Update on the Wagner Education Center
by Brandt Faatz
When Will the Wagner Education Center Open?
It’s a question that comes up daily. When will we be able to open the new building? What happens then? While the date for the grand opening is not yet set, what I can tell you is that we are very, very close. Here’s where we stand.
CWB broke ground on the project in January 2016. Construction of the structure and exterior was essentially completed during the first half of 2017. During that summer, interior wiring was installed, lighting was designed, the solar array was installed, and numerous other, less visible activities took place inside the building.
The interior work ramped in the fall of 2017. To help offset costs, teams of CWB staff and volunteers installed insulation throughout the building and prepared 720 sheets of plywood for the interior walls. A contractor installed the plywood during December and January. Now staff and volunteers are coating the plywood, with expected completion during February. A contractor is preparing the south side of the building to install the large, moving shutters which will allow us to control light and passive solar heating. Another contractor will install the restrooms in February. Lighting fixtures are scheduled to arrive in early March. We’re still awaiting a delivery date on the interior doors, and we’re finalizing the plan for cork flooring in the building’s second level. There are other, smaller activities, but these are the main ones.
When the above items are done, we can begin the final testing and certification steps that will lead to a Certificate of Occupancy. At that point, we’ll be able to open the building and begin outfitting it. Boatshop equipment, office furniture, kitchen cabinetry, exhibit installation, the reception desk and gift shop are a few of the larger outfitting projects. There is still a lot of work to do, and funds to raise, to complete all the outfitting. Still, as soon as the building is open, we can start to use it for boat maintenance, classes and facilities rentals. We expect to see these activities ramp up over the course of the summer and into the fall.
Keep an eye on the newsletter for announcement of the grand opening date. It won’t be much longer. A big thank you to all of you who are supporting CWB and the Wagner Education Center, either financially, with your sweat, or both. We are very, very close.