EAST COUNTY — Since mid-July, crews have been turning protruding metal beams into the structural support of what will be a regional shopping destination — the Mall at University Town Center.
Although construction crews have been building up in anticipation of an Oct. 16, 2014, open date, they will soon tear down.
A 40-by-60-foot archway closer to University Parkway stands alone — temporarily — beside where crews work on the mall.
This separate piece, says John Eggert from Taubman Centers, which Benderson Development joins in a 50/50 joint venture, is a “mock-up” of the skylight system that will form the ceiling of the mall’s concourse.
The system will allow people looking up at the concourse ceiling to see the sky.
Creating such a system is complex, so crews built the mock-up as a practice run for the real thing.
The mock-up will be used for testing purposes through January; it will likely be dismantled over a two-week period.
“It’s important to practice how we integrate lighting, wiring, mechanical and fire-protection features such as sprinklers and water lines,” Eggert said. “It’s important to have a visual before we build the real thing.”
Taubman will evaluate the mock-up and apply any necessary changes to the final product.
Eggert says Taubman does the same process for furniture, such as chairs and benches, building mock-ups with different finishes and colors and testing for durability.
Once it’s torn down, Eggert says it’s possible crews might reuse some of the parts for the mall’s construction.
Regardless, some material from the mock-up will be recycled.
Material includes the glass skylights, an aluminum framing system on which it sits and steel reinforcement.
Eggert has heard rumblings some of the materials might be used as components of nearby bus shelters that are being built.
Ultimately, the mock-up will be like the first draft of an important paper, eventually crumpled and recycled — all but forgotten.
“It can be taken down in short order,” Eggert said. “It took longer to put up than it will take to come down. It might take a couple of days.”
Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].