Institutional

The University of Texas is putting the finishing touches on its newest instructional facility. Substantial construction concluded this year on the six-story, 295,000-square-foot Norman Hackerman Building on the Austin campus. The structure was scheduled for occupancy in late October. The building, named in honor of chemist, professor and University of Texas president emeritus Norman Hackerman, is one part of a total $195 million project that also includes the renovation of Robert A. Welch Hall, the chemistry building located across the street. 

There are not many construction firms that can take on a project that is upwards of a couple hundred million dollars at any time, yet alone when a recession is causing many firms to scale back its operations. But when the University of Kentucky decided it was time to build a new patient care facility, it found the right crew for the job at Turner Construction Co.

Staying on schedule in any large-scale construction project is never easy, but doing so during an abnormally rainy season requires a high level of skill not often found in some contractors. How­ever, Auburn, Ala.-based Rabren General Contractors was able to finish its George Washington Carver High School project on schedule in spite of bad weather and a number of change orders during the course of construction.

As the largest educational facility con­struction manager in the mid-Atlantic and the ninth-largest construction manager in the region currently managing more than $600 million in project value, HESS Construction + Engi­neer­ing Services has established itself as a leader in a niche market, which includes primary and secondary schools, community colleges, training facilities, museums, libraries and federal institutions. This focus has been “extremely successful,” for the Gaithersburg, Md.-based company, Executive Vice President and COO Kathleen Langan says. 

After nearly 25 years in the construction industry, Aranda Rodriguez-Ginorio & Associates (ARGA) Con­struction has established a perfect record by never defaulting on a contract or ex­ceeding a project performance period, Part­ner Irving Aranda says. Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, ARGA specializes in wide range of services, including general construction, construction management, design/build infrastructure conservation and marine construction. 

Originally built in 1908, Havens Elementary School was the first school in Piedmont, Calif. Al­though it had undergone sev­eral upgrades throughout its history, the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) decided in 2006 that it was time to create a safer school, with facilities that met current building standards. Soon after hiring Webcor Builders of San Mateo, Calif., to perform the needed upgrades, Webcor suggested an alternative approach to upgrading the school.  Instead of performing renovations to the existing facilities, Webcor proposed the demolition the entire school and starting over from scratch.

Construction crews are a common sight on the University of Georgia campus in Athens. Since 1997, more than 200 buildings have been either renovated or added under a campus master plan that continues to guide the college’s brick and mortar future. Two major projects are under way, with two more planned in the near future, showing the university’s dedication to having an updated, long-lasting building stock, Campus Architect Danny Sniff says. “We don’t look for buildings that last up to 50 years, but really buildings that can last 100 years,” he adds. “We keep our master plan alive and refreshed, as opposed to it just being a pretty picture on the wall.”

With education budgets still tight, the schools in Sedona can use all the reductions in costs they can get. One way of decreasing electricity costs is tapping the abundant and free resource that surrounds the district through­out the year – sunlight. The Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School Dis­trict is going solar, and Kinney Con­st­ruc­tion Services (KCS) is providing design/build services for the project.

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