The Renovation of Lowndes County High School
Published by: Ryan Baldwin, July 15th, 2022
The LHS reconstruction/renovation began July 2019. The $59.6 million project has included the demolition of old sections of the school, new construction and renovations. In November 2020, LHS along with JCI Contractors held a topping-out ceremony to recognize the installation of the last steel beam in the three-story, state-of-the-art structure. Lowndes High Principal LeAnne McCall said during the February Lowndes County Board of Education meeting, “The students have just been amazed at the building. We were really intentional in the media center with the design of a student union feel and the coffee shop will be operated by the life skills students. “It is great and it’s such a large space with state-of-the art equipment. It’s giving us a great uplift.” The building is three floors with 72 instructional units and nine career technology agriculture education (CTAE) laboratories.
First floor includes a 946-seat performing arts center, college and career student center, Lowndes Locker School Store, media center and Crimson Café Coffee Shop, culinary arts laboratory, and technology and engineering laboratory. Second floor includes drafting laboratory, health occupations laboratory, ROTC classrooms and collaboration instructional space. Third floor includes audiovisual laboratory and studio, business education classrooms, and collaboration instruction space. When it comes to the renovation of a high school, it can be tricky to get the scheduling to go smoothly, along with all of the other challenges that come with projects in the education sector. Ryan Baldwin of DCO Commercial Floors gives insight into what the breakdown the project looked like, and how being CIM certified helped him to keep this project on schedule, tackle any issues in a timely manner, and create yet another project #builtforeducation.
Lowndes High School project consisted of over 11,300 square yards of Powerbond carpet, over 65k square feet of LVT and 30k LF of rubber base. Although this project was completed prior to Ryan taking the CIM class, the CIM training reinforced a crucial component to this project’s success. It was important for Ryan to identify material quantities by phase/area so he could set the project of this size up for success. ryan was able to coordinate the delivery, so installers were able to stage material on the proper floor and in the proper area of this 250k SF building. This allowed for efficiency during the installation as valuable time was saved by minimizing the need to relocate material prior to installation. Consequently, the project team was able to stay ahead of schedule right to the very end of the project.
Becoming a certified Installation Manager has many benefits to helping create projects built for success. CIM sets the industry standard for all those who are involved in the management of commercial flooring projects. CIM’s are equipped with the training to handle project complications with expertise to find a solution.
The Certified Installation Manager (CIM) Program provides training tools and assessment for qualified professionals within the commercial flooring industry to enhance their core skill set, experience, and knowledge base, which are necessary to successfully manage commercial flooring projects. Individuals that reach this level of expertise will be easily distinguished by their achievement of the Certified Installation Manager (CIM) designation.
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During any renovation, challenges arise. Each challenge must be dealt with carefully in order to keep the jobsite running smoothly and on time. Ryan dealt with change order process challenges, along with trying to keep sub-contractors jobs running as smoothly as possible. Ryan recently became CIM (Certified Installation Manager Certified) which he says greatly helped his ability to step up to the plate and understand the processes of the jobsite on a deeper level.
Ryan was able to use his knowledge and expertise on the job site to keep the project running a month ahead of schedule with the installation, and help the team with the practices of placing and project scheduling with success. With lots of different design concepts on this project, Ryan’s CIM certification not only helped with deal with the arising challenges, it also allowed him to identify problems before they arose, and set his team up for success in every aspect. Lowndes County High School turned out to be a beautiful project, built for the students to succeed in their learning endeavors.
About the Author: Ryan Baldwin has been in the construction industry since he was 19. He began his career in construction as a Masonry Laborer working with his dad. By the age of 19, while a Freshman at GA Tech, Ryan was a field superintendent for his masonry company of projects in Atlanta. He tried to get out of the construction field, but found himself back in the industry as a junior estimator for a General Contractor in 1999. He spent the next 12 years in pre-construction, and was introduced to the flooring industry as a project manager/estimator in 2012. He has done everything from sales, estimating, and a site superintendent to being an equipment operator, and laborer. Ryan has been at DCO for 2 years, and has been able to put all of those skills on display. Ryan is CIM, Procore, and OSHA 30 certified. Feel free to reach out to Ryan Baldwin for more information on how to better your jobsites, and DCO’s Covid-19 protocols. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the firm: DCO Commercial Floors is a nationwide flooring dealer that is committed to being a flooring solutions leader for all finishes, bridging the gap between traditional floor covering and modern access flooring solutions. We provide comprehensive project management so that your project is smooth from the estimating stages to breaking down the bid, and procurement, from installation to closeout. DCO will provide and deliver on all facets to become the partner of choice for your project.