Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Season's Greetings

Chinese Information and Service Center wishes you a Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

CISC tour leaves now...

Take a quick stroll of our new office. Start your tour off with a warm greeting in our waiting room (thank you David for the beautiful flower arrangement), venture to a private conference room, journey into our open staff workspace, and then finally grab a cup of coffee or herbal tea and relax in our kitchen (yes, that is a dishwasher that you see).

Update #96

Well, it's been 2 weeks now since we moved into the new building and things are starting to settle down a bit. Most of our boxes have been emptied and files put away, but there are a number of small jobs the contractor is still working on in the occupied space.

Last week we finally got the glass panels for the stairway so we can now use the main entry stairs. They look great! And people don't have to hunt for the elevator in the back of the lobby anymore either.

We're still working on the Family Center, Sunshine Garden and the computer center. Our plan is to move them in on Tuesday, December 19, just in time for the holidays.

We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cleaning Up

Getting down to the wire. All our boxes are packed and we're ready to go. The movers are coming in bright and early tomorrow morning to get us moved in.

The cleaners are doing a good job on the furniture and the construction crews are working on cleaning up everything else.

Now we're preparing for all the staff who will want to switch workstations when they finally get to see what they look like and where they are...

611 S Lane St!

After WEEKS of negotiating with the city, we finally have an official address! 611 South Lane Street, Seattle, WA 98104.

Months ago, we were told that we should choose an odd number between 601 and 619 since Cathay Bank is 621 S Lane. So we picked 611 and assumed all was well until about 3 weeks ago.

Turns out that the way the city numbers things is based on where the walkway comes out of the building. So even though we're facing Lane St, and the bank right next to us has a Lane St address, we were told we had to have a Maynard Ave address!

After much consulting with the city and working with their supervisors, they decided to let us go with 611 S Lane. Good thing too, since the movers are coming tomorrow. It's been kind of difficult taking deliveries when no one can find us.

Even ended up having to stand out on the corner in the rain last week to direct a delivery truck to our site! To make it even more confusing, the original address of the building was 624 S Dearborn, but on all the permits it was incorrectly listed as 628 S Dearborn.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More Pics

Here are pics of workers preparing the downstairs lobby for carpet installation. The original floor is concrete with rocks in it. Not very attractive. Also not level with the outside walkway.

After cleaning the surface, they poured more concrete so that the water won't run into the building when it rains. And our seniors won't trip as they exit the building!

Final Touches

We're all set to move into our space on Friday! We can hardly believe it. After more than a year of working and waiting and waiting some more, we're finally ready to occupy our new home!

We plan to close down Thursday, the 16th to allow staff to pack up their final belongings. Friday, first thing bright and early, the movers will be on site to move everything over. Luckily it's only 3 blocks, so we won't have to contend with much traffic - we hope!

Here you can see the beginnings of the new stairs. The elevator had a little hiccup last week, but is now running fine. Should have no problem moving all our furniture, books, and lots and lots of files upstairs.

Monday the 20th is set aside for staff to unpack their belongings and we'll be back in business on Tuesday the 21st. Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wall Panels

They're up! Now that the elevator's working, we've been able to get the operable partitions up to the International Family Center on the 2nd floor. Work on the tracks was completed long ago. We've just been waiting for the panels (which weigh about 300 pounds each) to be moved upstairs.

These movable walls provide great flexiblity in how we are able to use our space in the Family Center. Whether they're all closed so we have 5 separate rooms for meetings and classes, or all open so we have one large gathering space for community events, these panels allow for multiple uses and many different configurations.

Many thanks to our sponsors of these rooms: Kam Au, Bill and Agnes Kwan, and Sinclair and Genevieve Yee. Your support will touch the lives of over 1,200 families each year who use the Family Center!


It works! At long last, after many trials and tribulations, the elevator is up and running. No more forklifting furniture up from the ground floor. Although it is not yet approved for passengers, we can use it to move furniture and materials up to the 2nd and 3rd floors.

After installation of the new cyllindar, ADA upgrades and electrical work, it's like a brand new elevator. Super quiet and smooth too. Now we just have to lose the 70's avocado green paint and 12 flourescent lights that make you feel like you're in a Wal-Mart on steroids.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Front Doors

The glass for the front doors has finally arrived! Check out the 15 foot high panes along the side of the doors. Fortunately, they're tempered safety glass so we shouldn't have people walking through it, but just in case, we'll probably put stickers or something on the glass at eye level.

The glass for all the interior spaces is also on site. They'll be going into all the private offices and in the conference room which has 3 walls with floor to ceiling glass. Talk about a fish bowl!

Also, the HVAC was turned on yesterday. They're testing and balancing the air flow, but it was great feeling the air conditioning come on for the first time ever. Woo hoo!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Teal, huh?

As we get closer to our (new) move in date, they're putting finishing touches on the space including the accent colors on the structural elements of the building. The designer decided that teal would be a good contrast to the main wall color. It certainly catches your attention!

All the exposed beams that hold the building up, and new steel bracing that keeps it from falling down will have this treatment. It's kind of an interesting blending of the old and the new.

The furniture installers are working hard to get all the cubicles put together and are having a fun time trying to match all the pieces to each other! We expect them to be done by tomorrow.

Finally, we've chosen our lighting fixtures for the raised roof area and entrance lobby. They look like this, but will not actually be installed for another couple of months because they're backlogged.
In the meantime, it's actually surprisingly bright under the monitor and all of the workstations have their own task lighting.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Reception Area

Have you been to our waiting room lately? Did it make you want to run screaming from the building? Did you think the chairs and carpet look like somebody died on them? OK, well it's not so bad, but it's certainly not pretty. (see Aug 18 post)

In our new building, our reception area is about FOUR TIMES bigger. It has natural light from a window looking out onto the skyscrapers of downtown Seattle, a reception desk that will have safety glass for security and a lower counter for ADA accessibility.

We've also got a place for a flat screen TV that we will be running videos on for people to watch (and learn) while waiting. Videos on Chinese American history, culture, and travelogues are what we're starting out with. No, sorry, no Sponge Bob!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Furniture Installation

Elevator still not working, but we're going ahead with plans to move and install all the furniture we purchased months ago and have been storing downstairs.

So how do we move it? With a forklift, and VERY gently, of course! They've already finished all the framing for the relites on the 2nd floor, but left this one section open for the forklift. Fortunately, the glass is not in yet, but as far as we know, they didn't even bump the frame once!

The carpet is all done, and here you can see one of the managers' desks in their office. They are so long (96 inches!) that in order to get them onto the forklift, they had to first attach 2 ten foot long pieces of wood so the desks wouldn't fall off the front!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Movable Stairs - Just Like in Harry Potter!

You know those temporary stairs that used to be against the wall? They moved them to the center of the lobby in preparation for installation of the real stairs.

Then one day last week, they ended up sideways in the lobby for some reason.

And now they're back against the wall today as they bring in the steel for the final set of stairs! These new stairs will have oak treads with clear plexiglass risers and teal steel railings.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hurry Up and Stop!

Bad news. We've just learned that we will not be able to move in to the building until at least Nov 10. This kind of throws a wrench into our plans to move on Oct 27...

We are told that the final inspection of the building cannot happen sooner than 10 days after all the other inspections have been done and signed off on. The plan was to have all these inspections done by the 27th. Normally, we could have gotten a final inspection that same day, or the next, but the city's building department is really backed up and needs 2 weeks time.

Anyway, the new plan is for us to close from Thursday, Nov 16 through Monday, Nov 20, and reopen for business on the 21st, just before Thanksgiving. It can't be helped, but we're trying to keep a positive attitude and stay flexible.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Getting There

The building is looking and feeling more and more like finished office space every day. We've got ceiling tiles (some), we've got lighted soffits (that's that hanging down part over the elevator), we've even got a motion sensing light switch (we think that's what it is)!

The elevator's still not working, but the jack is on its way. In case you missed it, we had to replace the hydraullic jack in the elevator. As they were removing the old one last week, they discovered that there was an additional 20 odd feet of cyllindar (probably in case the owner wanted a taller elevator in the future).

But things are progressing and we're on schedule to move in the last weekend of October. Oh, my gosh! That's next week!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wide Load

HVAC units are on site and being installed on the roof. Our air conditioning is finally here!

They weigh a ton, and we have to be really careful not to rip the new roof material. So cranes are being used to hoist the units up to the top of the building. Thankfully all the ductwork and other preparation inside is already complete.

So all they have to do is get the units in place, bolt them down and connect. We're ready to go!