Albion Header

May 30 , 2007
Vol. 2 No.8

More Workbees - We Need You

We still need Money - Donate Today


Report on Workbee May 1-11

The eleven-day period produced some serious changes to the lower camp. In a nutshell, we were able to frame all 20 private baths on the six buildings, roof all the buildings up to the tarpaper stage, install most of the rough wiring and a good share of the rough plumbing.

Jim Grossman, our general contractor, had a plan before he came as to how we would put the project together. The four dorm cabins are identical four-plexes (four rooms in each cabin) with a personal bath for each room. We were able to make the walls in an assembly-line fashion. We set up a template for each wall on the bed of a low-boy truck trailer and built eight of each wall for the eight ends of the four dorm cabins. In a matter of about 15 minutes, with nail guns, we could frame a wall. When we started setting the walls in place the camp took on a totally different look in a matter of just a few hours.

For the next step Dan Brown, Dennis Donovan and Dennis Simpson began "stick framing” (custom) the roofs.

Bob Clough worked on installing the rough plumbing. He could have done considerably more if better help had been furnished to him (I was one of his helpers that got distracted easily).

Phil Saulsbury and Sean Westinrider were nearly able to complete the rough wiring.

Meanwhile several others were installing the Tyvek wrapping around each building and cleaning up the debris from the construction.

Vanessa, the family cabin to your right as you come into camp, and Capella, the family cabin next to the dining room, were stick-framed. Duayne Witzel and Larry Provonsha worked on Vanessa, the cabin that will be handicapped accessible. They were able to completely frame the two baths and put on the roofs including the shingles. Jim Grossman and Brian Muth framed Capella, including the roof up to the tarpaper stage.

If all this sounds horribly complex, it was (to individuals like me and many of the other volunteers). However, with Jim Grossman directing the project it went flawlessly!


Progress on the Curbs, Sidewalks and Paving

The grading necessary to put in the curbs and sidewalks has been completed. As you read this newsletter Jerry Thompson is installing the curbs and sidewalks in the lower camp. When he completes the lower camp he will install sidewalks in the upper camp around Avena and Lonicera.

In the lower camp the curbs are running the length of the roadway through camp in two straight lines. The sidewalks will run perpendicular to the curbs to each cabin and will be sufficiently wide to accommodate a service vehicle. There will be no sidewalks parallel to the street through camp. Great care is being taken to make sure each walkway is well-drained.

Finally, we will be putting 3-4 inch conduits under the sidewalks and road so that the sprinkler system can be installed properly.

Following the installation of the curbs and sidewalks, 2.5 inches of paving will be laid. Hopefully this will be completed in July.


Will Cook will cook!

Meet Chef William Cook, a recent addition to the Albion staff.  Looking for a change from his position as a social worker, Will decided to attend the Cordon Bleu cooking school in New Orleans.  “I knew how to make rich sauces and high-fat foods” after that, he says, but had no real experience with healthful cooking.  To remedy this, he spent five months at Weimar learning about a vegan diet and more nutritious eating.  He established a catering business in St. Helena, but when the offer came to cook at Albion, Will graciously accepted. 

Now you can find him in the Field Station kitchen, creating wonderful meals, and dishing up colorful stories of a childhood in Georgia, as well.  Welcome, Chef Will.


Coastal Commission Approval for Boat Dock Project

On Friday, May 11, 2007, the California Coastal Commission gave their approval for the Boat Dock and Boat Barn project. This is a significant event! This has been in the works for a year and a half and allows us to put the finishing touches on our project at Albion.

Specifically, the Coastal Development Permit allows us to:

  1. Install a new boat docking facillity on our new property.
  2. Remove the remains of the old boat barn.
  3. Install a new boat barn next to the lab.
  4. Put a bridge over the creek that runs down the east side of our property.
  5. Put in a driveway beside the boat barn that connects to the bridge.
  6. Remove the old concrete boat in the creek.
  7. Remove a culvert from the west side of the property.

In addition to the California Coastal Commission approval, we need approvals from other state and federal agencies including the California Lands Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish and Game, etc.

It will be necessary to contract the installation of the boat dock. We do not have the equipment to drive the pilings. Volunteers will be needed to help dispose of the dilapidated boat barn and remove the old concrete boat from the creek. Workbees for this will be announced via the newsletter.


What of the Future?

We still need both volunteers and dollars!. You can help by: (1) giving your time and energy as a volunteer to help build and (2) sharing your financial resources to help complete the project.

There is still very much to accomplish in completing the private baths. We need to:

  • Complete the rough plumbing
  • Complete the rough wiring
  • Remove the old windows at the ends of the cabins and frame in the openings
  • Set all the showers
  • Install the vents for the new gas heaters
  • Install all the doors
  • Install the cedar siding
  • Install the insulation
  • Hang the drywall
  • Tape and texture the drywall
  • Paint all the walls in all the cabins
  • Replace the counter tops and sinks in all the cabins
  • Add vanities to each of the private baths
  • Install floor covering in each of the cabins

The next workbees are as follows:

  • June 3-8, install remainder of rough plumbing
  • July 1-6, install composition shingles
  • July 15-20, install cedar siding
  • July 15-20, lower windows in Vanessa and Capella in preparation of installing sleeping lofts

More workbees will be advertized as we proceed into the summer. Please contact us and let us know which of the workbees you can be a part of.


Photos of Workbee, May 1-11

Dennis Simpson Cutting Wall Pieces


Dennis Simpson and Jim Grossman Placing Studs in Template


Jim Grossman and Dennis Simpson Nailing on Sheeting


First Wall Set in Place on Macoma


Dan Brown and Dennis Donovan are Framing the Roof


Don Halenz and Doug Hawley are Nailing Down Sheeting on the Roof


Framing of Capella


Vanessa Framed With the Roof and Roofing Installed


John Shandel Ripping up the Old Asphalt in Preparation for Grading the Road


The Road Through Camp when it Rains!


Curbing Down East Side of Road


Curbing in Front of Godetia


Elaine Halenz Removes Sliver from Dave's Hand


A Big Thanks to our Volunteers

Betty Muth

Betty Muth - Gibby Muth - Bill Mclellan - Jeannie Mclellan


Brian Muth - Cinda Muth - Carol Hawley - Doug Hawley


Dan Brown - Dave Davies - David Finley - Julie Finley


Dave Wiebe - Ruth Wiebe - Dennis Donovan - Dennis Simpson


Don Halenz - Duayne Witzel - Fred Fox - Susie Fox


Jim Grossman - Martha Grossman - Jim Pasch - John Jackson


Kathi Provonsha - Larry Provonsha - Ken Juler - Luisa Fisher


Maynard Lebrun - Terry Trivitt - Will Cook - Bob Clough


Sean Westenrider - Phil Saulsbury


David Wiebe, 707-937-5440,

Gibby Muth, 707-965-2607,

Larry Provonsha, 916-638-0842,

Back Issues of The Newsletter



Newsletter Written and Edited by Gilbert Muth, 305 Sky Oaks Drive , Angwin , CA 94508 (707) 965-2607

To subscribe/unsubscribe, E-mail
Send all feedback and correspondence to
Albion Building Project News

© Copyright 2007 Albion Field Station

If you are having difficulty viewing this email ail, you may go to: