The Community Literacy Workforce & Cultural Center

How We Tackled Design Changes, Heavy Rainfall and a Pandemic.

Wet weather, design changes, a worldwide pandemic – in construction, you never know what will happen and that’s part of what makes it exciting. But the biggest thrill comes when you’ve conquered every challenge that’s come your way and can close out a project as incredible as the Community Literacy, Workforce & Cultural Center in Campbell, Ohio.

DeSalvo Construction was the general contractor on this intricate but rewarding project led by the Campbell City School District. In this blog, we’ll talk about some of the biggest challenges we faced and how we overcame them to complete the job on time and on budget.

The first obstacle came shortly after the project began, when an increase in available grant funding prompted the owner to enhance the scope of work with a mezzanine that would house additional STEM lab space.

We would need to incorporate the design changes while adhering to the project schedule. Our team quickly identified core concept requirements associated with the change in order to release long-lead procurement items into fabrication, including a 23,000-sq.-ft. pre-engineered metal building. Any decisions that did not impact the schedule’s critical path were put off until a later date. In our experience, identifying and addressing long-lead items as early as possible is crucial to avoiding costly delays.

Simply put, planning ahead is vital to any construction project. Sitting down with the team, reviewing the entire job, setting milestones and carefully prioritizing tasks will go a long way in avoiding delays and ultimately finishing the project on time.

Our next obstacle was one that impacted nearly every aspect of life everywhere – the COVID-19 pandemic and the frequent changes in guidelines and recommendations that came with it. This is where our strong company culture came into play. Leaning heavily on our ability to adapt, we enhanced our safety protocols in real time to meet all mandates and keep everyone safe.

We also relied on technology to collaborate with the architect, owner and vendors without missing a beat. It helped that our team was already accustomed to using technology on every project to communicate updates and generate detailed reports in real time. Even in the best of times, advanced technology can streamline project processes and is well-worth the investment.

Most importantly, we focused on our core value of integrity to follow through with our commitment to the Campbell City School District. Rather than shutting the project down, we faced every challenge head-on while keeping our team and business partners safe. Creating and nurturing a strong company culture takes time and effort, but nothing is better for the sustainability of your company.

The third major obstacle we faced came courtesy of the construction industry’s nemesis – Mother Nature.

When the time came to prepare the contractor parking and laydown area, the field-testing agency notified the team that the soil was unable to meet compaction requirements due to wet weather conditions.

At this point in the project, the owner had already incurred significant costs to improve the soil conditions for the entire building pad. Rather than raise the cost even more by immediately proceeding with remedial work, we reviewed the site logistics with the owner and modified the plan. This gave the soil in the parking lot areas time to dry out with no additional cost to the project.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little creative thinking and open communication to overcome challenges and save the client money. With a gymnasium, library, health clinic, and space for various STEM and community college outreach programs, The Community Literacy, Workforce & Cultural Center will provide unparalleled opportunities to the community. The chance to be part of something that remarkable is what working in the construction industry is all about.