UNR construction job ahead of schedule

A compressed building schedule on the new Davidson Mathematics and Science Center building at the University of Nevada, Reno will allow the PENTA Building Group to finish nearly four months ahead of schedule on the $56.6 million project and save administrative costs in the process.

By constructing three separate buildings in the 120,000-square-foot center simultaneously rather than one at a time, PENTA will turn the building over to UNR on Feb. 1 rather than its contracted date of May 15.

The project consists of a five-story lab and instruction building, a four-story administrative building, and a 14,000-square-foot auditorium. Funding for the auditorium was released months later than the other two parts of the project, so PENTA didn't start on it until July when the first two buildings were more than three months under way.

"By condensing the schedule, it allows us to put more money into the staff and into the way we run the project," says PENTA Project Manager Bryan Richards. "We are able to staff the job properly, and issues are handled. We have a robust team instead of a skeleton crew."

Although two sides of the larger buildings were blocked off once construction began on the auditorium, PENTA still saved time on the project by maximizing use of the labor force.

"Access is definitely the biggest issue that the auditorium created for us," Richards says.

The university benefits from early completion because it can begin the lengthy process of installing furniture, fixtures and equipment to ready the building for occupancy.

Jeff Thompson, dean of the College of Science, says that nearly 80 percent of the university's students will have a class in the building, and the extra time puts the university in good position to put the finishing touches on the project.

"PENTA's ability to keep this project ahead of schedule puts us in a solid place to have this much-needed classroom and laboratory space available in fall 2010," he says. "The building will add state-of-the-art teaching and laboratory space to our campus, and having additional time for the post-construction phase means our installation of equipment and technology will happen in a thorough, quality and cost-effective manner."

The lab building required miles of wiring, piping and duct work for each floor and classroom. PENTA will begin the arduous task of turning on all the systems in October.

"That is really our big hurdle right now," Richards says.


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