Arbitrarily, I set the starting point for Part II of this story, as the date the last wall section was tilted up - 21 October 2020. Phase II was supposed to be the completion of the building, ready for equipment and furnishings. But construction of a plant isn’t often linear. The plant floor was completed in February and logistics equipment began arriving in March of 2021. So, March will be the beginning of Part III; however, I’ve included infrastructure, outside finish work, parking lots and landscaping in Part II, which is now complete.
The roof/ceiling is an underappreciated part of a building; the top half (the roof) is completely out of sight. It catches the rainwater and funnels it
to the water retention basins. It provides a surface on which the 30 air conditioning units and the 4,000 solar panels sit, it contains the insulation, and most importantly, it helps hold the building together - as the walls and roof/ceiling are bolted together all the way around. On the underside (the ceiling), thirty-six feet above the floor, is the sprinkler system, electrical, data and air lines, the ceiling fans and the lights. Wow, there is a lot to a roof/ceiling system.
The floor is another of those “out of sight, out of mind” components; almost all the important features are hidden under the surface. The 24” lime-stabilized subgrade was created before the wall footings were even dug. Then, after the
walls and roof were complete, a 6” layer of base rock was hauled in, graded smooth, and rolled. Finally, the 7” concrete floor, containing 50 pounds of steel fiber per cubic yard - for reinforcement, was poured (under roof) and finished ultra-flat, to accommodate robotic forklifts. Our vision, from the beginning, was a building that would last as long as the pyramids in Egypt; this is it.
The MidwayUSA “Campus” is designed to make a statement of its own. Thousands of people will drive by our campus in the years to come, but never step inside a building, or even onto the campus. What will they think and say about the business that lives there? We hope it’s good!