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Insights | 29th Sep 2023

Tips For A Successful School Renovation

How to get the best value for your school construction project

with Ben Barella 

 

Although students are out for the summer, this time is no less busy for school construction. Lower occupancy and slower times make this an opportune time to complete essential school projects, such as boiler replacements, new AC units, or abatement that can’t wait until a renovation or new facility. 

Dubbed summer wonders, these school construction projects need to maximize both budget and schedule to meet their goals and fulfill bond requirements. Cost is no longer the only driving factor as procurement challenges and increasingly busy summer schedules continue to add complexities. With a practiced team of builders, summer renovations can truly transform a learning environment.  

Building a solid relationship with the school and team early on maximizes the value a general contractor like Haselden Construction can bring, helping the team explore all possibilities. Before we even begin planning for the project, our team meets with the school staff and decision-makers to learn about what makes the school unique. Although there will be some scopes that are required for funding, we explore potential wish list items we can include based on the culture and needs of each school. Our knowledgeable preconstruction team helps determine efficient options for the necessary scope and create room in the budget to add in wish-list alternates. Establishing this trust from the get-go sets a solid foundation for the school construction project, allowing the entire team to work together in the best interests of the students, faculty, school staff, district leaders, and the community at large. K-12 and Higher Education school construction funds are precious, and it’s our job to ensure that none are wasted.

Maximizing the budget continues even as the project scope is finalized. With a limited window to complete construction, preconstruction must be seamless. Long lead times continue to be a challenge, making quick decisions even more critical. Our team tracks the dates that materials need to be ordered, giving owners as much time as possible to make selections while keeping the project on schedule so students can be in seats come fall. We bring on subcontractors early and order materials well in advance, ensuring they’re in our warehouse by early May. This way, we can hit the ground running as soon as summer break kicks off, beginning construction the first Monday of break. Not only does this help protect the schedule, but it also locks in prices, creating cost certainty and eliminating surprises.

As a parent, I get to see firsthand how impactful a school building can be which gives these projects an extra sense of importance for me. Air conditioning or even a small theater renovation can be the difference that inspires a student’s excitement for learning. Summer wonders are exciting projects that revitalize schools, and a great general contractor will work with you to make sure every dollar is well spent. If you have any questions or want to talk about a project in the works, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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