Accelerated Schedule Tests Contractor

Department of Human ServicesIn late June 2013, the Oregon Department of Human Services signed a lease to occupy a vacant Salem building with no working systems. By Sept. 9 – nine days ahead of schedule – Salem-based White Oak Construction brought the 20,000-square-foot building up to state standards.

White Oak senior project manager Dan Wellert said that when the company was hired, there was no design for the building, no permits and no schedules. White Oak called a meeting with the city of Salem and presented preliminary floor plans to see if an expedited schedule would be possible. Reviews were needed for the contractor’s demolition plan, tenant improvement drawings, and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire systems, he said.

“In about a week, we came up with a floor plan, design schedule and met with the city,” he said. “The city said, ‘Yes, we can do it,’ and within 36 hours our designer had kicked out the demolition plan. In another 48 hours, we had our framing, and a week later our tenant improvement drawings. The work was jamming.”

Seventy-person crews worked six and sometimes seven days a week to meet the Sept. 15 Deadline. The project cost was $2.8 million, Wellert said.

“We had three crew cookouts that we catered to keep morale up,” he said. “The project was done on budget and on time.”

The project which would have taken five months under a normal schedule, was completed in 72 days, Wellert said.

White Oak performed a facelift of the entire building exterior and a seismic upgrade; it also removed 60 tons of steel from the roof, Wellert said. The company installed new exterior canopies, built a new parking lot and took care of site lighting and landscaping too, her added.

“The biggest thing is working as a team,” he said. “On this project, the team included the city, the architect, the structural engineer and all the subcontractors. They all worked in unison. It was a great project.”