The Whitmire Pavilion at Sandy Springs Christian Church is a 4,200-sf outdoor, open-air structure. It stands as a tribute to William Whitmire, a well-known Automotive pioneer, entrepreneur, and late member of the Church.
Duffey Southeast served as the Construction Manager at Risk and worked closely with the Church, its Day School and the Architect to execute the project vision. Knowing we were building very close to a preschool, we had an early understanding that the protection of the students and staff on site as well as protecting the existing facilities was of utmost importance. After a quick site visit, the seemingly simple structure began to reveal its challenges. We quickly realized that traditional work hours and construction methods would not apply.
For starters, the site was tight, only the size of fourteen parking spaces, with vehicular and pedestrian traffic coming through the site four times a day. The site was also occupied throughout the construction process requiring careful coordination with both the Church and Day School.
The schedule proved challenging because work was limited by the Church to weekdays and work hours were limited to 7:30 am and 5 pm by the City. When we factored in the Day School student drop-offs from 8:00 until 9:00 am and pick-ups at 12:30, 2:30 and 3:30 pm each weekday we devised a plan to use short work shifts. The crews stopped every few hours to allow for Day School traffic, almost always playing traffic coordinator to help navigate parents and kids safely through the site. The crews remained productive to maintain the schedule. During these interruptions, inventory and stockpiling materials within the limited workspace were conducted.
Since the site was occupied by young kids and had a great deal of general public visitors passing through on a daily basis, extra safety measures were put in place. For instance, the steel workers draped fireproof blankets from their cranes while welding to protect the school children’s curious eyes from damage.
Another challenge was the materials themselves. The pavilion structure is steel wrapped in cedar to accomplish a rustic wood beam appearance. The ceiling of the pavilion features tongue and groove pine boards while the flooring is stamped, colored concrete broken by smooth bands in a checkerboard pattern, mimicking clay tile. The concrete was placed in two phases. The stamped squares were placed first followed by placing the 1 ft. wide smooth bands. The floor was such an integral part of the overall aesthetic design; we opted to install it last to prevent risk of damage to the surface throughout the course of construction.
In the end, the Duffey Southeast project team’s diligent efforts to to bring the project in safely, on time and within budget were awarded with an AGC Build Georgia Award.