July 11, 2019
June 20, 2019
Sundt and joint-venture partner Trinity Hughes Construction are nearing the finish of a $34.3 million project at Midwestern State University (MSU). The new 88,000-square-foot building will house several programs in the Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, with updated facilities and space for Dental Hygiene, Social Work, Radiologic Sciences, Respiratory Care and the Wilson School of Nursing. Substantial completion is slated for the end of this month, and classes start August 26. In other words, it’s crunch time. The team is kicking things into whatever-it-takes gear to complete what will be a huge addition to the university and its student body.
Skilled craft professionals work diligently to complete the the building’s complex interior.
“There are lots of moving parts and pieces to the inner workings of this building, with all of the different things it will be able to do,” said Sundt Project Executive Bob Aniol. New hospital equipment, dental equipment, and simulators will assist Midwestern State faculty in providing hands-on instruction, which is part of MSU’s larger goal to be a premier education provider for healthcare and human services fields. “The challenge is to coordinate all the consultants and installers of the different equipment, to make sure everyone’s on the same page,” said Bob.
Crews work on the exterior of the building to prepare for students arriving in late August.
Another factor behind our progress has been consistent performances from skilled craft, many of whom worked with Sundt’s Building Group in North Texas on the successful Wichita Falls Regional Airport Terminal project. “We’ve had great showings from key trades, including MEP, drywall, and masonry,” said Bob. “They’ve given us a consistent level of service and skill to drive this project forward.” Sundt worked hard to hire from the local workforce in Wichita Falls, bringing in outside work for niche scopes when absolutely necessary. According to Bob, “Sundt really maximized participation from the local workforce to the best of our ability.”
Similar architectural features seamlessly connect the building to the existing campus.
On the subject of creating jobs, the impact of this project will extend far beyond its completion. “For Midwestern State’s programs like nursing and dental, this provides a huge upgrade in how they train and equip their graduates, as well as how they attract new students,” said Bob. As the finish line approaches, the Trinity Hughes | Sundt joint venture has worked some long hours, had hard conversations and made tough decisions. Turning the vision behind this project into a reality, however, has been well worth the sacrifice. “It’s a small team, and I’m extremely proud of them,” said Bob. “Nobody has given up. Nobody has complained. We’re all bought in here—it’s whatever it takes to make it happen.”
January 15, 2019
What once housed hundreds of baseball fans will now house thousands of students as Sundt breaks ground on a new 365,000-square-foot student housing complex. The $150 million Hornet Commons Complex will consist of six four-story buildings with a total of 284 apartments, a swimming pool, café, fitness center and community room.
The ceremonial groundbreaking earlier this month marked the start of Sundt’s second project on the Sacramento State campus, with the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex finishing up within the next month. “We’re honored to be a part of this incredible project,” said Jim Larrieu, Vice President and Northern California Regional Director. “Our team is looking forward to creating a new and exciting place for students to relax and enjoy life on campus.”
This is not just another project for Sacramento State; it has been in the works for many years. Alexander Gonzalez, Sacramento State’s president for 11 years before retiring in 2015, always had a vision of turning the Dan McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks into a place to house students. Watching from the crowd as Sundt broke ground, he saw his vision come to life.
“The long-awaited Student Housing Project is transformative for the Sacramento State student community, and Sundt is thrilled to be part of the team making that happen,” said Teri Jones, Building Group President.
Sundt Preconstruction Manager Dave Downey, Sr. Project Manager Sean Falvey, Building Group President Teri Jones, Sacramento State Mascot Herky, Sundt Project Executive Mike Mielcarek, Sundt CEO Mike Hoover, and Sr. Project Superintendent Rob Petrakovitz
Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen and crowd put their “stingers up.”
Sean Falvey, project manager for the new housing development and for the Science Complex project, shared his thoughts on starting a second project on campus.
With the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex finishing soon, what about that project do you think made us the builder of choice for Hornet Commons?
We are able to think outside the box when faced with challenges. We started off on the right foot with the preconstruction phase: our precon team was able to deliver more than the campus’s RFP requirements and really give them more for their budget. Secondly, we proved that we were not only a good contractor, but an innovative one. When we had to dig a trench that would stretch in front of the campus bookstore and impede foot traffic, our team came up with a unique solution: build a “drawbridge” to keep students and pedestrians safe while walking in and out of the bookstore. Our client appreciated us going beyond what was expected of us and keeping the students’ safety and campus operations in mind during construction.
Were there any lessons learned from the Science Complex that the team can apply to the housing project? On the Science Complex, the state fire marshal required significant changes during construction due to the many rating conditions (wall terminations, pipe penetrations, etc.). On the housing project, we’ll be constructing a mockup to demonstrate all our typical conditions, which will give us the opportunity to head off any concerns and avoid scheduling conflicts. With over 30,000 students, many of them commuters, the campus is very sensitive to traffic disturbances. Going into housing, we are paying close attention to how our work may impact traffic and have already accounted for “summer work.” The purpose of the new housing development is to, hopefully, eliminate the amount of travel students currently face.
The Science Complex is an incredible building with 27 teaching labs, research labs, a planetarium, and an observatory; will there be any similarities with the housing complex? The two buildings will be like night and day: not only is the building type different (wood vs. steel), but the client and delivery method are different as well. Even though they will be different structurally, the end goal is the same: to enrich the campus community with better facilities. The CSU students are the ones who will truly benefit from each of these projects.
September 10, 2018
Over 50 years ago, while working to put himself through his final year of college, Guy Weinzapfel was awarded a Sundt Scholarship. At the time, Sundt presented a one-year full-tuition scholarship to a fifth-year student at the University of Arizona CAPLA (College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture) who was self-supporting. For Guy, the scholarship made a huge impact. “It might have been around $250,” he said, “but back then that was a lot of money, and it let me concentrate on what was essentially my capstone.”
As a student, Guy was spending countless hours a week in a Safeway—not bagging groceries, but learning to plan, design and construct buildings. A lesser known fact of Tucson history is that from 1958 to 1965 the CAPLA’s design studios were located in a former Safeway grocery store on Park Avenue, a block southwest of the college’s current location.
Between the long hours, demanding coursework and close quarters of the repurposed building, students in the “Safeway Studios” became close friends and remained so, long after graduating.
The “Safeway Group” eventually came together as a tight-knit network of alumni. Having reaped many benefits from their careers in architecture, they wanted to pay it forward to future students. In 2010, the alumni came together under Guy’s leadership to create the Safeway Studios Alumni Scholarship—though Guy credits the idea to his wife, Jane, who herself is an architecture alumna of CAPLA and was part of the first class to graduate women in 1966. Modeled on the Sundt Scholarship of years past, the Alumni scholarship is awarded to a fifth-year student working to put him or herself through the most challenging year of an already very challenging program.
With their endowment close to reaching its target of $250,000, and the 2018 fall semester approaching, Guy reached out to Sundt Project Director Dave Ollanik for a donation. “When Guy approached me,” said Dave, “and I heard his story about the legacy of Sundt’s scholarship activities at the U of A and how it had impacted him over his 50-year career, we were excited to become the capstone of the newly formed Safeway Studios Alumni Scholarship.” Sundt contributed the last portion of the endowment, allowing the group to reach their goal and award a scholarship for the 2018-19 academic year.
The “Safeway Studios” Class of 1965, with Guy Weinzapfel on the far left.
The first recipient of the Alumni scholarship is CAPLA fifth-year student Ben Stewart, who just began his final semester in the program. “The scholarship has changed the course of my last year,” Ben said, “by increasing the time I have available to focus on my capstone, to more thoughtfully consider all that I learned during my internship this past summer and incorporate this into my final project, and time to mentor and support younger students, all without having to work an outside job. I’m extremely grateful to be the recipient of this scholarship.”
Reflecting on the team effort behind the scholarship, Guy was proud of his group: “To know the impact this will have on current and future students, it just really puffs up everyone’s chest. All of the Safeway Studios alumni gave, every single one of us. And it just further cements the bond that we’ve had since the beginning.” For Sundt’s part, we’re glad to contribute and continue the tradition of giving back to our industry and our community.
April 15, 2015
Repeat business is the best praise a client can give, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has given Sundt Construction the ultimate compliment by bringing us back for another project. Sundt just completed its second job with the university, the Embry-Riddle Student Housing Phase 2 project, right on time for the fall semester. The new three-story, 73,000-square-foot residence building will house up to 282 students. And these are no coach-class accommodations; students will enjoy roomy, four-person semi-suites enhanced by comfortable lounging, gathering and social areas.
Embry-Riddle is the largest, fully accredited university system specializing in aviation and aerospace, and just last year Sundt finished the Prescott campus’s 52,500-square-foot STEM Education Center and Planetarium. According to Senior Project Manager Josh Anderson, Sundt was selected again for the residential building because “we keep meeting budget and schedule.” Now, this is easier said than done, as a student housing job of this magnitude in the current market is usually a 14- or 16-month job. “We got it done in 10 months, though,” said Josh, “and in the process, we performed over $1 million worth of value engineering.”
The timeline was narrow, labor was tight in a busy local market, and Prescott’s mile-high elevation meant dealing with rain and snow. But Sundt’s trademark teamwork, including some solid showings from our subcontractors, made for a successful finish. “We’re glad to help the university get closer to their goal of being able to house all students on campus,” Josh said. “Embry-Riddle has treated us really well, and we hope to continue working with them in the future.”
An important goal of many universities today is to link their educational programs with robust fitness and recreational facilities, thereby increasing students’ success and satisfaction with higher education.
A benchmark project for achieving this is the recently completed Sun Devil Fitness Complex, Arizona State University’s signature facility on the western edge of its downtown Phoenix campus. The university construction project’s unique approach to meeting the needs of the approximately 70,000 students who attend classes at ASU’s metropolitan campuses has earned it a 2015 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award from the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).
Presented each year at the NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo, the awards honor facilities that demonstrate excellence in a number of critical areas, including architectural design, functionality, and how well the facility meets its intended purpose. Winning facilities exemplify the institution’s commitment to providing the higher education experience desired and valued by students.
The five-story, 70,000-square-foot Sun Devil student recreation center is particularly important to ASU students, who voted to fund the construction through increased recreation fees. It includes an indoor track, rooftop swimming pool, large gymnasium, weight room, multi-purpose space, student lounge, bike co-op and locker rooms. The complex also houses Exercise and Wellness, an academic program in ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion.
As a LEED Silver facility, the complex includes sustainable design strategies such as: rooftop gardens; low-flow plumbing fixtures; water-efficient landscape; high efficiency HVAC systems; and a super-insulated building envelope. Measures taken by the design and construction team reduced overall construction waste by over 80 percent.