March 21, 2012
March 14, 2012
Artist's rendering of the new science and technology buildings at Santa Monica High School
Sundt has extensive experience building K-12 education projects … and so do a number of other contractors. But time and time again, what distinguishes Sundt from the competition is our proven ability to understand each client’s unique needs and exceed their expectations for quality, professionalism, and collaboration.
Sundt was recently awarded a $55 million project at Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, Calif., for just those reasons. Our experience was a major factor in our selection, but what sealed the deal were our ideas for accommodating the needs of both the school district and the city, all while keeping neighborhood residents, parents and students satisfied in this engaged community. The team also devised and proposed a way to shorten the project’s schedule by an entire semester, in plenty of time for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
Our lease-leaseback contract includes construction of new science and technology buildings complete with laboratories equipped with fume hoods, classrooms, an auto shop, and administrative space. Once the buildings are complete, crews will demolish the school’s old, outdated science and technology buildings and perform extensive site improvements that include parking lot reconfigurations and construction of a new softball field.
February 22, 2012
Construction is underway on SDSU's new 200,000-square-foot Aztec Student Union. Its mission style design matches the historic architecture of nearby buildings.
Contemporary design, or traditional? That’s one of the big questions faced by colleges and universities when they’re planning new building projects on campus. Many opt for a historic look that’s only skin deep: the exterior finishes on the new structure mimic the surrounding architecture, but that’s where the similarities end.
Officials at San Diego State University and the project architect, Cannon Design, decided to go one step further in their pursuit of historical accuracy when planning the school’s new 200,000-square-foot Aztec Student Union. In order to give the four-story building a true mission style design, the structure won’t just have gently curving walls and a white-washed finish. It’s also being built without any control or drift joints in the plaster system – just like the nearby historic buildings that inspired its appearance.
That decision, while ensuring a more authentic-looking end product, has created a number of challenges for Sundt, which began the university construction project last June under a $70 million Construction Manager at Risk contract.
“Eliminating the joints increases the risk of cracking on the plaster exterior,” explained Project Manager Jamie Frye. “In order to combat that, we’ve reinforced the building, added fiber-mesh to the plaster mix and extended the cure time for the brown coat. We’ve also added a waterproof membrane beneath the plaster in addition to the standard lath paper to eliminate water from entering the building through cracks in the plaster.”
The team’s modern approach to this historical design challenge also includes getting creative with construction sequencing. Under ordinary circumstances, the roof would be completed before work could begin on interior finishes, but extending the plaster cure time has changed that.
“We can’t afford to wait for the plaster to fully cure before putting the roof on; we’ll simply lose too much time that way,” Jamie continued. “Instead, we decided to put the roof membrane on first and then put a temporary protection roof over it. This way we can give the plaster the time it needs to cure and still get started on the interior – without delaying the project.”
Students, faculty and staff will be enjoying their brand new LEED Platinum building – a thoroughly modern facility with the look and charm of the older structures on campus – when classes begin in the fall of 2013.
February 21, 2012
The Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence in Tucson emphasizes "21st Century Learning." It opened last August.
The new Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence in Tucson is a project that encourages creative thinking from the students who use it as well as the team that built it. That’s because the K-8 school’s design reflects the tenets of “21st Century Learning,” a contemporary educational approach that emphasizes skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, adaptability, effective communication, curiosity and imagination.
Sundt’s $22 million Construction Manager at Risk contract was for construction of seven buildings on the 25-acre site, as well as off-site improvement work that included a new, signalized traffic intersection. The project team is pursuing LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The facility is highly flexible, with classrooms, called ‘studios,’ organized into community buildings that contain various age groups. If you’re imagining a typical school organized around long, lonely hallways, think again. There are no interior corridors. Instead, the central spines of the community buildings are break-out spaces where students in different grades work together on projects.
“The project’s flexibility was challenging from a construction standpoint because the seven buildings aren’t typical, box-like structures and are extremely articulated in their design,” says Senior Project Manager Kevin Almquist. “In fact, the project contains relatively few 90 degree corners, which made the layout and construction work pretty challenging.”
The bottom line, he says, is that “in building an educational facility that encourages creative thinking, we’ve learned a thing or two as well.” The school opened last August.
July 22, 2011
Outdoor spaces at Tercero - Phase 3 will encourage socializing, community-building, and fun.
Remember when dorm living was something you simply hoped to survive, much less enjoy? The University of California, Davis will be lucky if students ever want to leave its new Tercero Student Housing project, the third phase of which will be built by Sundt beginning this summer.
Our $71 million, design-build contract consists of constructing seven, four-story buildings that surround a unique courtyard in a village-style configuration that provides multiple opportunities for residents to socialize and develop community. Bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly pathways will be woven throughout a diverse landscape of existing mature trees and native plants.
When Tercero – Phase 3 is complete in June 2014, its 1,200 residents will enjoy an environmentally and socially responsible community that’s integrated into its surroundings, where the architecture and landscape help create a strong social fabric and create extraordinary spaces for students to develop a sense of belonging, connection, friendship and fun.
They’ll also know that they’re helping create a greener future, thanks to a sustainable and performance-based design philosophy that should put the project well within reach of LEED Platinum certification. In fact, Tercero – Phase 3 is designed to help fulfill the campus’s sustainability goals, one of which is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2014.
Student housing that’s fun, attractive, and good for the environment? It’s almost enough to make you want to go back to college…
Sundt kicked off summer in an award-winning way at the Design-Build Institute of America – Western Pacific Region awards ceremony in Newport Beach earlier this summer. The design build contractor took home awards for two California projects: the County of San Bernardino Juvenile Detention Center won best regional project in the correctional category, and the UC – Davis Graduate School of Management, Offices and Conference Center won an award of excellence in the education category.
The UC – Davis project is composed of Gallagher Hall and an adjoining Conference Center, with Gallagher Hall serving as the home of the UC – Davis Graduate School of Management. The $34 million design build construction project launched in October 2007 and was completed in September 2009. The three-story, 83,000-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art classrooms equipped with advanced technology systems for a bright, open and interactive learning environment. It also includes a modern student affairs and career services center, an outdoor garden, and a courtyard space for special events and networking. Gallagher Hall’s eco-friendly construction is expected to LEED Gold certification, making it the first business school building in California to do so. Meanwhile, the adjoining Conference Center comprises the University Relations Department, ballroom, conference rooms and space for a restaurant.