Friday, February 6, 2015

Are we done yet?

Presidente Agapito Magaña
It all started with a photo-op and press conference. On August 30th the Presidente Municipal de Isla Mujeres announced the construction of a new dome to cover the seldom-used basketball court, located directly across the street from our casa. The basketball court is part of the Colegio de Bachilleres school complex on Aeropuerto Road.

Official announcement
The dome is probably a good idea, adding daytime shade, nighttime lighting, fencing to keep the basketballs out of the nearby jungle and bleachers for the fans to sit and enjoy the games. In almost seven years of looking at that basketball court we have yet to see one actual game played. The players are usually just noodling around with a ball, repeatedly losing it into the thick vegetation. Eventually they give up in frustration, and head back into the college classrooms.
September 23rd - backhoe working
So the big announcement was made and then nothing happened for several weeks. We shrugged it off as another idea that would soon fizzle and die. Then around September 23rd a backhoe and operator arrived, digging trenches and shifting piles of dirt to new locations. A few days later the forming crew arrived, creating eight deep holes to be filled with concrete. And then nothing more happened. All through the month of October we had blissful silence across the street; no beeping back-up alarms, no workers, just birds tweeting and twittering. (And, no I don't mean the birds were sending texts to each other!)
November 5th - concrete pumper
Then just around sunset on November 5th, the concrete trucks and pumper arrived to pour the foundations. Okay, things are starting to happen. In years past we have seen various bits and pieces of remedial work done on this basketball court, and never completed so we were still not convinced at this point that this is really going to happen. 

December 6th - upright supports
Back to peace and quiet – until December 6th when a large flatbed truck, hauling eight steel uprights pulled onto the court surface. The crew jostled and jiggled the posts into place on the footings, securing them with large bolts.
By now we are headed into the long break that occurs in Mexico from December 11th to January 7th. It's a time of numerous celebrations, religious holidays and family events. It's definitely not the time to accomplish anything. The construction site across from us languished, quietly waiting until the festivities were over for another year.
January 7th 2015 - curved beams
And then January 7th arrived, bringing a flurry of activity.  Flatbed trucks with stacks of curved steel beams.  
Cranes.  Pickup trucks.  Welding units. Big jack hammers.  A dozen workers. It's a proper construction site!


The clangs of metal braces nudging up against metal beams, the loud bangs of hammers persuading the pieces into place, and sizzle of the welding torch fill our daytime hours with loud noises. That's life. There is still a lot to be finished: the dome covering, the bleachers, and fencing.

February 3rd - welder working up on curved beams

Welder
No, we aren't done yet! In the end the students with have a great place to play basketball, or other court games, and in the meantime I have a handy source of action photographs to share with our readers.

Hasta Luego
Lynda and Lawrie

Cleaning up the site

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2 comments:

Ann said...

Nice to finally meet you last night!

Lynda Lock said...

You too! Funny how we "know" people we don't know ....... Cheers L