Monday, May 21, 2012

Updates on the renovations happening at the 

UW Geological Museum 

in Laramie!

Welcome to our blog on the summer of renovations!!

We are very excited to begin the work of updating our museum!  For more info on the renovations and how we got here, you can follow this link.

We are working with UW Facilities Planning, UW Physical Plant, Malone Belton Abel, P.C. (Architects and Engineers), Chase Studio (exhibit design), and Marshall Contracting of Laramie on this project.

I'm Kelli Trujillo, the manager of the museum, and I'll be your guide over the summer for our tour through the renovations!

On Friday, May 4, 2012, we began the work to get the museum ready for the upcoming renovations. 

First, we removed the end of the tail of the Apatosaurus as it would have been in the way of much of the work and could have been damaged. Anthony Maltese of Triebold Paleontology, Inc., the company that re-mounted the specimen in 2008, came up from Woodland Park, CO and we worked with him to make sure this was done as safely as possible for the specimen.

Anthony Maltese looks at the apatosaur tail to figure out the 
best way to remove it.

Next, since we had the scissor lift right there we took down the cast of the pterosaur as the current lights are going to be removed and the ceiling fixed up. Bill Turner of Marshall Contracting had the honor of hugging the pterosaur on his shoulder to safely lower the cast.

Bill Turner and Anthony Maltese take down the pterosaur

Then, after looking at how much the cast of Big Al would move when just barely touched, we decided to remove his skull and part of his tail in order to make him more stable during the construction. 

Bill Turner and Anthony Maltese remove Big Al's skull

The skull came off very easily, and it was placed at Big Al's feet where it will be very safe.

Anthony Maltese and a headless Big Al

The tail also came apart relatively easily.

Anthony Maltese removes part of Big Al's tail

Now Big Al should be stable enough to be safe through the demolition of a staircase and a nearby wall!

That was enough dino trauma for one day, poor things!

On Monday, May 7, we worked on getting the skull removed from the mosasaur so that it wouldn't be endangered during the removal of the railing around the center island and the cutting of that corner of the island to match the other three corners. 

I was able to easily slide the skull off of its metal support:

And then removed the jaws. Both the skull and the jaws were taken to the Collection of Fossil Vertebrates in the Earth Sciences Building where they are now safely stored.

With the help of several students from the Program in Ecology, we moved the cast skulls of the T. rex and the Triceratops to the Berry Center for Biodiversity Conservation, where they will spend the summer:  

Grace Carter and Mikey Tabak pose with their summer buddy Triceratops

T. rex at the Berry Center. Grad students taste good?
Wednesday, May 9th was the start of the first phase of asbestos abatement. Most of the floor tiles in the museum are asbestos and so will be removed. For this first phase, though, we just had them remove the tiles around the center island so that we could build a gigantic box to protect the specimens on the center island during construction, and also to be able to reach the ceiling over the Apatosaurus to remove the old lights and fix up the ceiling tiles. It all went very well, and we were able to get back into the museum on Thursday afternoon:

Asbestos tiles removed around center island

Friday, May 11 - time to start building the box!

And time to start removing every single thing in the museum that sits on the asbestos tiles. Yes, seriously. Not just free-standing exhibits and signs, but the exhibits in the glass cases, too. Each built-in exhibit case has an insert, and most of these inserts sat on asbestos tiles within the cases. So, each insert was removed from its case, all fossils and casts were taken either to collections (real fossils) or a safe storage room (casts), and most of the cases were moved into the classroom upstairs next to the museum balcony. Also, all of the cases upstairs that house the invertebrate fossils were also moved into the classroom so that all the asbestos tiles upstairs can be removed.

So, over the course of the next week, the box went up:

Once the framework for the box was up, plastic sheeting went on over the frame:

And then sheets of OSB board went over the plastic sheeting on all sides.

A cantilevered box was built around the head and first few neck vertebrae of the Apatosaurus:

And the final finished box!

Inside the box:

As the box was going up, the exhibit case inserts were removed and the case doors were removed. These, along with the upstairs invertebrate cases and most of the casts on display were shuffled temporarily into an upstairs classroom in the Geology Bldg. near the museum.

And, finally, the entire museum is ready for removal of the asbestos tiles! 

 Upstairs, the Anchiceratops specimen, the Stegosaurus cast, and the three murals were covered with plastic for protection.

The west side of the balcony, ready.

Doc Knight's Ice Age mural, protected for the tile removal.

Upstairs cases, inserts and doors in storage and ready for tile removal.

Downstairs east side from north end

T. rex stays for the moment...

Downstairs west side from south end. 

So, now for the removal of the asbestos floor tiles in the main exhibit space. This will start Monday, May 21, and we expect to be back in the museum at the end of the week!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice set of parts to make it as real one placed there using lifts.. make more model using lift in safely.. thanks for post and keep updating about it.. we are Scissor Lift Rental .