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Chancel Teaches Coastal Carolina About the Fine Art of Construction

Wed August 09, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Diane Jowers

Chancel Construction Group Inc. is building a School of Humanities and Fine Arts for Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. Chancel Vice President of Construction William Baldwin is acting project director. “Because this is the second-largest project that we have been involved in, the company decided to move me from our Conway headquarters to the construction site for the duration of the job,” he said. The $16.5-million project is second in dollar value only to Chancel’s $21-million contract with Georgetown County to build Carvers Bay Middle School and High School in Hemingway, SC; the schools will be completed this summer.

Chancel started the Coastal Carolina University project in December of last year, and completion is scheduled for July 2001. The university has allocated 2 hectares (5 acres), used previously as a soccer practice field, for the School of Humanities and Fine Arts facility, which will be a 10,260-square-meter (114,000 sq. ft.), two-story building. “Stubbins Associates Inc. of Cambridge, MA, is the design architecture firm, and the Georgian style with white columns will make this new structure compatible with other buildings here and with Coastal Carolina’s master plan for development,” said Baldwin.

Chancel Project Superintendent Lynn Carter is pleased with progress to date. “We have 25 workers on the job now, and we’re nearing completion of the foundation and the underground utilities. Approximately 35 percent of the concrete slabs are on grade,” he said. Structural steel erection is scheduled to start May 8. Cad Inc. of Bishopville, SC, is the steel fabrication firm, and Fred’s Welding and Steel Erection of Charlotte will erect the steel.

Other subcontractors on the project include Jesse Anderson Plumbing and the Electrical Services Group, both of Myrtle Beach. W. O. Blackstone Company of Columbia will do the heating and air conditioning work, and Cyclone Roofing Company of Matthews, NC, will provide the slate roof. The building will have a brick exterior with decorative, reinforced fiberglass panel trim and a courtyard. “Pegram Associates of Myrtle Beach is the construction administration architectural firm, and we work daily with Steve Hepler of Pegram,” said Baldwin.

One of the most interesting aspects of the project is the vibra-densification process completed before the earthmoving work began. “We have a layer of sand here that would liquefy during an earthquake, and the vibra-densification procedure tightened and consolidated the sand to prevent that possibility,” said Baldwin. C. L. Benton and Sons, a piling contractor in Myrtle Beach, used a probe with a vibrating head to penetrate the 900 to 1,050 centimeter (30 to 35 ft.) deep sand at 300-centimeter (10 ft.) intervals. Then, Chancel Construction moved in approximately 11,400 cubic meters (15,000 cu. yd.) of fill material. The company rents most of the equipment needed for its projects, and at the Coastal Carolina University site, Hertz and RSC equipment is being used.

Chancel Construction Inc. started in 1980. The company had completed more than 300 projects in South Carolina and North Carolina by 1993, when Chancel Construction Group Inc. was formed. Annual construction sales are in the $25- to $35-million range, and projects include commercial and medical offices, retail sales buildings, motels, schools, institutional facilities, and condominiums. Chancel has 30 employees; most of its work is in the Carolinas coast area. Recent projects include Waterfront Condominiums in North Myrtle Beach, SC; South Strand Medical in Surfside Beach, SC; Loris Coastal Cancer Center in Loris, SC; and Myrtle Beach Church of Christ.

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