Despite Complex Logistics, Balfour Beatty Delivers Dynamic Home for Student Wellness
The University of Oregon Student Recreation Center (UO SRC) project involved a 40,000-square-foot renovation and 110,000-square-foot expansion, both enhanced with significant fitness amenity upgrades, additions, and sustainable designs. Originally built in 1999, the recent SRC expansion increased the facility’s total size to 280,000-square-feet, transforming it into a contemporary athletic facility.
Notable structural changes include several new athletic courts and rooms, a two-story changing area, rock climbing gym, student lounge, and an extensive expansion to the aquatic facility. High-tech elements that were included in the upgrades now allow students to access the facility via a fingerprint scanner.
The 16-month project was completed in January 2015, eliminating overcrowding issues while providing improved equipment and facilities, greatly enhancing overall student experience. With an aim for LEED Platinum certification, the facility will become one of only a few recreation centers in the country to be certified in LEED by the U.S. Green Building Council.
A collaborative team approach was essential to accommodate the project’s detailed schedule and complicated site. As two activity fields were situated a mere twelve feet away from the construction site, our team prioritized minimizing disturbances to regular student activity. Both fields maintained routine activity, allowing UO to maintain both revenue sources while permitting students to continue using the area during construction. The SRC footprint itself was only twenty feet smaller than the lot itself, requiring a project logistics plan that involved staging all the construction materials on a remote site near the SRC and building a temporary design-build road.
With laydown areas at a premium, the holes for the new activity and lap pools were filled with crushed rock to utilize as the space for the laydown area. The team was then able to hold rock excavation numbers to a minimum by efficiently excavating the pool and all adjacent utility lines early in the project, lowering project costs by ensuring that subcontractors did not have to install the project utility piping through solid rock.
Our company was also trusted to take the lead in “superblock” meetings held in the Center, which gave the team the responsibility of developing an integrated site logistics plan for the entire campus. This plan ensured that foot and vehicle traffic were being routed efficiently with the least amount of disturbance as possible. Another space constraint challenge involved sharing the street space with three other contractors working on various projects around the University’s campus.
With 50 subcontractors and over 150 workers throughout the site, effective communication was critical. Smartboxes and digital documents helped to alleviate some of the stress of communicating with multiple people across the job site, and eliminated the need to constantly print new and updated layouts. In the end, UO was able to overcome many challenges associated with this extensive renovation and expansion project, and their students are enjoying a beautiful new facility with a wide variety of spaces and activities to enhance their experience.
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