With the demolition of four existing buildings and the construction of a 36,000-square-foot structure, the Good Shepherd Episcopal School and Parish Life Center (PLC) project brought transformational changes to the life of both a congregation and a school. The new school and PLC serves as the church sanctuary during the final phase of the project. That final phase includes repairs and reconditioning of a 64-year-old sanctuary building.
The mission of the project was to revitalize the pre-school and address the needs of the church and the community. The PLC ultimately housed school and administration components that are shared by both the school and church. Classroom space was doubled, and the congregation was given a new commercial kitchen capable of feeding the congregation and serving as a ministry to feed those less fortunate in the Austin community.
The school and PLC project was made difficult and complex by an aging air-conditioning chilling tower, which sat adjacent to the old school structure. The new design relocated some of this infrastructure to the roof of the old Parish Hall, while the remainder was addressed with a temporary cooling tower.
New Campus Construction (Good Shepherd Episcopal)
Project Size: 1-300 seats
Completion Date: August 28, 2015
The overall project was further complicated by the fact that the existing church had grown slowly through the decades by acquisition of neighboring properties. This resulted in an amalgamation of infrastructure of old water mains, gas lines, and sewer lines that were in disrepair and required upgrades. Often, the record and location of this work was decades old within the city's archives and required diligence from the design and construction management team in order to make all necessary repairs prior to the opening of the school. The project also had to work around historic "heritage trees" with a robust and careful implementation of tree protection.
The church and school are located in a predominately residential area, which meant sensitivity to neighbors was important. Parking was an issues. In addition, the schedule and scope of work mandated continuous six-day workweeks with an active construction work force of over 50 workers per day over the life of the project, peaking above 100 men per day for long periods of time. Scheduling of material deliveries, concrete pours, erection cranes, and the like all had to take the neighborhood into account.
The budget was an overarching component of the ability to afford the required work and had to be integrated into the future expansion of the sanctuary and narthex addition. Multiple cost studies were carried out to discover the most cost-effective means of addressing the whole budget. Weekly meetings chronicled and documented the ongoing costs for the benefit of the building committee as decisions were made toward the final scope of project. The Superintendent presented weekly updates to his ongoing "three-week look ahead" schedule, which were integrated into the total project 13 months CPM schedule. This was updated and presented at owner meetings enabling school staff to anticipate and plan the eventual move-in and set-up of the school.