Case Studies

Center for Learning and Student Success – Lease Crutcher Lewis

Bringing new life to campus hub

Built more than 50 years ago, the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLSS) at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, was in need of major upgrades. The facility is the hub of the small college campus, housing classrooms, tutoring and testing centers, student government, food services, student life common rooms and even the school’s library. The long-anticipated $29 million remodel of the CLSS building lead by construction veteran, Lease Crutcher Lewis, has brought new life to Lane Community College.

Lease Crutcher Lewis has been a fixture in commercial construction in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 100 years, with a rich history of family leadership and employee ownership. The firm began in Montana and went as far as Alaska in pursuit of projects before establishing roots in Seattle. Today with more than 600 employees companywide, Lease Crutcher Lewis runs the gamut in commercial construction, tackling high-rise, office buildings, apartments, K-12, higher education and more in both the public and private sectors.

This is the second time Lease Crutcher Lewis has served Lane Community College. “We completed the school’s Health and Wellness Building, which includes teaching and instructional classrooms for the nursing department,” says Tanner Perrine, senior project manager on the CLSS job. “That project was finished about five years ago.”

As a diverse general contractor and construction manager, Lease Crutcher Lewis self-performs a surprisingly high percentage of project items. “In the case of CLSS we did all of the siding, installing a cement composite panel screen system, manufactured by Swisspearl with sustainable materials and less energy than traditional systems,” says Perrine, who has been with Lease Crutcher Lewis for over a decade. “We also self-performed all structural and architectural concrete, which helped give us more control over the fast-track schedule.”

Working around occupied space

Like most education-based projects, Perrine’s team faced a short completion timeline set by facilities management and working around occupied areas. The four-story, 130,000-square-foot remodel included all classroom, tutoring and testing areas, the food services department, library and a redesigned courtyard. “CLSS is basically home base for a lot of important services on the campus, especially for commuter students,” explains Perrine.

Located in the center of campus, CLSS presented site challenges in a high-traffic area. “Getting our crews in without impacting adjacent buildings was a challenge,” says Perrine. “Also, the topography of campus made things difficult because it’s located on a hillside; that made it hard to get materials in and some things done.”

Center for Learning and Student Success - Lease Crutcher Lewis

With four stories to go, Lease Crutcher Lewis started at square one: the basement. “We remodeled the basement and sort of moved our way up, completely gutting and remodeling the first and third floors, while the fourth floor and other areas remained occupied,” notes Perrine.

“Since we were working with a remodel rather than starting from scratch, there were many existing structural problems our crews faced,” adds Perrine. “The existing structure was all precast concrete and we couldn’t drill through the pre-stressed columns and beams, so we had to reroute many utilities around the structure and find ways to conceal them in spaces where they wouldn’t stand out. This job was very intense from a concrete perspective.”

Fortunately, there were some loopholes. “Some beams had existing holes and penetrations so we could run the utilities, but we had to first locate them,” explains Perrine. “We used a laser scanner to find existing openings and made a BIM model of these holes and where to run utilities including electric, plumbing and HVAC duct work.”

Aiming high for LEED

Lease Crutcher Lewis is well-versed in sustainable design and incorporating the owner’s LEED goals into the project scope. “In the case of CLSS, we’re aiming for LEED Silver certification,” notes Perrine. “We’re achieving this through a number of means, from new window glazing that adds more natural daylight to a highly efficient mechanical system — a huge update from the outdated 1970s system.”

Some of the project’s LEED points include:

• Improved window glazing: This allows for the building to harvest more daylight and reduce lighting costs.

• State-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems

• Recycling: Incorporating repurposed wood materials and recycling more than 3 million pounds of concrete have helped to attain LEED points.

• Swisspearl cement composite façade: Made with natural, raw materials, Swisspearl’s building envelope solutions offer aesthetically convincing design with low-energy manufacturing.

“We’re currently wrapping up LEED documentation now and the project is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification,” says Perrine.

Lease Crutcher Lewis’s team pulled together to wrap CLSS on-time for Lane Community College. “Our corporate model is to tackle challenges head on, find a solution and move on,” says Perrine. The facility now serves as the renewed campus hub, welcoming students, faculty and staff with open, healthier spaces for a viable future.

Published on: May 9, 2016


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