April 12, 2019

April Building Update

by Alan Beatts

Firstly, and probably most importantly, we reached our goal of 300 sponsors by March 31st.  In fact, on the 31st, we were at exactly 500 sponsors.  That's a slight drop from the same time last year, when we were at 532, but that's still way over the minimum and I'm pleased as punch about it.

But, just because we've met our goal, that doesn't meant that we're not happy to accept more sponsors.  So, if you'd like to help us get our move completed and continue to do all that we do (not to mention enjoy the social camaraderie and other benefits of being a sponsor), feel free to sign up online at https://borderlands-books.com/buysponsorship.html, over the telephone anytime between noon and eight pm PST, or in person by stopping by the shop.

Now, on to the building update.  Last month I mentioned that we were just about to put up the really big beam that's a requirement for building the new restroom.  I'm very pleased to say that it's done and, moreso, the horrible pit of a restroom that we had is nothing but a memory (and, a big hole in the floor).  Tearing out the old one was a one-day job and a hell of a lot of fun.  We filled an entire debris box with the result and, by end of day, we were dirty, tired, and happy.

And then we ran into reality in the form of ADA access requirements and fire code.  The sort version is that the combination of those requirements was going to make the interior wall of the restroom extend further into the store that I had hoped.  So, I'm in the process of working on a different layout with our architect, Kevin Short.  We've got one layout that will work for sure and we're messing around with an even better one.  But, that means the construction of the restroom is on hold for now.  Thankfully, there's still work to do on the surrounding area and some repairs to make in the remaining walls, so we're not leaning on our shovels.

The storefront improvements have been on hold while I've been focusing on the restroom job, so no movement on that front.

The last planters in the garden are done (these are the small ones on top of the west retaining wall) and the irrigation and planting is done on them as well.  Melinda Rose, our gardener, has a few more tweaks to do, but then we're at a wait-and-see point while things grow in a bit.  That's fine because Melinda has become quite a good rough carpenter over the last year and so now I can put her to work on other stuff.

The electrical job has not progressed much.  We've had our pre-construction meeting and that went quite well.  But, I've had a little trouble finding a sub-contractor to do the trenching work from the PG&E box in the sidewalk over to our building.  In theory that's something I could do but . . . the liability associated with cutting concrete and digging trenches in a public (and well-traveled) sidewalk isn't something I want to take on.  Right now I'm waiting to hear back from two folks.  My original pick was great -- a total pro whose usual deal is not only do the digging and then close it all back up, but also install the conduit and deal with PG&E (our electric company). Then I got the bid.  For 30 feet of trench about three feet deep the quote was $16,000.  Granted, he was going to deal with a bunch of inspections and so forth, but that is one _hell_ of a lot of money.

And that is about where we stand right now.  I'm sorry but I haven't gotten the pictures that I promised last month up on-line.  I really will get that done but . . . time, time, time.

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