James C. Neill Elementary School
Richmond, Texas
Award of Merit

Owner: Fort Bend Independent School District
Lead Design Firm/Civil: PBK Architects
General Contractor: Drymalla Construction Co.
Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore
MEP Engineer: PBK MEP
Landscape Architect: Mary L. Goldsby Associates

The 130,000-sq-ft high-performance school, commemorating a defender of the Alamo, incorporates flexible, adaptable learning spaces based around community-learning concepts. The work included 37 general classrooms and two specialized classrooms, music and art labs, an after-hours extended-day space, science and media labs and maker spaces to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent.

A month into the construction, the schedule was shortened by two months because of earlier bidding issues. As a result, phasing was rescheduled and the delivery of materials and equipment was continually checked for timeliness. Concrete and steel installation had to be expedited to stay on schedule, and a concrete product was used to accelerate curing. In addition, the LEED certification process required a high level of teamwork.

The construction schedule was extended to two shifts, seven days a week and totaled 385,000 hours without a safety-related incident. The team delivered the project in July 2017, more than two months ahead of the original schedule and within budget.

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