Quandel Danis Construction Management: The Beavercreek Elementary and Middle School Project
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In November 2008 Ohio voters in the Beavercreek City School District approved $84 million in bond funds for a district-wide, multiphase renovation program to upgrade every existing building in the district and to build two new schools to address student overcrowding.
The initiative allocated funding for new HVAC systems, temperature controls and security systems at each of the district’s school buildings, purchasing new land for schools, adding an elementary gymnasium and renovating the auditorium of the district’s historic Main Elementary School, which was the original high school building. A portion of the funds was also allocated toward new roofing and asbestos abatement. All these upgrades have resulted in the district already realizing significant utility cost reductions due to the new energy-efficient equipment. The showcase endeavor, meanwhile, is the ongoing construction of the new Beavercreek Elementary and Middle School.
Quandel Danis Construction Management (QDCM) – the latest of several joint ventures between the Quandel Construction Group Inc. (Quandel) and Danis Building Construction Company (Danis) – was selected to plan and supervise the construction and renovation of the entire building program.
Quandel was founded in 1882 and has remained family-owned and -led for four generations. Ohio-based Quandel staffs over 100 employees in its Columbus, Cincinnati and Zanesville offices. Over the years the team has either constructed or renovated nearly 260 buildings in the area, totaling more than $3.8 billion. Danis was founded in 1916 by comparison, and though Danis is not as old as Quandel the two companies continue to find joint success in the educational market by emphasizing the importance of delivering cost-effective solutions with integrity, efficiency and professionalism.
“We have partnered with Danis for over 10 years,” says Alan Polatka, senior project manager at Quandel. “Both companies have a strong track record of building schools together.”
Reassessing the Approach
The Beavercreek Elementary and Middle School project is overseen by QDCM in conjunction with multidisciplinary design firm SHP Leading Design (SHP), which supplied all of the engineering and design services. SHP’s original design called for the construction of two separate buildings, but it was determined that a combined campus could save the school district money in the long run and still achieve a separate feeling for both schools.
Combining the two buildings eliminated the need to develop two separate sites, plus reduced costs associated with constructing separate access roads and turn lanes. A shared campus also enabled the two schools to share the physical plant, geothermal system, central kitchen, utility tap fees and the technology fiber network. It also streamlined district operations and consolidated the district’s lawn care and maintenance efforts.
The new elementary school comprises 92,000 square feet for 700 students while the middle school accommodates 1,150 students within 163,000 square feet. The two schools share a number of features for cost-effective operations, but a separation between the two is maintained by separate administrative offices, libraries, gymnasiums, playground areas, dining areas and parking lots for each school.
Although the project aims to maximize every dollar spent, the facilities’ sustainability was never sacrificed. The schools will be heated and cooled through an expansive geothermal system, which includes 435 heat exchangers drilled and installed to a depth of 250 feet. The project also includes extensive daylighting and lighting controls, insulated concrete foam exterior walls, energy-efficient windows and a variety of building materials that serve the dual purpose of looking great and boosting sustainability.
“These schools do not look like your typical elementary or middle school,” admits Polatka. “The building combines brick, metal and phenolic panel cladding with lots of windows and architectural stonework in a way that makes the buildings appear as though they belong on a college campus.” SHP has long been a proponent of daylighting in schools, citing studies that show improved student test scores in standardized testing.
The placement and abundance of windows, skylights and roof monitors ensures daylighting and reduces the need for indoor lighting systems and HVAC costs. SHP selected phenolic panels for its ability to realistically mimic a high-end wood veneer while withstanding outdoor exposure to the elements.
The QDCM team is providing construction management services for the project, and has coordinated the construction through at least 18 prime contractors and many more subcontractors. This purchasing strategy, developed with SHP during the design phase, resulted in bid day savings of two percent for the Beavercreek school district.
Polatka estimates that over 80 trade workers are currently on site, and that number is growing each week as the buildings are enclosed and interior and exterior finishes progress. To note, the new elementary and middle school is on track for completion in time for the 2013 academic year.
“The construction process can feel like conducting an orchestra sometimes, because you have to make sure that all these various components are coming together at the right time,” Polatka explains.
The Beavercreek school district and SHP’s leading design teams have made timely decisions to save money and facilitate the project’s efficient design. In addition, the QDCM team has expertly managed the project’s contractors and the resultant documentation necessary to keep everything on schedule. With construction crews steadily moving forward and the exterior of the building completed, students are closer than ever to having a space designed specifically for their success. The Quandel Danis Construction Management team isn’t about to ease up on safety training or high quality standards for workmanship, ensuring the new Beavercreek Elementary and Middle School is built on a solid foundation.
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