Orginially posted Monday, 13 September 2010

COAA Project Leadership Awards

Gold Award

Anne Arundel Community College—Careers Building Renovation

The Careers Building Renovation project offered many challenges and opportunities for Anne Arundel Community College’s (AACC) Capital Development Office.

Located in Arnold, Maryland, the project included the renovation of a 40 year old building that is the largest classroom facility on campus and the temporary relocation of over 100 faculty and staff members. The Design-Bid-Build project was accomplished in a single phase (ahead of schedule) and all existing functions had to be relocated on campus without impacting college enrollments. The building also houses the College’s only data center which had to remain in operation and service could not be interrupted at any time.

careerbuilding2The approach taken from the very beginning of the project was one of teamwork among the project team including the college faculty, staff and administration. Jim Taylor, Director of Capital Development, served as the lead project manager for this effort. He instituted and chaired a college- wide project team consisting of representatives from 16 different areas of the college as communications was a key to success. This team normally met on a monthly basis and at the discretion of Taylor met more frequently when the project demanded. As an example of Taylor’s excellent project management skills, he conducted daily 15-minute “stand up” meetings with the college project work team during the most demanding portions of the project.

Project acceleration occurred due to an additional funding appropriation by the State of Maryland. This funding purchased additional project enhancements such as a new elevator, additional windows, and an enclosed informal learning area. This additional work was added to the project without altering the planned substantial completion date.

This project was accomplished in a single phase and all existing functions had to be relocated on-campus without impacting college enrollments. This was a herculean task because by Maryland Higher Education System standards, the college already had a 184,069 net square foot space deficit. Taylor oversaw numerous relocations of facilities as well as the installation of two 7,000 gsf modular classroom buildings, providing classroom space displaced during the renovations.

Quality control was of upmost importance to the Capital Development team. Some of the initiatives taken included a detailed survey of existing building conditions, which enhanced construction document quality and walkthroughs for each end-user department, which successfully caught material concerns and/or equipment operation questions prior to project completion.

The Capital Development team utilized a three-step process for contracting with architectural and construction firms. This process allowed the college to qualify interested firms using criteria such as past performance, team experience and quality control methods. Once firms were considered qualified, they were required to submit technical proposals indicating how they planned on approaching the project. And finally, interviews were conducted with each team and the staff. This methodology insured that the awarded firms were not only capable of completing the project, but had the ability to communicate and work well with the college community.

“The Capital Development Office demonstrated a firm commitment to delivering excellence by leading a collaborative process thru all phases of the project,” said Richard Morrison, Principal with Grimm + Parker Architects. “They also participated in formal value engineering sessions in order to keep the costs under control and make sure the College got the best value they could out of each dollar they spent.”

Stephen Houff, the Project Executive for Forrester Construction Company, lauded AACC’s leadership. “The College’s staff provided excellent value in helping facilitate resolution to all issues (big or small) and provide a fair environment where the entire team could perform to their best abilities.”