The landmark Health Sciences Education Building at Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix is amassing awards faster than this year’s Oscar winners. The $129 million university construction project, completed by Sundt in 2012, is a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility that houses the University of Arizona’s expanded medical school and several programs for Northern Arizona University. Click here to learn about its TV appearance and the dozens of prestigious awards that recognize the project’s design and complexity.
Historic renovation and preservation projects are rarely without surprises, and Sundt’s $9 million project to restore the University of Arizona’s Old Main building has been no exception. So far, one of the most challenging – and surprising – parts of the job occurred while the team was stabilizing the building’s second floor. Because the area will be used as a gathering and entertaining space, it has to be upgraded to withstand 100 pounds per square foot (psf) of pressure. (The old flooring was estimated to be just 40 psf). In order to achieve the higher rating, the old flooring was removed and new steel joists were added in between the existing wooden joists. While that work was taking place, the team made an interesting discovery.
“In between the old joists were pieces of wood that had writing on them, so we removed them and pieced them together,” said Sundt Senior Project Superintendent Dennis Manley. “It turns out that the original contractor, back in 1891, cut up his sign and used it in the construction of the floor. We have no idea why he did that – maybe he needed every bit of wood he could get his hands on. It was a fun discovery that the University was glad to learn about. And now they have the original sign to add to their collection of artifacts.”
Sundt’s scope of work includes stabilizing the perimeter stone wall (which lacks a foundation), resolving subterranean water infiltration, reinforcing the brick columns, reconstructing the second floor porch, stabilizing and leveling the second floor, replacing metal roof shingles, stabilizing the chimneys, and rebuilding the second floor interior for use as the office of the University president. Also included in the work are safety upgrades, installation of a new mechanical system, and replacement of the plumbing, lighting and electrical systems.
Sundt was presented with the Raytheon Spirit of Education Award by Tucson Values Teachers at the nonprofit organization’s gala event in Tucson last night. The award is given annually to a company that shows outstanding support of education in Southern Arizona.
“We chose Sundt for this year’s Raytheon Spirit of Education Award because the company has been committed to building educational excellence in Arizona for more than 80 years,” said Katie Rogerson, marketing director for Tucson Values Teachers. “Sundt has built more than 60 projects for the University of Arizona plus countless community college and K-12 education construction projects. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Southern Arizona’s educational landscape has been transformed by Sundt.”
The event, held at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (constructed by Sundt in 1984), was attended by Sundt President & CEO Dave Crawford and several other members of the executive team. Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, President of Raytheon Missile Systems, and Dr. Ann Weaver Heart, President of the University of Arizona, hosted the evening.
“Every business should care about the quality of our educational system,” said Sundt Project Director Kurt Wadlington. “Sundt is honored to have been associated with so many quality educational institutions and programs in our efforts to provide meaningful support of this important economic driver.”
While performing a major historic renovation and rehabilitation project on the University of Arizona’s (UA) Old Main building, two members of Sundt’s project team uncovered a piece of history. During demolition, the pair found a yearbook from 1911 that was wedged beneath a built-in cabinet on the second level. The yearbook originally belonged to Herbert Rolland Aylworth, the trainer of the 1910 football team, and later was stamped as belonging to J. F. “Pop” McKale. McKale was a beloved UA coach and athletic director as well as the namesake of McKale Center, the campus’s basketball venue.
For history buffs, the yearbook’s discovery amounts to buried treasure that might easily have been damaged during construction or lost all together.
“The yearbook is, in no small part due to the diligence of Sundt Construction and Dickens Quality Demolition, in very good shape,” said Steve Allvin, University of Arizona Inspector. “The pair that made the discovery recognized the cool factor and delivered the yearbook safely to Sundt, which then turned it over quickly to the university before excessive handling did any damage. Many thanks.”
Completed in 1891, Old Main is the oldest building on the UA campus and the second oldest occupied building in Arizona. Sundt is performing a $9 million project to reverse age-related deterioration and renovate the facility for modern-day functionality. The education construction project will be complete next summer.
Sundt has been selected to upgrade the University of Arizona’s (UA) existing infrastructure, including mechanical; electrical; telecommunications utility distribution systems; central plant heating, chilled water and potable water production; and sewer and surface drainage to support the new Engineering Innovation Building, Bioscience Research Labs, and future campus growth. The Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) project will begin in late spring of 2014 and conclude in 2015.
“New, high-tech development, such as the Engineering Innovation Building we will build on the UA campus next year, can place an increased demand on existing utility infrastructure systems,” said Steve Schmitt, Sundt project director. “Our expertise on university campuses across the country – and on the University of Arizona’s campus in particular – makes Sundt the perfect partner for this project, which will help the university prepare for future success.”
This will be Sundt’s 59th project completed for the UA. Sundt also is serving as the CMAR for a new interdisciplinary research center – the Engineering Innovation Building – for the College of Engineering and is working on the university’s historic Old Main Building and Bear Down Gymnasium.