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College Dreams Big With Recreation Complex

Fri November 18, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

Work is headed for completion at the Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC) at Garrett College in McHenry, Md.

The $23 million complex, which was designed by Grimm & Parker Architects of Frederick, Md., is being constructed in two phases. Funding reportedly includes a $15.5 million contribution from the state and a Garrett County contribution of $7.5 million.

Phase 1 includes 32,500 sq. ft. aquatic facility with a fitness area, a competition pool, a recreation pool, a classroom area, and a physical and occupational therapy area.

Phase 2 is 42,500 sq. ft. gymnasium with three collegiate basketball courts, bleacher seating for 1,600 people, a small concession area and offices for the athletic staff.

The current contract amount for Phase 1 is $12.5 million, and the project is under the direction of Hess Construction & Engineering Services of Gaithersburg, Md.

According to Bruce Herr, division vice president of Hess, the location — a 62-acre campus in the mountains of western Maryland — presented a serious challenge during the winter months.

“The weather conditions in the area during the winter were far and away the most difficult challenge of the project,” he said. “The actual construction went very smoothly, and the college and architect were great to work with. The project is unique in that it has multiple projects and prime contractors working on one site. Our construction durations have overlapped by six months with the gymnasium, and good planning and a high level of cooperation created a successful project to date.”

A total of about 27 subcontractors were assigned to the job, including Beitzel Corporation for all site development and some of the steel; Gill Simpson of Hagerstown for electrical; Walter N. Yoder for plumbing and mechanical; DayStar Builders; Glass-Tech for curtain wall and windows; Paddock Pools for the pool packager; Puebla Construction; Crown Painting of Hagerstown; and Lach Marble & Tile for ceramic and porcelain tile.

For site work, Shawn Bender, division manager at Beitzel Corp, reported that the equipment list included a Cat 375 excavator, a Cat 825 compactor, a Cat D6R dozer, a Cat D6K dozer with GPS and Terex TA40 articulated dump trucks.

For the building construction, Herr noted that mobile hydraulic cranes and cable cranes were used. An aerial platform also was used for walls and masonry.

The amount varied, but generally about 75 to 85 people were on the job site at one time.

The $9 million contract for Phase 2 was awarded to Rycon Construction Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa. Work began in March 2011 and will be complete in March 2012. Exterior finishes will consist of brick veneer, metal panel, curtainwall and storefront glazing.

According to Jim Pearson, project superintendent of Rycon Construction Inc., the major challenges were building a structure with only full access from one side. Rycon also experienced the Garrett County winter in early March.

Rycon’s subcontractors include Frederick Concrete, which performed footers and flat work; Oak Tree Building Group for masonry work; Gill Simpson Inc. for electrical work; Walter N. Yoder & Sons for mechanical, plumbing, and HVAC. All are Maryland-based contractors. Additional subcontractors were L & R Floors, R & R Fabrication and Kalkreuth Roofing.

“Our building pad was delivered to us at sub base elevation, so we didn’t use any heavy excavators,” Pearson explained.

He noted that they will be mobilizing a 100-ton (90.7 t) hydro mobile crane to set the clear span trusses, which are 118 ft. (36 m) long spans weighing in excess of 15,000 lbs. (6,804 kg.)

“This is a highly anticipated project for Garrett County, and Rycon is glad to be part of the building group,” Pearson said. CEG

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