Creamery Completion Gets Closer
Only ten days since my last post, but as we approach completion the final work is adding up quickly. Ceiling panels and ceiling light fixtures were completed last week, though joints between the ceiling and walls still need to be sealed. The viewing light fixtures in the aging room walls still need to be installed as well. Unfortunately our crew framed them from the dimensions on the cut sheets without verifying the measurements of the actual fixtures, so the holes are too large and will require flashing for a clean finish. No construction project gets completed without a hitch, and this is one of the many (albeit one of the least daunting) we have faced over the last 12 months of building. Sanitary design tracks were mounted in the ceiling of the raw cheese aging room (to support our library style shelves) and in the milk receiving room (our 80gal milk tank will be hoisted and rolled from the door over the top of the pasteurizer so the milk can be gravity fed from the tank to the pasteurizer without pumping). Our crew also put the air curtains over the doors, part of our effort to keep dust and flies from the dairy from entering the creamery.
Sunday Ironclad was back to begin prep work on the floors. They ground down the existing cement so it would be ready to receive their polyurethane cement application. We chose an earthen red color, reminiscent of red tiles that were once used in creameries before listeria were found to survive in grout that was not properly maintained. The glossy white and warm red have a clean and classic look that I find very appealing, and as I will be spending at least 5 to 6 days a week in there for the rest of my career (fingers crossed), it is important to me that I find the workspace appealing. Monday they began laying out the colored quartz to give the floor its red look and non-slip texture. Tuesday and Wednesday they mixed the cement for the floors and applied the coving (the overlap on the bottom 4 inches of wall that meets the floor in a rounded joint to facilitate water draining, another important design feature required by CDFA). Today the Ironclad crew vacuumed all the dust and particulate from the floors and began rolling and painting on the final sealing coat that makes the floor impermeable and easy to clean. Today the floor was still tacky, tomorrow we will evaluate the level of slip on the floor to see if we want them to apply a second layer of sealant.
Our recent rains (for which we are incredibly grateful though the construction crew may not be… I’m thinking about hay growth as much as the creamery opening in the last few weeks) our guys have made progress on our subterranean whey tank. Our whey will be collected in a separate series of drains in the creamery and flow a couple of hundred feet to this receiving tank adjacent to the milking parlor, where any discard milk from the dairy can also be conveniently added. From this receiving tank it will be pumped to a final storage tank from which we can feed our pigs.
The Ironclad foreman said we could begin moving equipment into the building after Tuesday, so just sealing the wall to ceiling joints and some minor electrical and lighting work and then we should start to bring in the stainless. We are so close!