Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Lafayette Elementary School Remodel/Addition

What a great project. I have had the privilege to work on this project since the bidding phase back at MYC headquarters in January. I help put together pricing for many divisions of construction from foundation to finishes. We submitted our "total price" for construction and were the low bidder by a only a few % points. I took on a new role for MYC as the project engineer and the superintendent in charge of all subcontractors. I put together all of the 3-week look ahead schedules, cost coded all of the receipts and field tickets, balanced the budget each month, created all change orders, verified that all material was what the architect and engineers specified, and made sure that all material were on site on time. I was also in charge of project safety/orientation and all coordination of construction activities with the teachers, students, and general public. I am very proud to say we have had no lost time accidents or recordable injuries on this job site since its ground breaking in early February! Constructing a new office building is one thing, and building a retail building is another, but constructing a new school for students to learn, develop, and grow in is on a whole different plane. This project took out taxes to great use by remodeling and adding to an elementary school that has gone through its fifth remodel since first opening its doors in 1963.
This school enrollees the largest amount of special need students in the entire Boulder Valley School District. We began this project with a presentation during a school assembly on Construction Safety. Since then I have been known as Construction Chris, cousin of Bob the Builder from The Disney Channel. These kids would stop and thank us for "fixing their school" while walking the hallways. If I could, I would only do school jobs from here on out. The sense of helping the community was very fulfilling and motivation to make the school the best project I have ever worked on in detail and in safety. I gave a tour to a class of 5th graders and introduced them to the office tools (paperwork and computer work) used to track schedules, material, and budget. I asked them on how many of the received an allowance for doing chores around the house. I then asked how many of them would like more money for extra work they did or were asked to do. I then explained that is how change orders work, and they really understood!
Each students was given a hard had for the site tour and guided through the school's new classrooms.
Here is a picture of a finished classroom. We self performed all of the steel erection and glue-laminated beam (big wood beams) installation on this project. We also self performs the hot water heating (hydronics), all foundation and sidewalk/site concrete, rough carpentry, door frame, door and hardware installation, and miscellaneous specialty item installation (i.e. marker boards, tack boards, fire extinguisher cabinets, etc.).
Here is a nice candid shot of one of our drywall finishers who I continually tried to talk to in my broken Spanish only to get the response of "ok senior" with a big smile. Great finisher and a even greater person.
Painters, what a group of characters. Anyone ever sniffed too much paint? Theses guys loved to chat, paint, and forge their hard hats in their truck. I never gave in and made them go get their lids while working in side the building.
Here is a before shot. Notice the two temporary classrooms on the north side.
Side view of the four new classrooms. We had to keep the playground to the west (right in the picture) and one on the east open as it was part of the community park on the entire north side. The kids loved to climb up the slide and look into the construction site. Their favorite question by far was, "what are you doing?".
North profile of the classroom addition.
Underneath the south overhang are the translucent panels. These were a pain in the butt to get on site and installed by a specialty contractor, but provide great natural light and opens up the space of each four classroom.
Here is the Multipurpose Room addition we added on while school was in session. One weekend we came in and cut a 7'x7' opening into the library, providing access to this 30'x30' room used for story time, multimedia presentations, and entire staff meetings.
Here is a great shot of the steel erection and glue laminated beam installation of the front entry remodel and addition. Once school was out (June 3rd), we gutted the interior offices and and added on this strucrture. The administration staff was relocated into a temp office trailer just to the right of this picture for August and part of September. We had them back into the new offices by September 22nd, over a month ahead of schedule!
This addition ties into the existing front entrance overhang and includes three new restrooms, a new two section clinic, large teachers lounge, work room, councilors office, community liaison office, conference room, principals office, a large new entrance vestibule, and a new reception area. We also added windows and new vinyl flooring to the cafeteria, new AC to the computer room, remodeled the old teachers lounge to a conference room, added a preschool restroom, and installed a fire sprinkler system and new fire alarm devices thought the entire school. Whew! There is still some landscaping outstanding in front of the lower windows, but that is coming soon.

Hope you enjoyed this recap as much as I enjoyed this project and community improvement. So many parents shared their excitement with us while picking up their little students. It is now almost 1:45am and I only fell asleep once while writing this post. I'm out!


BrianandDebbie said...

MYC is so lucky to have you, Chris! On this job, you were a perfect blend of the task-oriented business guy who also forged great relationships with staff and students. I'm so proud of you handling all the responsibility so well, and I know your future is really bright! Thanks for letting all of us know so much about the work part of your life.

Anonymous said...

Chris! What a great post! Your passion really comes through and we love the part about you teaching the kids and speaking broken spanish. You have always been such a people person. We love you and are so proud of you. Momma mia and Lindsey

Pops said...

Son, you have no idea how proud I am of you - I can't put on this blog what I really want to say. Just know that I love you and I am so very proud of you. You mean the world to me.

Anonymous said...

Being so far away, it was good to see the work on the school. I did not expect to see that but I am more than impressed. What a guy!!

Never had any doubts of your ability.

Now..........the mountain life!!
Love you tons,