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PSeptember 30, 2013

Back to School Series: Careful Planning and Communication Helps Wilmington Friends School Opens for the 2013-2014 School Year

EDiS Wilmington Friends School Project Team
Operations Manager: Jerry Doherty
Project Manager: Andrew Hickey
Field Manager: George Cooper
Contracts: Cyndi Slothour
Accounting: Christina Loveland
Safety & Health Manager: Jim Ruggiero


Wilmington Friends School fire – Photo by ABC News

In December 2012, EDiS began construction on the Performing Arts Center and Gymnasium renovations for Wilmington Friends School, a project totaling 25,000 square feet. A team consisting of EDiS members, Voith & Mactavish Architects and Wilmington Friends representatives, began reconstruction of a performing arts center and athletic facility that was previously destroyed by a fire on April 17, 2012. The project consists of three major components: a new, state-of-the-art, 500-seat performing arts center, complete with sound, lighting and special stage equipment, a complete renovation of the existing 9,000 square foot gymnasium with new gym flooring, HVAC and electrical systems and a new main entrance with a multi-story curtain wall and a vegetative green roof.

One of the most important goals at the Wilmington Friends School project required a great deal of planning on the project team’s part. Over the summer months, the construction and design teams worked hard to secure all safety measures for students who would be attending summer camp during the day, as well as for the staff that would frequent the facility. One of the plans to ensure safety was to shut down the areas that were being utilized during the camp and build partitions to separate the work from the students and staff. Additionally, since the project required work on two floors, the team successfully sequenced the work to affect only one floor at a time. This helped prevent students or staff from walking into a zone that was under construction. As work continues on the building during the school year, the sections under construction will secured so that students and faculty are able to navigate the building without harm.

Theatre Drawings Only.pptxSafety measures are definitely a priority for the project team, however they were not the only element that required a lot of planning. The design of the facility calls for a new entrance lobby called Ryan’s deck. The lobby opens to existing internal occupied areas. This aspect of the project required a roof to keep it dry in inclement weather and safe from construction activity. The team foresaw the need for this ahead of time and was able to plan a solution to keep both students and contractors safe and the area secure and dry. Communication was another huge key to success. Our team consistently strives to keep an open line of communication. The team frequently updates each other on any changes during the project, big or small, with Wilmington Friends always informed. Additionally, the team meets with Wilmington’s Fire Marshall on numerous occasions to make sure we are on the right track.

Theatre Drawings Only.pptxThe additions and renovations project at Wilmington Friends School is expected to be finished in March 2014.  Over the summer, the team was able to complete a fair amount of work to continue the progress of the building on schedule while maintaining Wilmington Friends access to all of their summer programs. Due to careful planning ahead and consistent communication from the team, the Friends representatives and the designers, the project was able to move along smoothly. We look forward to seeing the completed project and to see Wilmington Friends School use their brand new facilities.


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