is serious about the rating we're striving for," Joseph Healy,
senior associate with Wallace Roberts & Todd, the department's
planning and design consultant for the Blue Ball Project, told a
large turnout of representatives of prospective contractors for
Washington-based council, which is not a government agency,
describes itself as "the nationís foremost coalition of leaders
from across the building industry working to promote buildings
that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy
places [in which] to live and work"
Healy told a pre-bidding briefing on Aug. 13 that whoever gets
the general contract will be expected to toe the mark. Among
other things, the firm will have to employ someone who is
certified by the
environmentally sensitive construction management, engage a
subcontractor with experience in historical demolition,
carefully recycle material and make sure that nothing of
potential historic interest gets mixed in with the trash.
won't be able to bring a dumpster in and just haul the stuff
away," he said.
was built in the 1920s by Alfred I. du Pont as an adjunct to his
estate, Nemours. Housing dairy cattle, it stood on the site of
an earlier tavern. The site, at the intersection of Concord Pike
and Rockland Road, takes its name from the blue glass
James Healy explains
the intricacies of the Blue Ball Barn rebuilding contract
to a standing-room-only crowd of perspective bidders on
that the tavern keeper set on a post to signal stagecoach
drivers on the Wilmington-to-West Chester run to stop for
passengers. There is a wood replica of the ball and post, carved
by the late Malcolm MacKenzie, at the site today, the latest a series of
such markers put there over the years.
dairy barns are common, the contractors were cautioned that this
one "is not your typical barn structure." Both its base and its
second story are built on poured-concrete slabs and the layered
roof is supported by steel tresses. Being a Du Pont Co.
executive until deposed by his cousins, A.I. "had numerous
contacts with engineers," Healy said. "That why the barn has
continued to stand as long as it has."
also had a strong fear of fire, which resulted in there being
much asbestos in the structure. Wooden doors, for instance, are
lined with asbestos and covered with metal cladding. The
contractor will be expected to preserve the wood, correctly
handle and dispose of the asbestos, and recycle the metal.
addition to historic considerations, the builder will have to
provide for installation of 'public art', in the form of
stonework, tiled paths serving the facility and sculpture around
other hand, Mark Chura, manager of preservation and development,
said that the division "will be flexible" about adhering to the
project's 400-day completion deadline in order to provide the
redevelopment contractor with leeway to work cooperatively with
the Delaware Department of Transportation contractor rebuilding
Concord Pike and installing two overpasses between Augustine
Cut-Off and Independence Mall.
is scheduled to begin in early November, with the first task
being removal of the large mounds of dirt and stone on the site,
providing the barn contractor with a proverbial level playing
Chura told the contractors that a final budget his not yet been
approved, the project has previously been said to likely cost in
the neighborhood of $4 million.
previously reported, restoration of the barn and nearby former
milk-storage house includes construction of a two-story addition
of a contrasting design behind it to serve as an administration
and support facility for both the barn and the rest of the
Alapocas Run section of Wilmington State Parks, which will
straddle Concord Pike. The barn complex will be its signature
is to be "as flexible a facility as possible to give the state
[division] a wide option for [its] use," Healy said. The
principal function will be as a museum and meeting place. It
also will be rented to the public for various purposes,
including functions with catered meals.
environmental design features called for in the contract
specifications is what Healy referred to as "a rain-harvesting
system." That, he explained is intended to catch rainwater and
save it for use in the toilets in the support annex.