Workers busy inspecting Vail’s renaissance
VAIL Stan Hahn, the lanky, goateed building inspector, knows about the guts of this behemoth known as the Arrabelle building.Hes shined his mini-flashlight on its conduits and conductors. Hes taken notes on his clipboard about its uni-struts and its transformers.Ive seen everything as it goes up, he said.Soon, this building will be an urbane jewel, with butlers in the $1,300-a-night hotel rooms and duck leg confit in the dining room. But, for now, it is sinewy with pipes and wires, and Hahns approval is needed before all that can be covered up.Hahn, who works for the town of Vail, has done 60 or 70 inspections on this $250 million condo-hotel-restaurant-retail complex at the center of Lionshead.Vail does electrical, mechanical, plumbing and building inspections, and the town has done a total of 9,600 of them this year. That has taken hundreds of hours and its the most inspections the towns ever done. Vail even had to hire an Eagle company, SafeBuilt, to help out.
When contractors are ready for an inspection, they call the town to request an inspector. On Tuesday, Hahn had three inspections at the Arrabelle, plus others at the Vail Plaza Hotel and Club, the old Wendys site and some townhomes.At the Arrabelle, he ducked into a side entrance as a piece of mortar fell a few feet away.Thats a good lesson to wear a hardhat, he said.The unfinished building teemed with construction workers some 600 are here daily. Hahn motioned to the things hes already inspected, electrical work thats already been concealed behind walls and above ceilings.The inspectors must make sure that what was approved is what gets built, said George Ruther, head of Vails Community Development Department.These guys are making sure the set of plans that is submitted and approved is the set of plans that is constructed out in the field, Ruther said.
Hahn walked out to the plaza, where he met Vance Gabossi, a superintendent with B&B Electric. Gabossi had called in an inspection today. They walked down to an underground hallway that connects offices.Where are we? Hahn said.G127, G127.01, G139 and G13, Gabossi said.Hahn shined his flashlight at the pipes that hung from the ceiling.You still need to support that conduit, Hahn said.OK, Ill get someone on that, Gabossi said.Youve got to tie this up a little better, Hahn said, pointing to some drooping wires.We didnt think youd be here till 3, like you normally are, Gabossi said. You did a surprise attack.After a few minutes, Hahn said theyd passed the inspection.Flying colors, he said.If electrical work is done incorrectly, bad things can happen. Someone could get electrocuted, or there could be a fire, or there could be a blackout, or someone could have trouble finding an emergency exit.Basically were here to protect people and property, Hahn said.Hahn then headed up some stairs to another inspection.Its fun, he said of his job. Youre always out meeting folks and talking to different folks.He continued up a long flight of stairs.And it keeps you in shape, he said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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