If a Building Could Fly

If this building were given wings, it would fly away.

The Christine and Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Library and Learning Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona, is in fact the perfect metaphor for flight. The 34,000 square foot library and learning center, designed by DLR Group of Phoenix, underscores the university’s commitment to spaces that inspire the imagination and enhance the educational experience.

The facility holds an instructional classroom, computer information commons, office spaces, book stacks, reading rooms, scanner spaces, group study spaces, presentation rooms, and study areas. Its prominent glass entrance is accentuated by an internally illuminated staircase that ascends to the second-floor information commons – reminiscent of an airport runway!

Considering the state of the economy, the rising cost of construction materials, and the scarcity of skilled labor, Arizona construction teams have to work especially hard to meet budget constraints. When Embry-Riddle hired Barton Malow, the established project budget was $8 million, and the university's number one priority was maintaining the budget while preserving design integrity.

That was the goal, too, for DLR Group and for Barton Malow. With Barton Malow’s preconstruction best practices and coordination with the architect, the team squeezed out more building for the budget. Seeing the initial guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $7.29 million, the university began reviewing its wish list and adding items back into the building. The final GMP with the new items was $7.51 million – still under budget, and with room for additional campus projects.

It was a positive lesson for the entire team: Despite market challenges, a team that works well together achieves high-flying success.