Lee Magnet High School

Baton Rouge, La.
Best Project

General Contractor Milton J. Womack Inc.
Owner East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools
Lead Design GraceHebert Architects
Structural Wardlaw & Lasseigne LLC
Civil Forte & Tablada
MEP Henry C. Eyre Jr., PE, Consulting Engineers
Food Service Futch Design Associates Inc.
Electrical Daniel T. Calongne & Associates Inc.

Lee Magnet High School’s innovative campus has three freestanding, 400-student academies and one larger commons building. Early on, the team shaved $3.4 million off the project. Sequencing was altered after soil under the commons building was deemed unsuitable. Ultimately, 2 ft of additional material, 4 ft total, had to be replaced with new fill, forcing the team to start construction of the classroom buildings first. This cost 30 days of contract time.

Crews had to work around 400 existing piles from the old school. The piles originally came from a coliseum demolished years earlier. The team virtually mapped the locations of the piles and worked around them to create a new foundation. Additionally, the four steel trusses for the new gym could not be placed from outside the building footprint, so a section of the concrete slab was blocked off to allow the crane to “walk” into the partially erected gym.

More than 100 days of rainfall fell during the project, making it more difficult to dry-in the building spaces. Since the buildings do not have exterior sheeting—exterior metal panels fasten directly to the metal studs—drying-in was even more difficult. As a result, the team decided to work the interior of the building first for the finishes.

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