Spokane Journal of Business

Hill International oversees quick-turn project for EVSD

Work included erecting four elementary school additions in about 90 days

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Hill International oversees quick-turn project for EVSD
-—Photo courtesy of Hill International Inc.
The estimated $6.2 million project involved erecting modular classrooms at Trent Elementary, Trentwood Elementary, East Farms Elementary, and Otis Orchards Elementary.

The Spokane office of Hill International Inc., a New Jersey-based construction management company, says it recently completed oversight of a quick-turn project that involved erecting identical freestanding classroom additions at four East Valley School District elementary schools in about 90 days.

"They did a great job. Because we did such a quick turnaround (to mostly complete the project before the new school year started), we sort of needed a turnkey operation," says EVSD Superintendent John Glenewinkel. "We wouldn't have gotten it done without Hill."

Glenewinkel says construction of the new classroom space represented just part of a range of improvement projects managed by Hill for which the district had set a $6.2 million budget, and he says the final cost will come in slightly below that figure. Other improvements included parking, kitchen, fire and safety, water system, and septic-system upgrades.

"We're dealing with schools that haven't been touched for the most part for 20 to 30 years" in terms of significant updates, Glenewinkel says.

The district was able to fund the improvements without taking on any additional debt by shutting down more than 100,000 square feet of antiquated space that had become expensive to maintain and replacing it with less, more efficient space, he says.

The work involved installing pre-fabricated modular classrooms at Trent Elementary, at 3303 N. Pines; Trentwood Elementary, at 14701 E. Wellesley; East Farms Elementary, at 26203 E. Rowan, at Newman Lake, and Otis Orchards Elementary, at 22000 E. Wellesley.

Matt Walker, a project manager with Hill International, says two buildings with a combined total of about 6,200 square feet of floor space were installed at each school. One of the buildings was a 3,500-square-foot, four-classroom "quad" with three restrooms and a custodial/storage room, all connected by a central hallway, Walker says. The other building was a 2,700-square-foot, open-space multipurpose structure, he says.

Hill International was hired by the district to oversee design and construction of the projects. Bernardo Wills Architects PC, of Spokane, was the architect on the project, producing the construction documents, and Coffman Engineers Inc., of Spokane, did the engineering design, Walker says.

The modular classroom units, which arrived at each work site in four pieces, were constructed by wholesale modular manufacturer Blazer Industries Inc. of Aumsville, Ore., for Williams Scotsman Inc., a Baltimore-based national supplier of mobile and modular space products. Williams Scotsman has more than 100 offices throughout the country, including one here, and oversaw designers and subcontractors involved in installing the units.

Design work for the project started late last winter, and the modular units started showing up at the respective work site in June, Walker says. The projects were largely completed earlier this month, just before or shortly after classes at each of the elementary got under way.

"That's half the story—just the time frame we knocked it out in. There were quite a few hurdles we had to jump," Walker says, adding, "We had a really good team of site contractors and subcontractors to make it happen."

He says having identical projects occurring mostly simultaneously at four locations complicated things a bit by making it more difficult to keep track of what specifically was occurring at each job site as the projects progressed.

The Otis Orchards project got off to a later start that the other projects because of a required septic system lift station there, but had nearly caught up by the time the other three projects were completed, he says.

Hill International used site contractors at each location to prepare the sites, bring in utilities, and to do irrigation, sod, and asphalt work, Walker says. Various subcontractors built the concrete foundations for the modular units, set the units in place, bolted them together, and finished the mechanical work, he says.

He says the site managers included Centerline Construction & Design, of Spokane, at Trent Elementary; Dardan Enterprises, of Post Falls, at Trentwood and East Farms; and Mikon Construction Inc., of North Bend, Wash., at Otis Orchards.

Hill International has been operating an office in Spokane since 1999. Its offices are located in the Lincoln Plaza, at 818 W. Riverside, and it currently employs about 10 people here. Overall, the 36-year-old company employs about 3,200 people in 110 offices worldwide, its website says.

Kim Crompton
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