Over the years, Barton Malow has made a consistent commitment to self-performing work. At Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana, we held a $20 million prime general trades package. The major addition and expansion project, encompassing an 850,000 SF high school, was the largest ongoing school construction project in Northwest Indiana and Barton Malow’s largest self-perform project to date in the Chicago area.

Barton Malow’s contract, spanning three years, included all interior build-out consisting of dry wall, door frames and hardware, ceilings, floor finishes, painting, interior casework/millwork, lockers and specialties. The project included two phases. Phase one, completed in 2013, included a new pool and support space and a 3-story 200,000 SF classroom wing. Phase two, completed in December 2015, included a new gym, auditorium, fine arts band area, media center and school district administration area.

A unique aspect of the project is the multi-prime contractor setting. All prime contractors, including Barton Malow, hold contracts directly with the school district. This requires extensive coordination and open communication among the various prime contractors and with the Construction Manager, joint venture of Turner Construction Company and Powers and Sons, as well as close monitoring of the project schedule.

Working near a large, occupied high school was a significant project challenge. Students were located in the north half of the school during construction of the new classroom wing. They then transitioned to the newly constructed wing and the north half was demolished in preparation for the second phase of the project.

Planning and communication with the Owner, Turner/ Powers and other contractors was essential to minimize interruption to the surrounding occupied areas. The team was constantly sensitive to safety coordination as well as the surrounding learning environment and cognizant of construction noise levels. Construction activities were coordinated with noise levels in mind, with activities creating heavy noise completed early in the morning prior to classes beginning. Work that required tie-ins and shut downs of existing systems was completed during winter and spring breaks.