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Monday, June 6, 2016: Entering the second month of construction

Construction of the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion is now in its second month. Since the groundbreaking ceremony at the end of April, excavation started and a majority of the soil export has been completed; the last house on the site was demolished; the tower crane was installed, and the foundation walls have begun to take shape. Below is a timelapse video of the first month of construction, followed by a summary of work expected on the construction site and the west end of campus this week.


One-minute time-lapse video of Hagfors Center construction site, May 2016.

The images are photos of the construction site from a camera on top of the building across 21st Avenue South, facing west. The site is surrounded by a construction fence and is traversed by South 7th Street, which is now closed between 20th and 21st avenues. To the north of South 7th Street, the site is all dirt, with several trucks and construction vehicles parked on it. To the south of South 7th Street, what was formerly parking lot F is still paved. That section of the site has construction trailers, tool sheds, worker vehicles, and some materials on it.

In the first 10 seconds of the time-lapse video, excavation vehicles begin to dig on the north side of the site. They continue to dig through the rain, when the camera lens is obstructed by raindrops. The skies clear, and the digging continues, primarily removing soil to get the site at grade with the sidewalk level. In addition, the concrete pad for the tower crane is poured during this time.

By the 15-second mark, worker vehicles no longer appear in the area south of South 7th Street. The area is taken up by trailers and tool sheds and is used from this point forward for materials staging.

About 22 seconds into the time-lapse video, the initial construction of the tower crane is visible on the north side of South 7th Street. The lower half of the tower crane mast, which is several stories high, is put in place. Meanwhile, the excavation continues; there is significant truck and excavation vehicle traffic on the site, and the hole for the basement and foundation begins to be visible just north of the closed section of South 7th Street.

At 29 seconds, the tower crane mast is complete at more than 150 feet, and the horizontal arms are beginning to be constructed. By 31 seconds, the working arm of the tower crane, the long arm that carries the load along a trolley, is complete. Soil excavation and hauling continues for the next 10 seconds of the time-lapse video. Concrete trucks also appear during this time, as the concrete pours for the footings and foundations have begun.

At 46 seconds into the time-lapse video, the first section of foundation wall appears, which runs mostly in an east-west direction just north of the closed section of South 7th Street. Then a second section appears. It runs primarily north-south and does not connect with the first section. At 51 seconds, the first two sections are joined by a third section, which also runs north-south and forms a 90-degree corner with the first section.

At 53 seconds, the final house remaining on the construction site is removed. In the last seconds of the time-lapse video, the first foundation wall is extended to the east, and the video ends with that corner of the foundation wall at that stage.


  • Footings and foundations. The work on the footings and foundations continues, and more basement walls will be installed and become visible as the work progresses. Concrete pours will continue on a daily basis until the foundations are completed.
  • Piping and electrical. Underground piping and electrical utilities will begin to be installed this week.
  • Continued drilling for installation of elevator hydraulic shaft. The drilling for the elevator hydraulic shaft will continue, but is expected to be complete this week.
  • Utility pole removal. Power poles on South 7th Street are still anticipated to be disconnected and removed by Xcel Energy.


Parking lots A and D are re-opened for staff and faculty permitted parking. Additional lighting will be added to the lots later this summer. There are long procurement lead times for the lighting fixtures; the Facilities Department is waiting for confirmation of the expected delivery date before planning the additional lighting installation schedule.


City of Minneapolis sidewalk closures and parking restrictions may continue on 21st Avenue South as work continues on reconstruction and equipment installation on the west side of Oren Gateway Center.