Dinosaurs, Cranes, and Steel
Rarely does a site visit allow an observer to look at a 13.7-metre long Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton next to a 15-metre long steel roof truss. Rarer still do you learn, while walking that exact same job site, that a 3-tonne, fossilized tree stump is Alberta’s provincial stone.
Both rarities occurred for me during a site visit that was originally scheduled to discuss the challenges involved in flying a large HVAC unit onto a freshly poured but-obstructed slab nestled somewhere between the existing building and the new structure via mobile crane. When we returned to the site office after our tour I requested another orientation sticker for the record books (or maybe my next hard hat) from Site Superintendent Colin Kostrosky because I was certain that I would never be offered an experience like this one again.
The funds being injected into this revenue-producing, sustainable, world-renowned, government-owned, asset should be considered a safe bet. The Royal Tyrrell has consistently drawn hundreds of thousands of tourists and scientists alike to our province on an annual basis since opening its doors in 1985. Filled with enough dinosaurs and other fossilized pieces of history to successfully entertain a child of any age for an entire day or three, the museum and its encompassing grounds generate the highest economic output of all Alberta Government heritage attractions.
“The number of school programs that are running through here every single day amazes me,” said Colin as we finished the tour of the existing facilities. The ATCO Tyrrell Learning Centre, which is the focus of this construction project, had 16,500 sf of educational space before Lear got started. This heavily-utilized area encourages more than 26,000 students a year to explore and engage in the field of Paleontology, get dirty, and have fun, from four small classrooms (and the great outdoors).
When finished, the expansion will double the learning space and add more galleries, ensuring there is ample room for my son, and every other elementary kid in the city, to have the opportunity to partake in that one field trip to Drumheller that every elementary kid in our city takes (and anyone who grew up here remembers).
Like any build, issues have arisen and been overcome to keep the project moving. Trade, material, and labour coordination have each presented their roadblocks, mostly due to the relative remoteness of the project, but the most recurring obstacle of the project has been ensuring uninterrupted and safe access to the building and parking area for the numerous visitors to the facility, many of whom have small children in tow (controlling live dinosaurs was apparently very simple in comparison, because there were none to be seen, anywhere).
“Working on this world-renowned facility is exciting and I am happy to leave my mark for the world to see.”
-Colin Kostrosky, Site Superintendent
If you haven’t been to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, located 90 minutes east of Calgary, make the trip!
Logan Cross, Project Manager, LCC
I love our craft and what I learn from it daily. I like to build things and prefer being covered in sawdust while standing in mud or snow as opposed to the suits, boardrooms, and repetitiveness of office work. Fieldwork is brutally honest and brings out the realness in people. You live and die by your skill and knowledge, and your results make or break your day.
I built, served, and sold my way through a degree at the University of Calgary. After graduating I donned a suit and tie for the worlds of marketing and telecommunications before returning to myconstruction roots and opening LCC.