September 6, 2017
August 14, 2017
Our work at the Wichita Falls Independent School District’s Career and Technical Education Center was similar to three projects we performed in San Antonio.
When officials cut the ribbon to open the Wichita Falls Independent School District’s Career and Technical Education Center last month, it marked the end of nearly two years of challenges faced and successes gained by the Sundt joint-venture team.
The 123,000-square-foot facility houses programs that prepare high school students for college or careers by offering advanced skills, certification, college credits and the ability to explore their futures from the comfort of high school. The building opened in time for the new school year.
Our team’s experience constructing similar facilities in San Antonio helped pave the way for a successful project. We previously improved Brackenridge, Burbank and Lanier high schools in the city by adding career and technical education (CTE) centers while the campuses were in use, just like Wichita Falls.
“(Project Engineer) Tyler Persyn and I worked together on the CTE centers in San Antonio,” said Project Manager David Musch. “We have a great working relationship based on trust and respect. As a whole, our onsite team, including my Superintendent, Project Engineer, Field Superintendent and our local JV partner, Trinity Hughes, were invaluable to our success.”
Owner savings on the $30 million project began during preconstruction.
“At GMP, we value-engineered $3 million out of the project and did not impact any of the programs slated for the Career Education Center,” David said. “We also came up with an AV package redesign that gave the district an LED wall that will be the focal point in the main corridor of the building.”
Wichita’s notoriously fickle weather affected the tight schedule, made more difficult when the district adopted a school calendar that cut 10 days off the end of the construction schedule. The team lost two months because of extreme weather and rain delays at the beginning of the work in late 2015.
“We drilled all our piers for the foundation of the building off of crane mats and established a temporary lime-stabilized access road in order to get the foundation started,” David said. “Our team worked seven days a week for 12-plus hours a day, plus night shifts for months, to overcome the challenges we faced.”
June 14, 2017
The Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building in Downtown Phoenix was named the best project in the higher education/research division in the Southwest.
San Jose State Campus Village Phase II earned an award of merit for higher education/research in Northern California.
Two Sundt projects have earned regional awards from Engineering News-Record, a publication widely considered the authority of the construction industry.
The Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building (BSPB) in Downtown Phoenix won best project in the higher education/research division for the Southwest and San Jose State Campus Village Phase II earned an award of merit for higher education/research in Northern California.
BSPB is a 10-story facility where collaborative work in neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and medicine performed is expected to lead to groundbreaking discoveries with a direct impact on public health.
The San Jose State project is 10-story high-rise college housing that includes 850 beds, common study rooms, a multi-purpose lounge, learning center, recreation space and other support spaces. It was the first collaborative design-build in California State University history.
June 9, 2017
Construction work on the Golden West College Math and Science Building starts next month.
Ceremonial shovels have turned dirt and construction will soon begin on a 120,561-square-foot mathematics and science building at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California.
Sundt is serving as construction manager on the project, which is scheduled to begin in July. HMC is the architect and the facility is designed to achieve a LEED Silver certification through the USGBC.
The three-story building will include lecture spaces, laboratory space, computer labs and support space for the Math, Biology, Life Science and Physical Science departments. There will be lab spaces for geology, biology, microbiology, zoology, anatomy, physiology, ecology, botany, marine life, physics, chemistry and organic chemistry. There will also be a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center for students.
“The new building represents Sundt’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the community college environment, specifically with STEM projects,” said Sundt Vice President and Regional Director John Messick. “More importantly, this is the third project we’ve collaborated on with the Coast Community College District.”
Other projects we have performed for the district are the Orange Coast College Interdisciplinary Complex and Golden West College Student Services Center.
May 24, 2017
Virtual Construction Engineer Frank Garcia is one of our employee-owners who are licensed to fly drones for commercial purposes.
Sundt Virtual Construction Engineer Frank Garcia is one of our company’s first employee-owners to earn his commercial license for drone operations. Using drones at job sites enables us to provide better client value by more efficiently capturing project information.
Frank is putting his drone skills to use on a student housing project at Cal Poly Pomona this month.
How important are drones to the construction industry?
Drones are another tool we can use to solve challenges. While we are figuring out new uses for this technology all the time, every tool has its use. Drones, robotics and technology in general are changing the way we build and think about construction.
In what ways is Sundt using drones to provide client value?
The drones allow us to produce some of the same things we are doing now, just more efficiently. One example is the use of “photogrammetry,” where we take a variety of pictures with the drone from different angles and put them together to generate 3D models. So for a 3D site logistics plan, we can fly the drone and generate 3D models of the surrounding buildings, existing conditions, calculate the grade of the site, etc.
Why is it important for us to operate drones instead of having a vendor do it?
While flying drones is fun, we are flying them for a purpose. We are collecting data that allows us to produce a variety of deliverables. When we fly ourselves, we know what data is critical to capture in the development of our deliverables. There is nothing wrong with using a vendor to operate the drone. We just need to make sure the data we are receiving is viable for our intended use.
How hard are they to fly?
As with anything, there is a bit of a learning curve. Once you get over that it’s fairly easy, depending on the type of weather you are flying in. Some of the drones practically fly themselves. I recommend everyone give it a try; I find it to be really fun. The real challenge is in the preflight work. If you are flying for commercial use (not just for fun) you have to be aware of the airspace you are flying in and, in some cases, need to get Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clearance. You need to be aware of the type of weather you are flying in as it can affect flight characteristics. Really, you are getting your ducks in a row to fly safely.
What was involved in becoming licensed to operate drones?
Studying! The main hurdle to get over in earning your drone license is passing the FAA written test. The test covers basic drone flight operations, loading and performance, laws and regulations, etc. What I found to be slightly challenging were the questions related to interpreting National Airspace System information (airspace maps), and weather and micrometeorology.
What do you need to do to remain licensed?
I need to pass an aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.
Sundt is building a 158,000-square-foot student housing development at the University of the Pacific.
An expanding population in California has made new student housing a necessity, prompting university systems to find innovative ways to build projects.
One solution gaining traction is Public-Private Partnerships (P3). A P3 is a long-term contract between a public-sector client and a private company or consortium covering the design, construction, maintenance and sometimes financing of a facility, such as our $25.8 million project constructing student housing at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The project is a partnership between the university and Capstone Development Partners. In this case, the university is providing the financing.
Capstone, a Birmingham, Alabama company, has produced student housing for more than 25 years.
“The university systems in California are embracing the P3 model of project delivery to enable them to meet the housing demand of the student population,” said Sundt Senior Vice President and Building Group Manager Teri Jones. “This new approach will be good for the university systems, their students and the building industry.”
P3s are being used across California, including transportation and public works projects.
“P3s offer several different types of contract options for public entities with a wide range of risk allocations, funding arrangements and transparency requirements not available in traditional delivery methods,” said Sundt Project Manager Steven Bonicatto. “This approach offers useful tools for governments or private entities to achieve their objectives.”
Our team broke ground on the project last August. The new 158,000-square-foot development includes two new four-story buildings consisting of 142 studio, two-bedroom and four-bedroom units that will provide a 381-bed residential community. When complete early next year, the project will transition the approximately four-acre project site into student apartments including more than 15,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor amenities featuring social and study areas and other site improvements.