The renovation of Montana State University’s Linfield Hall was one of the most challenging projects we have yet delivered.
The original building was completed in 1909 and then expanded in 1952. This renovation project was undertaken during the summer of 2013 — a very short 14 weeks between spring and fall semesters.
The project included:
- Renovation of the main 165-seat lecture hall
- Renovation of the historic 1st- and 3rd-floor restrooms
- Installation of a new roof-mounted HVAC system
- Construction of a new front entry
- Installation of an ADA-compliant elevator servicing all floors
- Installation of a new stair tower
- Installation of a complete fire protection system for all spaces, including the crawl space and attic
- Installation of new primary electrical service
Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
The foundation of our success was in collaborating with our construction and design teams to mutually agree on a plan of attack. The results were intelligent design and bid packages that addressed the unique schedule and phasing of the project. Developing the project schedule, tactics, and strategy during the pre-construction phase enabled the plan to be shared with, understood by, and committed to among the various trades prior to beginning the work.
Communication Is the Key
The project was constrained to the period when the MSU student population would be at its minimum during summer break. However, the facility was still occupied by working faculty, staff, and graduate research students. Establishing lines of communication for use on a daily basis was essential to coordinating the work and sharing updates with occupants. Our experience is that the distractions of a construction project are tolerated much better when those affected are well-informed so their expectations can match the activities.
Failure Is Not an Option
On any campus, when students arrive and the academic year begins, there is no alternative to simply being done. This means not only completing the contract work and satisfying inspections’ needs by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, but also coordinating training and move-in to the newly delivered spaces.
The successful and on-time completion of this project allowed the start of the fall semester without any complications from the renovations project.