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We are building St. Petersburg. Foreman

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The third floor of the school on Mebelnaya Street is being laid with concrete. It will be opened in 2018 and will become one of the largest educational facilities in St. Petersburg. But right now it's in the stage of setting up the monolith frame. It is done by a complex crew of steel fixers, assemblers, welders and other specialists. An experienced foreman and Russia's acclaimed construction worker Vasiliy Latokhin supervises their work.

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Vasya, Vasya, stop that smiling - got it? Have a proper attitude. Why are you behaving like you're in the kindergarten? Smiling all the time? You better measure this, so that the measurements are equal. Be more attentive.

Misha Misha, come on, come down. The concrete is on its way.

The third floor of the school on Mebelnaya Street is being laid with concrete. It will be opened in 2018 and will become one of the largest educational facilities in St. Petersburg. But right now it's in the stage of setting up the monolith frame. It is done by a complex crew of steel fixers, assemblers, welders and other specialists. An experienced foreman and Russia's acclaimed construction worker Vasiliy Latokhin supervises their work.

Currently we are laying the monolith ceiling. The concrete should be laid up until the brim, so that its level. We only have a space of 50 mm to work at, so that the surface is level

Be careful down there, people are working. You got it? Don't pour it too close.

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “This is a monolith frame. It existed back in the Soviet Union, in the 90s it was almost gone - the buildings were put together like a frame. The parts were made at factories, where delivered here and were put together on the spot. And, so to speak, today the situation is the same - parts are brought from factories and the entire frame is monolith. Reinforced parts and concrete.

Here is a special device, it is called a deep trembler. It's used to make the concrete more thick. Because usually it has air bubbles in it, and these devices remove those.

We put reinforced parts, columns and walls together. Then we lay concrete, as well as making ceilings.

Oleg Kornev, segment supervisor at “PromMonolit” LLC: “Monolith is the frame of the building, the ones which carry the whole body, outside and inside walls, the façade, roofing and communications. Roughly speaking, the frame is put together and this becomes a building.

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “A school is interesting to construct, not like a residential building. A residential building is more or less the same thing, everything looks the same. A school is more interesting”

The school on Mebelnaya Street is being built upon an original blueprint, which corresponds with all modern day reliability, safety and longevity requirements. That's why, besides just being a school, it will also be a cultural and recreation center with choreography rooms, swimming pools and even a shooting range.

Alexey Smekalov, head of educational facilities construction department at the Committee of Construction of St. Petersburg: “This school has high social importance, because it is located in the Primorskiy district - with high population density, rapid construction rates. And this school is one of the largest in the city to this day.

The spot where we standing right now, that's where the learning building will be. And across from here will be another one. Down there the administrative building will be, and two swimming pools-four older and younger kids. The gym will also be down there. As well as the dining hall and the concert hall. There will be two elevators there, and elevator here,  each building will have an elevator. Also, all conditions for the disabled - ramps and elevators. There will be a fountain in the inner yard. Not even in the inner yard, it's almost inside one of the buildings. The school will be very beautiful

For Vitaliy Latokhin this is the fifth school in St. Petersburg, his overall working record has dozens of buildings across Russia - from sports complexes to military bases. 35 years in the business. But Vitaliy hasn't yet built anything for himself.

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “As weird as it may seem, I don't even have a country house. When I was young I simply had no time. Work, work, work I came home very late, 10 or 11 PM. You need time to build a country house. And usually you buy land 50-100 kilometers from the city, right? So you also need time to get there. And you need time to build. While you simply have no time.

I suggest splitting it by the 31st axis, the first grip, and the second will be at the 51st axis. Two grips, ceilings, and we can lay it.

All right, I have no questions.

My duties begin in the morning. This, first of all, putting people in the right places - sometimes I make this decision in the evening, after the crew goes home, determining the work schedule for the next day. If I don't have such opportunity in the evening, I come early in the morning - when there's nobody on the construction side. And I determine the work schedule. During the day you have to put everybody in the right place, to see that everything is going according to the plan, do all the things. Then we ordered the gear, order concrete, and try to make it on time.  People have different qualifications - for instance, if it involves work with reinforced concrete, you can have different levels of complexity. One man can do this work in a certain period of time, while the other man might not.

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “The foreman's work is like being a layer in-between the people who are working for you, as your subordinates, and the management. You have to be close to both. Sometimes you get tired of it all, and think to yourself, but then you calm down. Because you are responsible for people and you can't let go of them

Before the Great Patriotic War, there had been 30 types of school buildings in the Soviet Union. In 1938 a nationwide competition for best project was held. Architects As and Ginsberg won it. In the following 20 years all educational facilities in St. Petersburg were built upon their blueprints. The N and P-shaped typified projects appeared later. The size grew, additional rooms for gyms and concert halls appeared, step-by-step schools became more comfortable for both the students and the teachers.

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “If we talk about 1980s and 1990s, everything was built upon the same schemes. Old buildings were like the previous ones, old were the same, but now it's much more interesting. The schools look different to one another.

Oleg Kornev, segment supervisor at “PromMonolit” LLC: “This object is a social one, but it's being built as an architectural project. The shapes are peculiar. Colored windows, and other enhancements are included. Different color facades, but it looks beautiful, not grey-ish as before. I mean they used to build well in the old times, but now they're also trying to make it diverse and good looking.

Schools and kindergartens, cultural and sports centers, clinics and hospitals. In the rapidly expanding districts such buildings must be built as quickly as possible. Although, the project plan of social construction for the coming years fully satisfies the needs of the residents. There will be 59 such objects built in 2017, 41 of them will be made operational.

Alexey Smekalov, head of educational facilities construction department at the Committee of Construction of St. Petersburg: “The interaction with ordinary citizens happens daily, online. We are making decisions necessary for operations of these facilities. Correcting project blueprints, correcting construction process - so that the needs of citizens correspond with the current norms. Most of the demands are about color schemes, designing decisions, using modern decoration materials, modern equipment. Because every year we are changing the gear, technologies, we have to correct things up until they're made operational. 

I am now creating holes for ventilation shaft. The ventilation from classes will exit here and onto the roof. We are putting ceilings into the gap holes. And after that these holes will be reinforced with bricks, and the shaft will exit onto the roof. Just ordinary ventilation.

Despite heavy organizational workload, Vitaliy Latokhin always finds time to help his crew. However, he's main task is to put workers onto the right places. Right now he supervises more than 30 people.

When you finish this one, put the beam right there-so we can put another beam on top. OK? Will you have enough plywood?

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “In one week you talk so much, that during a weekend you want to be alone. To have some rest. That's why I'm not even going to the seaside for a vacation, or abroad. I just do not want to. Why? Because I would leave the city, with its bustle, and find the same noise at a beach. That's why I simply go to the Nizhegorodskiy region, where I'm from. I was born there. In the countryside. I'm going there to spend time with my brothers, on the riverside. To have a bit of a quiet time, to change the city for a village.

Here we installed encasing, here – a monolith staircase. All this is done on the spot. If we're not ordering it at the factory, the entire monolith is being made here. So we are directly installing the encasing, coating and reinforced parts. Naturally, it's all done according to the project. And then we lay the concrete.

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “First and foremost, you work at a height. And you spend the whole day outside. Even when it rains, snows, or it's just very hot. But every person can take that. Many come here, work a little, and leave - I've seen many of those. They work for a month and then quit. They're done.

Children are our future. In order for them to please their parents with successes and victories, hundreds of thousands of people are working every day. And this big deed is kicked off by construction workers. They are building the future. What will it be like is out for us to decide. We are building our city together, every single one of us is building St. Petersburg.

Vitaliy Latokhin, foreman of monolith brigade at “PromMonolit” LLC: “Driving through the city, you see a lot of residential buildings being constructed, a lot in different parts. And sometimes it's very pleasant to pass a building and think to yourself - I built it.

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