Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Archive video footage

Here's a link to some video footage, taken just over a year ago, of Dr. Neal Ferris discussing the merits of the new Sustainable Archaeology facility being built alongside the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. The video was taken on the occasion of the official announcement of funding for the project.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pre-engineered building arrives

The pre-engineered building arrived late last week, and awaits being erected on the construction site. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weather & Delays

Winter has hit London pretty hard already, and technically it isn't even here yet! The city has experienced some of the heaviest snow accumulation on record, and as a result the project time-line has suffered a few delays. The pre-engineered building has finally arrived and is sitting nicely packed under tarps in the parking lot of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. Construction will start as soon as the footings under the floors of the new structure are stabilized. There will be some significant changes here on site come 2011.

Friday, December 10, 2010


It's been an interesting week on site, as London experienced a record snowfall that effectively shut down the City, putting a significant wrench into the construction progress. The delivery of the pre-engineered building has been rescheduled to December 15th. After that time, we will start to see the structure of the new facility finally take shape. 
Our new sign was delivered and has been posted outside the front gates to give visitors a better idea of what is happening on the west side of the museum. By the time all of that snow has all melted away, our new facility should be up and functional.

Friday, December 3, 2010


The footings are almost complete and prepared for the delivery of the pre-engineered building in mid-December. The delivery date for the structure has been delayed by a few weeks in order to sort out some contingencies on site, but we're back on track and adapting to winter's abrupt arrival during this first week of December.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The building is coming!

We expect the delivery of the pre-engineered building on November 30th. For visitors to the museum, that will mean some disruption to the parking facilities as the trucks arrive and unload. By the first week of December, we will start to see the new facility take shape!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November construction schedule

The trees in the woods beside the museum have lost their leaves as the Thames Valley prepares to hunker down for the winter. But things are moving full-steam-ahead on the construction site of the new Sustainable Archaeology facility.

The building that is being erected here is pre-fabricated, so once the pieces start to arrive it won't take very long to put it all together. Tonda Construction Ltd. is the General Contractor working on preparing the site for the new building and its construction. Spriet Associates are the architectural and engineering firm we have been working with for months now to get us to this point. They have helped us select a building style, secured permits, and drafted both the site plans and the building blueprints. The architects at Spriet have been instrumental in securing permission from the Upper Thames Conservation Authority and the City of London to allow us to build on the property, and have ensured we are complying with environmental regulations that minimize the impact of the new construction on the local ecosystem.

The construction schedule for November has included a hydro relocation - which was completed on the 3rd of this month - and the installation of site services. What that has meant here is that a couple of hydro poles have had to come down and Tonda has had to coordinate with London Hydro to re-route the electricity feed to the museum and prepare the feed for the new facility.That meant a day without power here at the museum - but things were back up and running by the next business day. This week we'll see another service re-route, as the sewer and water mains are redirected onto the site to feed the new facility. The trench they dig for the new services will cut across the main entrance to the parking lot - so the museum will not be accessible for most of the day on NOVEMBER 11th. They are laying in the supports for the concrete foundations now - they should be poured and completed by the end of the month, when the pre-fab building is due to arrive.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sustainable Archaeology at McMaster University

As our new building is being constructed here in London, renovations will soon be underway at the  Sustainable Archaeology facility at our partner institution, McMaster University. The new storage and laboratories will be located in McMaster Innovation Park on Longwood Drive in Hamilton, Ontario - which locals will recognize as the old Camco (and before that, Westinghouse) building.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Here is a sampling of some of the colours that will be used in the Sustainable Archaeology facility. For the most part, we're sticking with a neutral, earthy palate - with accents in mustard orange and goldenrod to help brighten things up.

Concrete Foundations

Tonda Contruction prepares to pour the new concrete foundations for the Sustainable Archaeology facility.

Concrete foundations

With electricity for the new facility now in place, the pace of construction has picked up considerably. This week has seen a lot of fill removal and trenches dug to prepare for pouring the concrete of the new foundation. And just in the nick of time! The first snow flakes of the season were falling on the site this morning.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting started

With the new facility finally under construction, our focus is now on developing our relational database infrastructure, working out the protocols for artifact management and digital transformation and preparing to purchase our equipment. We have already purchased a ground penetrating radar and are in the process of acquiring a magnetic gradiometer for detecting sub-surface features used for reconstructing archaeological landscapes.

New GPR in action

John Moody, a graduate student in the Anthropology Department at the University of Western Ontario, takes the new Ground Penetrating Radar for a spin in Victoria Park in downtown London. This is a SIR-3000 system with 400 MHz antenna from Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Site of the new Sustainable Archaeology building at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology

We've Got a General Contractor!

We have secured a General Contractor to construct the new SA building. A silt fence is being erected and the perimeter of the construction site is currently being laid out. It is exciting to finally see some physical movement on the project after such an extended period of planning!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heritage Key 2009

This article, which went to print just a couple of months after the initial CFI award announcment in June, 2009, highlights the necessity for a centralized archival facility for Ontario's archaeological artifacts. Dr. Ferris is intereviewed.
Wanted: Homes for Ontario's Artefacts