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Lee Kennedy, W.L. French Join Forces to Build $297M Winsor School Complex

The two-year project will expand and rebuild the Complex.

Wed October 23, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams

It takes two companies with a combined 75 years of experience to tackle a project this big.

Lee Kennedy Company of Quincy, Mass., celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, is the builder and designer. W.L. French Excavating Corporation of North Billerica, Mass., celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the site contractor hired to do the complete site package.

Working jointly, the two well-respected Boston-area contractors have begun phase one of a two-year, potential $297 million project that will expand and rebuild The Winsor School complex, all of the infrastructure and roads leading to it and all of the utilities that dot those roads.

Thomas Dion, executive vice president of W. L. French Excavating Corporation, estimated timetable for phase one of the project is May of this year through March 15, 2015.

“Work on the interim parking lot started at the end of May 2013. This work consisted of demolition of the existing tennis courts and construction of an interim parking lot for students and faculty displaced by the CPAW construction project,” said Jon Shattuck

According to The Boston Redevelopment Authority News Web site, the private investment and total cost of this project is nearly $300 million of heavy iron excavating, building, septic and utility work that will redevelop and create approximately 460,000 sq. ft. (42,735.4 sq m) of roads and buildings on a new Winsor School campus.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority said that 440 construction jobs will be created during the two-year plan that started in May and will go through 2015 and beyond. Another impressive estimate indicates 965 permanent (non-construction) jobs will be created when both phases of the massive project are completed. Most of these jobs will be in the office spaces and school-related offices created in several new buildings.

The Winsor School campus will see two new buildings and a building expansion on its more than seven-acre campus in the next several years, anchoring them in the Longwood Medical Area (LMA) and reaffirming their long-term commitment to the city, according to The Boston Authority.

The project includes site work footprint construction at three sites to be done in two phases, including Pilgrim Road, Longwood Avenue and what the Winsor School calls the Courtyard Addition Project.

The first phase of construction — which W.L. French Excavating Corporation is primarily utilized for excavation and road reconstruction — will consist of the $62 million Pilgrim Road project on the eastern end of the campus.

This will end with Lee Kennedy Co. erecting an approximately 110,000-sq. ft. (10,219 sq m), five-story building replacing the existing gymnasium. The new construction will include two gymnasiums, a fitness center, squash courts, a performing arts auditorium and assembly space, music, dance and theatre rehearsal studios, classrooms and storage.

A 148-vehicle garage will be constructed beneath the existing adjacent athletic field, which will preserve open space in the LMA, according to the Authority site.

In the second construction phase projected for 2015, the $225 million Longwood Avenue project will consist of a 320,000-sq. ft. (29,728.9 sq m), up-to-10-story building for commercial use, with the potential to house approximately 950 new jobs when fully occupied. Plans also include a multi-level underground parking garage for some 225 vehicles, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Third Expansion Site

Winsor School plans to complete the $10 million Courtyard Addition Project, an up-to-four-story, 30,000-sq. ft. (2,787.1 sq m) addition to the Winsor main building that will connect existing academic buildings and enclose a grassy courtyard.

The total project will create approximately 440 immediate construction jobs, as well as an estimated 15 full-time jobs at the Winsor School, school sources said on their site.

According to Thomas Dion, executive vice president of W. L. French Excavating Corporation, their role in The Winsor School Center for Performing Arts and Wellness (CPAW) project consists of construction of an interim parking lot, demolition of that existing gymnasium, and construction of that new five-story CPAW building which will connect to the Winsor School’s academic wing.

W.L. French’s role is to demolish existing tennis courts, install the storm drain, the retaining wall, curbing, site lighting, and bituminous concrete paving for the interim parking lot. Dion said that his company will excavate and dispose of approximately 24,000 cu. yds. (18,349.3 cu m) for new below-grade parking structure and the CPAW building.

According to French’s Project Manager, Jon Shattuck, excavations to depths of 22-ft. (6.7 m) below existing grade are supported by an H-Beam and lagging earth support system with tie-backs. BWSC utility relocation is required to accommodate the proposed foundation.

“Support of these utilities through the proposed construction is required [with] the installation of new underground utilities — water, sanitary sewer, storm drain, telephone, electric, communications, etc.,” said Shattuck.

The Winsor School is the clear owner of the property and project. William Rawn Associates, and Architects Inc. located in Boston, were the designers of the overall building project.

About Lee Kennedy Company

Lee Kennedy Company in Quincy, Mass., is the general contractor. According to founder Lee Kennedy’s Web site, he established his firm 35 years ago in 1978 to improve the construction field after studying architecture and field construction.

The company has grown to become one of New England’s premier construction management firms, widely regarded for its client service, construction expertise and collaborative spirit, according to the company.

“We are proud to be homegrown, to have succeeded through quality work, sweat equity, standing by our word, and providing clients a unique, enjoyable construction experience,” said founder Kennedy on his site. “More than three decades later, we travel the same path, through some of the most volatile times in the market’s history, to continue growing, evolving, creating lasting partnerships.”

The Winsor School is located on Pilgrim Road between Brookline Avenue and The Riverway in Boston’s famous Longwood Medical Area neighborhood. According to its Web site, Winsor School is an independent school for academically promising girls, in grades five through 12.

The school enrolls about 430 girls from diverse multi-cultural and racially diverse backgrounds in 50 communities in and around Boston.

According to Shattuck, the proposed CPAW building is located on private property, a portion of which was the former Pilgrim Road which was purchased by the Winsor School. Existing public utilities were relocated to accommodate the proposed building foundation. This work required coordination with Boston Water and Sewer Commission.

W.L. French Excavating Corporation is primarily using a Cat 314 excavator for BWSC utility relocation. Cat 345 and Cat 336 excavators are being used for the foundation mass excavation.

Shattuck said that crew size ranges from four to eight people at a time. Job hours have been increased to 50-60 hours per week to accelerate the schedule.

Allied Pile Driving of Canton, Mass., was contracted to install the excavation support system (H-Beam and Lagging with tie-backs installed by MoreTrench).

Aggregate Industries (various locations throughout New England and the U.S.) has been contracted for the bituminous concrete paving.

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