As you may have noticed, the walls of Aztec Student Union are coming together. There are many steps involved in making the walls a reality and the various stages are evident if you’ve walked around the Union lately.
This photo from late April shows the lath/mesh layer of the walls on the north side of the Union.
There’s the framing portion of the walls, obvious from Centennial Walkway; the purple drywall layer, easily seen from the Open Air Theatre Walkway; sheathing and lath/wire mesh, identifiable from the pedestrian bridge; and, finally, stucco, which can be seen from Student Services and F Lot.
This photo from early May shows the purple drywall layer on the west side of the Union.
Now, the stucco is the newest development on the walls and a material that most Southern California homeowners are familiar with. Since there is tarp up when the stucco is being applied (to protect nearby buildings from overspray), the only indication that it is happening is the wailing of the pump. If you were around Student Services last week, you no doubt witnessed the terrible sound, so thank you for your continued patience!
This view from Student Services shows the tarp-covered northeast corner of the Union.
Once the first layer of stucco, known as the “scratch coat,” is applied to the mesh, there is a 48-hour wet cure for the stucco to dry. It’s dubbed a scratch coat because it is “scratched” after application in order to give the subsequent layers something to grab onto. After the scratch coat cures, a brown coat is applied. Once the brown coat is applied, it cures for 30 days before the finish is applied.
In this photo from last week, the upper portion of Council Chambers has been stucco’d.
Once the finish is applied, the exterior walls are done. If all goes according to schedule, the scaffolding surrounding the building could start coming down as early as late June/early July.
Want to get the latest on Aztec Student Union? Be sure to “like” the project on Facebook, follow it on Twitter or visit the website and the live construction cam.