The new campus for The Girls' School of Austin was built to accommodate the required facility upgrades and growing needs of the school.

Photo by Bronson Dorsey
The Girls' School of Austin - New Campus

American Constructors performed a complete demolition of the existing campus and built the new 12,500-sq-ft campus, which comprises five buildings.

A primary challenge on this project was the schedule. Beginning immediately after the school year ended in late May 2013, demolition began, with only eight months to complete the entire project.

The weather dramatically affected progress. Austin received a record amount of rain during construction, causing the contractor to lose 23 workdays.

The delays were handled by re-sequencing work and adding overtime for select trades to minimize the impact. American Constructors also used the rain as a tool to help address potential erosion and water-flow issues, particularly because the entire site surface drains in one direction and storm sewer piping was used only in limited locations.

The project team added rock retaining walls at key locations and adjusted site grades to facilitate drainage and prevent erosion.

Another obstacle occurred when an inspection revealed that a line of beams and columns had been fabricated incorrectly but was already erected in place. Within a week after the construction and design team discovered the problem, the steel columns and beams were removed and recycled. The team was able to divert 86% of all waste material from going to the local landfill.

Green and sustainable design features are an integral part of the new campus. This project became the first private elementary school in the area to earn a four-star rating under the Austin Energy Green Building program.

Key Players

General Contractor American Constructors Inc., Austin, Texas

Owner The Girls’ School of Austin

Lead Design Haddon + Cowan Architects Collaborative, Austin, Texas