PreSchool Partners
Birmingham, Ala.
Best Project

Owner PreSchool Partners
Lead Design Firm Pete Pritchard Architects Inc
General Contractor Hoar Construction LLC
Structural Engineer MAK Engineering
MEP Engineer Eldeco/RJ Mechanical

Construction of this $3.4-million, 12,500-sq-ft educational center for Birmingham’s PreSchool Partners, a 501c3 organization dedicated to preparing at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds for kindergarten, marked the group’s first facility and enabled it to significantly expand operations. With the project owner raising funds before and during construction, the budget was of paramount concern. As a result, Birmingham-based Hoar Construction—itself managing the project for no fee—sought specialty contractors that were willing to offer services at cost or else at a reduced rate, and the team participated in fundraisers.

With the contractor’s executive leadership tasking the project team with building as efficiently as possible, contractors incorporated lean construction practices as they collaborated early and often with designers, which helped deliver a high-quality facility as cost-effectively as possible.

Hoar’s decision to self-perform much of the work also aided the budget. The contractor self-performed offsite prefabrication of the structure, which was built with metal stud framing. Crews used screws, instead of welding, to prefabricate the panels, which allowed for potential field adjustments when necessary. However, contractors only needed to adjust three panels during erection, adding just an estimated six minutes to construction time.

Inclement weather bogged down construction for 38 days during the earthwork and foundation construction stages, endangering the project’s team goal of not extending the schedule. In response, according to the contractor, the project team worked “around the clock” seven days a week for a duration of six months to stick to the original schedule.

“Our team built a real sense of community in rallying our trade partners to put their all into building the facility,” the contractor stated. Through those efforts, the project team was able to complete construction one month ahead of schedule.

Each classroom has vaulted ceilings and 8-ft by 8-ft windows, which provide generous amounts of daylight.