As a part of the Rochester School Modernization Program, Buffalo Construction Consultants Inc. is currently working on three schools for the district. The fourth school, John Walton Spencer School 16, is a Pre-K through 6 program that was completed in September 2018. This project included the elimination of modular classrooms and a complete renovation of the existing building that was built in 1910. This project also consisted of a 13,000 sq. ft. gymnasium addition and 2,000 sq. ft. classroom addition.
Major project scope included asbestos abatement, selective demolition, new additions, infrastructure modernization and alterations, structural remediation, new interior finishes, new windows/doors, masonry restoration, roof replacement, M/E/P systems, sprinkler system, head end equipment replacements, technology upgrades and site improvements.
This renovation and addition project was the first capital improvement project for Akron Central School District and focused on improving the preK-12 school’s music and special education facilities.
Construction began in February 2009 and ended in December 2010, according to a phased schedule‚ thereby minimizing any disruption to learning activities during the school year—a monumental concern for the district as work was being performed within and around these occupied facilities. Due to the close proximity of project staging areas, special care was taken to prevent disturbance and ensure safety.
The scope of the project included an addition for a gymnasium, converting a portion of the courtyard into a two-story addition to house multiple classrooms, a new stairwell, an art/music room addition, a two-story grand entrance with heated floors and the reconfiguration of the school bus drop-off site.
The original estimated cost came in just over $19 million and with the project bids coming in $3 million under budget, the district sought to use the remaining funds to further improve the school. Due to New York State Education Department regulations, in order to utilize these funds a second bid package was required. Our team designed, estimated, scoped-out and bid this second package all while in the midst of construction. As a result of these savings, features such as smart boards and digital projectors for 20 classrooms, terrazzo floors, renovations to the existing auditorium and new ceilings and electrical panels were added.
The project team also worked closely with the district’s student council to provide detailed tours of the project site while also keeping them informed about the construction progress.
September 2003 marked the beginning of the most comprehensive school reconstruction effort in the city’s 170+ year history. This reconstruction program is notable not merely for its scope of work, but also for the unique partnership between the owner and the program developer.
Our team devised an innovative financing model to help Buffalo pay for the work – at no cost to the city taxpayers. Our project team also balanced the list of desired outcomes from the school district, which envisioned state-of-the-art classrooms for all of Buffalo Schools’ students, with the reality of limited financial resources. Our solution was to propose a manageable scope of work that would guarantee an on-time, within-budget delivery of superior renovations to many architecturally significant schools.
In the end, this 10-year, $1.3 billion, five-phase reconstruction project successfully renovated a total of 48 schools, 5 district-wide technology projects and 5 energy performance projects transforming the buildings into 21st century “learning centers of excellence.”
Completed in 2000, the new K-12 school accommodates 1,200 students from two merged rural school districts. The facility is organized into three wings. Two wings are centered on academic learning – one for pre-k through fifth grade and the other sixth through twelfth grade. Each academic wing houses four to five classrooms, and common areas as well as their own entry. Additionally, the sixth through twelfth grade wing features “mini” computer labs.
The third wing houses many multi-use spaces such as a 900-seat auditorium, three full-size gymnasiums, a suspended running track, a pool, two cafeterias and a media center. The media center houses distance learning lab, communication system media center, glass-walled art rooms and a television production studio. Extensive outdoor athletic facilities were also constructed, including an eight-lane all-weather competition track.
To ensure the new facility was built as efficiently as possible, extensive planning and work for a new heating and cooling system was implemented. The system is partially energized by a progressive geothermal well field system, one of the few such installations for a school district in the Northeast. The system includes 27 miles of underground piping to heat and cool the new facility in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
Our team estimated the construction cost of $28.2 million at the time of bidding, however, the actual construction bids came in well under budget at $26.4 million. Our team worked with the project team to apply these bid savings to additional scope for the district. Due to the enhancements, the final construction cost matched the original estimate of $28.2 million.
The original projected completion date was December 2000, but schedule improvements allowed our team to move improve the final completion date by three months. Even with the additional scope, the project was completed in September 2000—just in time for fall classes.
Dating back to 1998 our team has managed extensive renovations to the high school, including the complete gutting and reconstruction of a 77,000 sq. ft. pod of the high school building. The floor plan was altered, and five new science laboratories were constructed. Improvements to the high school’s athletic field included a six-lane all-weather track, a new football field with a completely new grass playing surface. All work was performed with a phased construction schedule that ensured the safety of students, teachers and visitors, while allowing school to remain in full operation.
In 2007, the BCC team managed a district-wide renovation/addition project to facilitate the elementary school consolidation and grade reconfiguration. This project included a substantial addition to the Parkdale Elementary School, which allowed the school to expand its student population to house K-4 students. This project required the purchase of 5 acres of land and nearly doubled the size of the school. The addition houses new classrooms, a gymnasium and a new cafeteria. Additionally, new parking lots and athletic fields were constructed.
Construction at the High School included renovated classrooms, science labs and art studios. A new baseball field and new tennis courts were also added.
In the spring of 2008, an opportunity arose to provide local students with a unique, hands-on learning experience. Our team paired building trades with students from Ormsby BOCES to build a new athletic storage/maintenance facility. This facility would not have been possible without the help of the BOCES students.
In addition to the district’s current capital project, our team also worked on Lancaster’s 2012 Capital Plan project. Our team was brought on to take over the construction oversight for phases I and II, which were already bid and awarded. Additionally, for phase III, our team was hired for the full scope including estimating, scoping, bidding and construction oversight. Construction for phases I and II started immediately in February on all 11 buildings covering 994,644 sq. ft. with district-wide systems for data infrastructure and security; as well as other improvements. To ensure a smooth transition, our team collaborated with district representatives and contracted construction firms to confirm all goals and expectations were clearly communicated. In fact, our team created a schedule to convey the work flow anticipated for the upcoming summer. Phase III work was scheduled concurrent to the other phases and was completed in October 2015.
Along with building conditions survey recommendations, our team implemented enhancements at the high, middle and elementary schools. Additionally, in an effort to continue to improve safety, new secured entries were constructed at the high and elementary schools.
At the elementary school a new 700 sq. ft., 2.5-story addition was built creating a secured entry. During construction, structural discrepancies were found on the 1920 building versus the drawings. A wall scheduled for demolition was found to be loadbearing for the roof and could not be removed. Our team coordinated with structural engineers and the design team to develop a new way to support the existing roof structure. While the 8 week schedule was already tight, more time was needed to address this. With the start of school nearing, our team turned to the contractors they had built rapport with. They collaborated and ensured the new entry and office was completed for the start of school.
The original completion date for all the work was scheduled for October 2015 with turnover of key areas before school. All completion dates were met. The referendum value on the project was $19.5 million, and after value engineering, our team presented an estimated construction cost of $17.3 million. After bidding out phase III and evaluating all phase I and II costs, our construction budget came in at $15.7 million. After rectifying the unforeseen conditions, the budget still allowed the owner to add scope back in which resulted in a final construction cost of $16.5 million - $800k below referendum.
Since 2010, our team has worked on several projects totaling over $75 million for the Niagara Falls City School District.
The $9.2 million 2010 project involved renovations at thirteen different school locations throughout the city of Niagara Falls. Three roof replacements were completed as well as $3 million in exterior masonry restoration work. The original construction contingency was established at 9% of the construction budget. Through buyout savings and aggressive field management, contingency dollars were protected, allowing for the district to benefit from significant project enhancements.
More recently, our team partnered with the district on a $67 million capital improvement plan to update the sports complex, STEM classrooms, mechanical upgrades, roof replacements, door hardware, window replacements, technology and security upgrades, and parking lot replacements. The project broke ground in June 2013 and was complete in October 2015.
Our team managed the construction of a 220‚000 sq. ft. high school addition, including 65 new classrooms‚ a 1‚150-seat auditorium‚ a 124-seat lecture hall‚ two courtyards‚ a two-floor library/media center‚ a 384-seat curved cafeteria, swimming pool and a three-court gymnasium. Major renovations to the existing buildings, totaling 250,000 sq. ft., included new HVAC‚ plumbing‚ electrical, life safety systems, asbestos abatement and four small additions. In addition, twelve new athletic fields were built on the 120-acre property.
Site development work included extensive cuts and fills as well as the relocation of a creek. This relocation necessitated coordination with various environmental and government agencies such as US Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The new football stadium involved a natural turf field complete with irrigation and lighting to allow for night games. Surrounding the field, an eight-lane, all-weather polyurethane track was installed. A new seating area was constructed featuring bleachers to accommodate 3,000 spectators, a state-of-the-art, full-service press box, concessions area and locker rooms.
The original project schedule called for a 30-month construction duration. With the project commencing in June 2001, our team delivered right on cue, wrapping up the entire project in December 2003.
With an original budget of $45.5 million for the project, bids came in at $40 million and the final construction cost was $45 million. The relationship established was so successful, that our team returned to the school in July of 2008 to manage an additional $15 million construction and renovation project.
The Sweet Home Central School District called for capital improvements throughout the district to ensure the safety of their students and staff as well as provide them with updated athletics facilities. This $18.8 million capital program was completed in two phases.
Phase I began in March 2014 with new roofs at the high school and two elementary schools. Scope also included several district-wide initiatives including masonry repair and window replacements. Phase I was completed in September 2015.
Our team began Phase II in May 2015 which included new secure entryways and new metal panels to help identify main entrances. At the high school and three elementary schools, site work was completed to ensure that bus-drop off areas remain safe for children by creating alternative routes for pedestrian vehicles. In addition, the gym floors at the high school and two elementary schools were resurfaced.
Since the areas around the track and grass fields have been historically wet areas, our team reconfigured and reconstructed the fields to improve traffic flow and increase drainage. A new electronic irrigation system senses which areas of the field need to be watered or not. The all-weather track was resurfaced and expanded and now features two new triple/long jump sand pits. The pits are protected from the elements by covers made of the same material as the track for a seamless look when not in use. In addition; six tennis courts were resurfaced.
Our team also installed a multisport synthetic turf carpet football field at the high school that features LED lighting, new bleachers, a new scoreboard and ball catch netting. The new concession stand houses restrooms, equipment storage space, the lighting controls and sound system. The original completion date for all the work was scheduled for November 2015. All completion dates were met as well as the referendum value of $18.8 million.