Design-build construction firm Ramtech Building Systems of Mansfield, Texas has announced that they have now begun the site work for the first of three new permanent modular buildings as part of a multi-facility school construction project for the Hubbard Independent School District in Hubbard, Texas. All three prefabricated buildings will sit adjacent to one another on an undeveloped part of the school districts existing property. The initial building will be a 9,856 square foot senior high school wing which will contain six standard classrooms, a computer language lab, family and consumer science lab, two non-acid science labs, and a data room. During the high school wing finish-out, fabrication will begin in late January on a 13,440 square foot Junior/Senior central use wing which will accommodate three separate administration areas, a board room, full library, computer, business and chemistry labs, large instructional use room, and a data room. This will immediately be followed by a 6,272 square foot junior high school wing which will contain four standard classrooms, two science labs, a life skills room with attached storage area, and its own data room. All three buildings will be built utilizing Ramtech’s Accelerated Building System slab-on-grade construction method. The design-build project will incorporate a split-face block masonry exterior to match the existing school architecture, integrated data, communication and alarm systems, and a mechanical and lighting system designed to accommodate the school district’s energy management system. For the interior, the school district colors will be accentuated in the carpet and vinyl floor tiles as well as the ceramic tile wainscot on the corridor walls.
Developed by Ramtech, the Accelerated Building System has a proven track record as an ideal approach for permanent school construction projects. It utilizes the best of onsite and offsite construction by combining the speed and efficiency of prefabricated buildings with the quality and appearance of site applied interior and exterior finishes. Ramtech achieves this by employing simultaneous construction tracts. At the same time a site specific, engineered reinforced concrete slab foundation is constructed on the building site, the fabrication of the modular buildings is taking place in Ramtech’s manufacturing plant. When complete, the building sections are shipped to the project location, crane-set onto the concrete slab, then quickly weathered-in and finished-out on site. This form of design-build construction results in a superior facility with lower design and construction costs, a faster project completion schedule, and superior quality over older site construction methods. According to Gary White, Ramtech’s Vice-President Technical Services, “After Hubbard ISD’s original $12 million bond election for traditional site built buildings failed, Ramtech was able to redesign the project using the Accelerated Building System and reduce the entire construction budget by 33% to $8 million.”
Located 80 miles south of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Hubbard I.S.D. was faced with some significant issues as they sought to address their need for new facilities to replace their existing junior and senior high school buildings. During the fall of 2008, the district discovered that the architectural designs incorporating traditional site built construction for the facilities they had planned, greatly exceeded the budget they had established to complete the project. Because the new buildings were to replace existing structures which had developed serious structural problems, the district needed a way to satisfy their budget constraints while at the same time make up for the lost time that they had already invested. Hubbard had already retained a construction manager agent, who was then directed to begin the process of researching alternatives to complete the project. Surprised to learn that a modular construction approach utilizing a steel superstructure could be placed permanently on a concrete slab foundation, the district and the CMA worked with Ramtech in using the Accelerated Building System to redesign the project and develop a construction timeline that would meet the district’s requirement. Now on schedule, the completion of all three buildings is slated for the end of July 2011 prior to the start of the new school year.
Mike Smith works in Business Development for Ramtech Building Systems, Inc. He serves primarily the Education Market where he has experience in sales, estimating, and project management of permanent school facilities. Mike has worked in the construction industry for 36 years.