Despite rainy weather, Supercenter still on target

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-The weather during the spring and summer seasons of West Central Alabama are not always the most cooperative conditions for construction. However, despite the wet conditions, things seem to be on target for the new Wal Mart Supercenter on Highway 80.

JA Fielden General Contractors, who are based out of Knoxville, Tenn., have been working late hours when the rainy conditions would allow them to keep the project on track.

Glen Cocherell, the project supervisor, said the project is coming along nicely.

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“The shell is up and the roof is on,” Cocherell said. “We are also doing the interior framing and probably about 15 percent of the concrete is poured.”

The next big step will be the parking lot. Cocherell said this phase of the new Supercenter should get underway in the next few weeks.

“We are preparing to pave the parking lot,” Cocherell said. “We should start on that sometime around September, weather permitting.”

The target for completion of the project is Nov. 21. Cocherell said a week from that date the store will be turned over to Wal Mart where they will begin their preparations to open. Cocherell said the dates still stand and they expect everything to be ready on time.

“We are on schedule for our Nov. 28 Wal-Mart possession,” Cocherell said. “That will be the date when they officially turn the store over to Wal Mart.”

The summer rains have not made getting to this point especially easy. However, Cocherell said they have braved the wet conditions and are no longer at a point where rain can hurt their work on the store itself. Cocherell said the quick drying red clay on the construction site also had a lot to do with keeping the project on target.

“We are at the stage now where the weather won’t bother us inside,” Cocherell said. “It could outside, but this is some funny red dirt down here. It dries up pretty fast.”

Having the shell in place and a roof over their heads has been huge. Cocherell said now they could begin making serious progress on the inside of the store.

“We are dry enough on the inside with the roof being on,” Cocherell said. “We should be able to start the drywall next week.”

All things considered, the construction has gone exceptionally well. Cocherell said everything seems to be going according to plan.

“We’re there,” Cocherell said. “We have a few minor things we need to iron out and we will be ready to roll.”