PreSchool Partners

Those driving along Montevallo Road in Crestline over the last few weeks have noticed a sudden appearance: PreSchool Partners new education facility.  PreSchool Partners, a 501c3 organization dedicated to preparing at-risk 3- and 4-year-old children and their families for kindergarten in the Birmingham City Schools, is in the process of building their first facility through Operation Schoolhouse, a $3.4 million capital campaign.  Operation Schoolhouse began when Mike Mouron, Chairman of Capstone Real Estate Investments, and his wife, Kathy, purchased the property that was formally home to McElwain Elementary School and donated it to PreSchool Partners.  Hoar Construction volunteered its services to lead the construction efforts for their new school building, which will allow PreSchool Partners to reach even more children and their families in the Birmingham area in the coming year.

In the relentless pursuit of improvement, Hoar Construction has spent the last few years focusing on ways to eliminate waste and maximize productivity on its construction projects.  “The industry is broken. There are inefficiencies from the beginning of a project that are carried out and exacerbated through to the end,” says Rob Burton, CEO of Hoar Construction.

Hoar Construction’s PreSchool Partners team was tasked with finding a way to eliminate these inefficiencies on the new PreSchool Partners facility by spending more time up-front with the design team and utilizing impeccable coordination to deliver a faster, more cost effective, and higher quality building for PreSchool Partners.  The Operation Schoolhouse team embraced these processes to build their new schoolhouse, and the results have proven overwhelmingly positive. These efforts have included using cutting edge construction methods – methods that have proven to save money, effort, and – most noticeably in Crestline – time, like never before.

At the beginning of this project, Hoar Construction, Pete Pritchard, the architect, and Michael Kingsmore, the structural engineer, spent countless hours discussing the overall vision of the project and designing the most efficient structural systems.  The team elected to use structural metal stud framing for the majority of the structure.  Additionally, Hoar Construction prefabricated the entire structure off-site to guarantee the quality of the project and to mitigate the schedule risks of winter construction.  The decision to prefabricate the structure led to the project being more cost effective and better managed overall, providing more value to PreSchool Partners.  During the design phase, the team selected design-build partners to complete the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.  Having the design-build partners involved during the initial phases of design provided the team with sufficient time to collaborate and coordinate the structure and building systems.

Devoting this time up-front allowed Hoar Construction’s team to reap the benefits during the construction phase of PreSchool Partners.  By prefabricating the structure of the building and coordinating the building systems, the team has been able to maintain their aggressive schedule and overcome delays through teamwork, ingenuity, and sheer grit, despite the 38 days of inclement weather the project has experienced.  A process that could have taken several months was completed in a matter of weeks due to the amount of time dedicated to planning, reviewing and refining at the beginning of the project.  The team was able to deliver a faster building, for less cost, and at a higher quality.

The PreSchool Partners project would not be possible without the partnership of these engaged firms who have donated their time, money, and resources to build a new home for PreSchool Partners with Hoar Construction: MAK Engineering, LLC, Pete Pritchard Architects, Powell Builders, RJ Mechanical, Eldeco, Sunbelt Rentals, Vulcan Materials, Bhate Geosciences, O’Neal Steel, Ready Mix USA, Birmingham Fastener, and Graybar.

(This article originally appeared in Alabama Construction News.)