In 2020, construction began on a two-part project on Vel R Phillips Avenue in Milwaukee. This first phase was a 30,000 SF restoration of the 145-year-old St. Francis Monastery. The second was a 16,000 SF addition of the adjacent St. Francis of Assisi Parish Center.
During this project, when construction was well underway, the Capuchins (a friar belonging to a branch of the Franciscan) had two requests that were not in the project's original scope. Clint Bindrich, the jobsite Superintendent, was committed to delivering the very best customer service and adapted to the client's request.
The Capuchins approached Clint and asked if the historic arches could be exposed during the elevator fitting. The original drawings called for the arches to be covered with plaster walls.
Historic Exposed Arches
Pivoting from the original plan, Clint collaborated with engineers as he felt there was a solution. His recommendation was to shore up the arches and fit the elevator in, exposing the original stone and brick. By doing so, the arches could be visible in the finished product, and there would be easy access from the basement to the main floor, dining area and living quarters. It was an innovative solution that exceeded the Capuchins' expectations!
Elevator Shaft in Progress
The St. Francis of Assisi Parish Center addition was already underway and being framed when the Capuchins had a second ask to match the Friary exteriors to the new addition exterior facades. Getting an exact match would be close to impossible, as the bricks were 145 years old. A national search began. After reviewing seven brick samples without a match, the construction team headed back to the drawing board.
Clint noticed that when crews removed plaster from the interior walls in the renovation area, the walls were brick - a perfect match for the exterior they were seeking! Clint did the math and discovered that the brick could be salvaged and repurposed for the exterior if demoed and removed carefully. This was an ingenious idea that contributes to the overall aesthetic of the restoration while addressing the Capuchins' request.
Elevator Shaft in Progress
Thank you, Clint, for your commitment to project success and getting it done right. Your innovation and collaboration make all the difference, exemplifying the capability and drive to build awesome buildings for awesome people!
Date: May 20, 2021 | Author: Molly Haack
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