Graland Country Day School Corkins Center
Best Project

Owner: Graland Country Day School
Lead Design Firm: Cuningham Group Architecture Inc.
General Contractor: Haselden Construction
Civil Engineer: JVA Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineer: KL&A Inc. Structural Engineers and Builders
MEP Engineer: M.E. Group
Design Architect: Bowie Gridley Architects
Owner’s Rep: Project One

The 24,000-sq-ft Corkins Center represents a significant upgrade to Graland Country Day School. It houses the Hunt Family Learning Commons, which includes a library and digital media studio as well as a hangout area called the Treehouse. The Gates Innovation Lab, meanwhile, gives students space and technology to invent new products and systems.

Completion of the Corkins Center also helps to prepare Graland Country Day students to enter the professional world. The new building offers multiple areas to stimulate ideas and further their work concepts in practical and thought-provoking ways. The students actually apply for and receive patents. Also included is an industrial arts area with up-to-date tools and equipment. The library area—called the learning commons—houses 30,000 books, a technology help desk, numerous study carrels for quiet reflection and group collaboration spaces.

The project team faced a critical challenge after the amphitheater-style stairs had been constructed in the new space. Upon seeing the poured-in-place concrete, the school’s board members decided it wasn’t what they wanted. Essentially on the spot, the design team created a napkin sketch of new ideas. The contractor priced the concept, the board approved it within 24 hours, and new construction began.

Crews tore out the concrete, added another stair, along with a stair rail and a guard rail, and built out over the other stairs that had already been constructed. The contractor value-engineered the added scope below the cost initially quoted for the change order and was able to stay within the remaining budget.

Because the project involved a school, security was as important as safety. The contractor conducted background checks on all construction personnel through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and required subcontractors to do the same.

To protect kids from potential jobsite mishaps, heavy construction was scheduled as much as possible when students were off the premises. All construction personnel completed a safety orientation before being allowed on site, after which they received a sticker to wear on their hardhats.

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