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Polish and Shine on the Wyss Campus

By jstoddard on Dec 18, 2012

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Wyss Finishes Moving Forward

By jstoddard on Aug 30, 2012


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Radiant Heat with a Durable Finish on Wyss Floors

By jstoddard on Aug 2, 2012


Orange pex tubing by the spool is required to create a network of plumbng in the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus main building. Manifolds and valves controlled by thermostats allow heated or cooled liquid to run through various zones of the building to gently fine-tune ambient interior temperatures. In some cases, the tubing sits over layers of wired rebar, bedding sand, and foam insulation, as seen in these photos from months ago:

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

View from Above: The Wyss Campus is shaping up!

By jstoddard on Jul 30, 2012

During a recent Lighthawk flight, NOLS' Kyle Duba was able to tag along and fire off a few shots of the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus from the air. Our grateful thanks to Lighthawk and to Kyle for sharing the view from above!

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Wyss Interior- HVAC and Fire Framing

By jstoddard on Jul 10, 2012

 

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In-depth Investigation of Red Canyon Rock- The Search For Water

By jstoddard on Jul 10, 2012

Weston Engineering has finally managed to deliver the requisite equipment and personnel to begin drilling on the water well for the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus. Their target is a confined aquifer some 1,100' directly below the campus. This aquifer has been repeatedly targeted and developed for municipal, commercial, and residential uses along the Lander foothills.

The first step was to blade out a well pad in a location that made sense for near surface management (where the pipelines will go, and how much we need to pump or pressurize the system). We also have been focusing our disturbance in locations that have previously been disturbed. In this example, an old road cut and erosional gully were targeted so the rigs could use the old road as an approach, and remediation after the well construction will restore a more natural landscape. Once the pad is level, pits are dug - the mud ponds for drilling fluids. These are carefully managed in lined pits and pumped down to the cutting tool at the end of the string.

 

The first portion of the drilling, about 80', uses a large cutting head that leaves a borehole big enough to slide a 12" pipe down with room to spare. The pipe arrives in sections and is welded together as it is lowered into the hole. When all 80' are assembled, the space between the outside of the pipe and the dirt/rock wall, the "anular space", is filled with cement grout. This part is called the surface casing. When the grout has set for a day or two, the next step is to drill with a smaller diameter head inside the surface casing. This hole will continue from -80' to -1100' or so, when we should start to hit the tell-tale signs of the approaching contact with our target aquifer. Every 10 feet, cuttings are collected and evaluated with color, hardness, texture, odor, and other properties that are compared against the known geologic section. When we get close, we'll slow down in case the water is under tremendous pressure. This hole will be cased and grouted as well. The last section of drilling is a smaller head yet, and the hole that it leaves will never get casing- the hole remains open so water can flow directly out of the rock and into the well. Typical depth for the open hole is 100-200'. The well will probably be around 1,300' in total depth.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Closing in on final framing at WWMC

By jstoddard on Jun 25, 2012

Sustained dry weather has helped keep the Wyss Campus construction on track. The main educational facility has been framed and the student residences are right behind:

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Recent work at the Wyss Campus

By jstoddard on Jun 11, 2012

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Geothermal wells and Classroom Walls

By jstoddard on May 23, 2012

May has looked and felt more like June this year- not a bad thing for moving work along. Structural panels continue to be assembled on our 11,000 square foot main facility while in areas already completed, other work is already progressing. Graywater drainlines, storm drains, venting and water supply lines are coming together in the basement while the radiant tubing for in-floor heat is being placed and cast in concrete on the main level. The radiant tubes will exchange heat by indirect contact with an antifreeze loop that is pumped into a series of wells, each of which is around 250' deep.

A geothermal well take about a day to drill and our system requires eight of them. We place long loops of polyethelyne pipe in the holes, then pack a special grout into the well to seal the pipe in place. Those loops come above ground now but they will eventually be attached to a header below ground that brings the antifreeze from the wells to the mechanical spaces in the basement. Befor the header gets placed, the area needs to dry out. Drilling requires water, as does the activation of the grout, and in our location, we also hit some minor aquifers that added to the imrpovised mud season.

The water well is slated to get started before the end of this month with a derrick twice the size of the geothermal rig. We'll also be trenching for water and electrical supply, bolting the student housing girders together, and sheetrocking the caretaker home.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Wyss progress - Mid-April Photos

By jstoddard on Apr 26, 2012

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Steady Progress at the Main Building

By jstoddard on Apr 16, 2012

 

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Final forms emerging at one locale, structure taking form elsewhere.

By jstoddard on Mar 29, 2012

The Caretaker Residence is really coming along-

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Wood workin'

By jstoddard on Mar 12, 2012

Construction at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus is rolling forward with carpenters framing the floors and walls of the caretaker residence and the anticipated shipment of the trusses and lumber package for the main building. Bids from electrical and mechanical subcontractors have been evaluated and the work has been awarded to Inter-Mountain Electric, Rawhide Plumbing, Sweetwater Aire, and Mechanical Innovations and that rough-in work will proceed immediately.

We have also moved forward with selection of a well driller who is already working with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to design a cased well expected to be 1,100-1,300' deep. Structural steel shop drawings have been approved and fabrication for floor girders and plates is in process. Final phase drawings have been delivered for the residences and remaining final phase plans for the main building are scheduled for March 6th. Neighborhood utility upgrades are on schedule which allows us to schedule trenching for new power feeders into the campus transformers.

Telecommunication connectivity challenges are being countered with an emerging microwave system and ongoing research concerning optimal placement of any amplification and antennae for cell signals. The Popo Agie Anglers will partner with NOLS, Wyoming Game and Fish, Trout Unlimited and local middle schools to spearhead a willow planting along the public fishing access to improve fish habitat and to augment existing revetments which stabilize our flood plain pastures.

Central Wyoming College students will be surveying the historic ranch buildings on the property and will produce a folio which will provide curriculum about the previous uses of the property and the prehistoric as well as pioneer-era evidence that has survived. Remaining uncertainty surrounding costs is receding as costs are finalized and 27% of the project has been expensed. We continue to expect substantial completion in September of this year.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Wyss Campus Time-lapse

By jstoddard on Feb 14, 2012





The educational facility is ready for floor joists and decking, SIP panels, and rain storage tanks. Weather calls for 20-40% chance of snow in the Lander foothills but day time temperatures are still clearing freezing, making the site a little muddy. Our mess is confined, however, and native grasses and drought tolerant species will landscape the area of disturbance when construction traffic slows down.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Pulling Forms from New Walls

By jstoddard on Jan 31, 2012

Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus continues to take shape with completion of foundation walls at the main facility. Steel forms, pictured below, are assembled to be perfectly level, square, and plumb.

Before concrete is delivered, blankets are used to keep the cavity between the forms from accumulating snow.  After the concrete is poured, hoses with circulating anti-freeze are draped over the forms and then covered by blankets once more.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes