Denver, CO (June 5, 2020) – As the Adolfson & Peterson (AP) and LOA Architecture team began construction on the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Paul Sandoval Campus (PSC) Expansion project, they knew they were faced with challenges: working with an aggressive schedule and on an occupied facility among them. They did not, of course, anticipate the challenges that would arise as a result of COVID 19. None-the-less, the team moves toward completion, adapting along the way, to complete a project among the largest in DPS’s history.
This multi-faceted campus expansion includes building a new Small Learning Community (SLC) building, as well as completing two additions to existing buildings, a new soccer field and 4 tennis courts. The new SLC building is located on the southeast corner of 56th Avenue and Central Park Boulevard on the 20-acre PSC and is adjacent to the Denver Parks and Recreation athletic fields. The fully occupied facility will house up to 50 classrooms.
To meet the needs of an accelerated and growing Stapleton/Northfield neighborhood, DPS requested that LOA Architecture, P.C. provide the fulfillment of the Paul Sandoval Campus Master Plan. The requirements of the build out were to provide for a minimum of 1,000 additional students at Northfield High School in; 1) a 100,000 SF new classroom building, 2) two auxiliary gyms (to be shared between NHS and DSST added onto the existing competition gym), and 3) a music/ drama addition to the existing commons (including practice rooms, a green room and wood shop).
“The primary reason LOA Architecture has been a partner with DPS throughout the design and construction of the PSC,” states Heather Bock, Denver Public Schools, Senior Project Manager, Construction Services, “is their willingness to listen as our programs and district policies evolve, and how this translates back into the structures they have designed. The current PSC project stands out because LOA has taken on the role of architect, owner representative, community liaison (maintaining communication with all stake holders, including community members, district leadership and schools leadership), school leader contact and confidant. LOA has built a partnership with us in incorporating timeless architecture and meeting student needs, budget restrictions, schedule implications and state and local code requirements.”
The delivery of this project by everyone involved has been unprecedented. What was an already rigorous schedule of a 17-month delivery has turned into delivery in just over a year.
Additional awarded scope includes taking what was an original native seed area into a 140-stall parking lot on the east side of campus, the addition of a new scoreboard and bleachers, construction of boys and girls batting cages, a performance upgrade to the existing Building 1, and the addition of AV equipment in Building 3.
The project team’s most recent construction challenge is a rather obvious one. Nothing quite like the COVID pandemic has been experienced in the industry. Thus, adapting to new safety protocols while maintaining schedule has become top priority on the PSC project. The team has become adept at maneuvering proper scheduling techniques of crews and crew sizes; communicating heavily with suppliers, subcontracting partners and vendors for material availability; and heightening delivery preparedness.
“We’ve adapted new habits,” says AP Superintendent II, Kyle Tillery. “Cognitively wiping and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces throughout the day, as well as providing mobile hand washing stations – in addition to more hand sanitizing stations – have become a new normal. We created our own hand washing stations when we couldn’t purchase one quickly. We had to be creative in finding ways to continue our work while being safe and following all recommended guidelines.”
The team’s adaptability in uncertain times has been crucial to continually support DPS as school, city and government decisions are made and new orders were released and implemented.
Despite the tight schedule, the project is on track for an early completion.
“The delivery of this project by everyone involved has been unprecedented,” says Jim Staples, DPS Construction Senior Project Manager. “What was an already rigorous schedule of a 17-month delivery has turned into delivery in just over a year. This can be attributed to the design and construction groups working as true team members with the DPS Department of Planning, Design and Construction. Everyone came together for one common cause – delivering a nearly $70 million dollar facility for the students, staff and community of the Northfield neighborhood. Not only was this achieved on an active campus, but it was achieved during a National Emergency surrounding the Pandemic”
On May 28th, TCO was received for Building 5 and gym. The new facility will accommodate a population growing toward 2,000 students.