It has been a great pleasure to see a year and a half worth of team efforts produce such a special project.

Pier Cap Installation–New Critical Path Activity

Knoxville Collage 4-19-13With the completion of caissons on the northern retail center, crews are busy with pier cap installation in the area. These caps will be the foundations for the installation of the precast columns scheduled to arrive in about a month.

This operation begins with the excavation of the area around the drilled caisson. A “mud slab” is then poured to allow an all-weather working surface. Rebar crews then move into install the reinforcing steel for the pier cap.  Final forming is installed for the support of anchor bolts and precast dowels. With work completed, quality control inspectors check for size, count and location of imbeds. With approval, the concrete truck are released to pour.

Elsewhere on the project, grading for retaining wall footings move forward. On the southern retail center,  a partial release of this area has allowed caisson crews to proceed.


New Operations Begin at University Commons Site

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With 155 drilled piers poured and only 39 remaining on the north end of the project, the next phase of operations in that area begin.

A special engineered support system called Geopiers was installed for retaining wall # 1 this week. These piers are constructed by applying direct vertical ramming energy to densely compact successive thin lifts of crushed rock.

While on the upper level of the building pad, crews excavated around the drilled and poured concrete piers  for future pier caps. These pier caps will support columns and shear walls for the parking deck and second  level retail centers.