Project Specs
Owner Columbus General Properties
Square Footage 90,000
Start Date12/2001
Completion Date09/2002
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Belle Chasse Academy

Project Overview

The Belle Chasse Academy project was a ground-up construction of a 90,000 SF structural steel building with a brick skin. The school is located on an active military Naval Air Station so heightened security measures were strictly enforced throughout the project’s construction. Building spaces include: Campus Administration, Faculty Offices, Arts Classrooms, Library, Science & Technology Classrooms, Computer Labs, Flexible Educational and General Use Spaces.

After completion of the Navy project, we again sought McDonnel’s services to construct the Belle Chasse Academy. After working closely with The McDonnel Group for the last two years, we find them very capable of meeting deadlines and schedules; “on-time and on budget” is not just a cliche but common practice. We also find that even on the rare occasion where we encounter a bump in the road, their staff members are professional, courteous, problem solvers who are also a pleasure to work with. We have no hesitation in recommending their services.
George Hero, IV
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Lessons Learned

There were several challenges that were successfully overcome by The McDonnel Group: The proposed site elevations conflicted with the existing infrastructure invert of the military base and would not have allowed the site to drain properly once the construction was complete. As a resolution, McDonnel created a topographical graph and supporting documentation of all existing canals, drainage ditches, and water flow allowing for redesign of the site plan. Th existing site utility drawings had errors of up to twenty feet, so McDonnel utilized a water jet to cut 8′ x 32′ trenches every 20′ to 30′ in order to properly identify existing site utilities and fiber optic cable lines. Since this project was constructed just after 9-11-01, security levels were significantly increased. McDonnel created a custom employee, subcontractor, and supplier database which the military base utilized extensively to monitor all construction activities. The project had an extremely aggressive completion schedule so McDonnel utilized multiple shifts and a 7-day work week schedule and effectively managed all sub-trades to keep the project on schedule for a timely completion. McDonnel was required to maintain all of the roads on the military base completely debris-free throughout all weather conditions. To ensure this requirement was fulfilled, McDonnel constructed and maintained a custom-made “Wash-Off/Containment Station” to effectively control any debris.