Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen
McAllen, Texas 
Best Project

Owner: Texas A&M University System
Lead Design Firm: PBK Architects
General Contractor: BE&K Building Group
Civil Engineer: Melden and Hunt Inc.
Structural Engineer: Chanin Engineering LLC
MEP Engineer: Jones/DBR Engineering Co.

Despite months of setbacks because of harsh weather and funding approval delays, the team building the $32.5-million Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen still completed the project on schedule through strategic modifications to sequencing and careful planning.

As a result, faculty members were able to gain early access to the facility, the first building for the new Texas A&M McAllen campus.

After a three-month delay in bond approval funds hindered the initial project schedule, BE&K Building Group took steps to get things back on track. The contractor installed sitework and paved parking and roadways so laydown areas would be available when work began. The contractor also scheduled and resequenced several scopes of work to take place on multiple floors simultaneously and put in temporary window coverings to waterproof the facility so workers could complete drywall work and interior finishes on time.

Weather created a major hurdle midway through the project, resulting in six weeks of lost time during steel installation, then another two weeks that affected roof, masonry and glass installations.

To mitigate scheduling concerns, the team modified the construction sequence for erecting the building and worked around the clock to meet project milestones.

The project team also fine-tuned the budget weekly and identified design alternates that saved the university $1.5 million.

The completed 65,000-sq-ft building features tech-driven smart classrooms plus distance-learning classrooms with 80-in. monitors, cameras, voice-activated microphones and speakers so students can interact with classes on other Texas A&M campuses.

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