Month: November 2011

Courthouse retro-fitting project starts

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Brian Bullock of Santa Maria Times posted an articl eabout modular units being installed into a Courthouse. You can view a full version of this article here


Just when it looked like modular buildings were on their way out at the Santa Maria Superior Courthouse, a new one has been delivered.

Specialty Crane hoisted two sections of a new modular building over the courthouse’s Building C early Monday as retro-fitting work on the existing courthouse is set to begin.

The project will increase the seismic stability of the courthouse, said Bob Nisbet, county general services director

The modular will be used to relocate offices in Buildings A and B while they are disconnected from the main building to make them less prone to earthquake damage. The retro-fit is scheduled to be complete in May 2012.

While that project kicks off, work on the new 18,650-square-foot, two-story addition to the courthouse is winding down and slated to be complete just after the New Year’s holiday, said Ryan Edwards, vice president of Vernon Edwards Constructors of Santa Maria, the general contractor on the $3.5 million addition.

The new building will replace two aging modular buildings that house criminal and civil court records offices and office space the court currently leases across Cook Street from the courthouse.

Vernon Edwards broke ground on the project in September 2010.

“It’s been a challenging project. It’s a very detailed building. It’s in a tight site constraint. We had a lot of heavy weather last year. It’s a lot of things to do in a small space,” Edwards said.

The company is putting on stucco and installing exterior concrete walkways and curbs. Edwards said the building is about 85 percent complete.

Once it is finished and the court clerks have moved in, Vernon Edwards will remove the old modulars, cap utilities and cover the sites. Edwards said the second-phase work would take about 30 days.


St. Mary County Modular Addition

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Dick Myers posted the article below Modular Classrooms Approved for Evergreen E.S. on A full version of this article can be found by clicking here


St. Mary’s County’ newest school is already overcrowded. Evergreen Elementary School in Wildewood is designed for a local rated capacity of 614; there are currently 718 full-time equivalent students there. With that in mind, the St. Mary’s County Board of Education on Wednesday approved a contract for a two-classroom modular unit to be moved there.

The contract award was for $127,323 with a $25,000 contingency to a company called Modular Genius, which has supplied other units to the system for Dynard, Lettie Marshall Dent and Leonardtown elementary schools.
The company will manufacture, deliver, set-up and construct covered walkways and ramps. They will do site work for a second two-classroom unit that may be needed at a later date.
Supervisor of Design and Construction Larry Hartwick said the modular classrooms would be used for programs such as art and band and not for instruction.
Chief Operating Officer Bradley Clements said the proposed new elementary school for the Hayden Farm property in Leonardtown was the ultimate solution to the overcrowding at Evergreen. Short of that, there could redistricting, with students living along Route 4 returning to Leonardtown Elementary.
But the bigger problem, according to Clements: “All of the schools in the development district are overcrowded.” Board member Cathy Allen, while noting that redistricting can be traumatic, said it was a better problem to have than being faced with closing community schools, which is affecting other parts of the state and country.
The modular unit is expected to be ready to occupy in the spring.







ROWVA board expanding new school building options

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Linda Bell wrote the article below for in Illinois discussing the expansion of schools using modular buildings. A full version of this article can found by clicking here


Traditional building costs have the ROWVA District 208 School Board planning a field trip to investigate a different type of building construction for a proposed new elementary building to replace East and Central schools.

Superintendent Lloyd Little will make plans for the board to visit Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, a modular school building in Gary, Ind., when the board goes to the Illinois Association of School Boards annual convention in Chicago later this month.

Little said at a special board meeting Tuesday that he and board member Rob Kalb had been discussing alternatives to traditional construction after the board received revised building plans from Farnsworth Architect Group earlier this month. Kalb visited the Gary, Ind., school while on a business trip in the area and was impressed.

“It’s in its fourth year and looked great,” Kalb said of the urban junior-senior high school.

Kalb said a modular building would cost $60 a square foot compared to a $175 per square foot for traditional construction, not including any furnishings. The Gary, Ind., school cost was $188 per square foot, including furnishings. A variety of options are available for the outside of the building. The Gary, Ind., school district built a traditional gymnasium rather than a modular.

Kalb said modular units are 14 feet wide and 70 feet long, come prewired, can be finished with floor decking, wallboard, with true ceilings on the interior and sheathing and roof membrane on the exterior. Such a building could be designed to be moved later, if desired.

He said modular buildings are projected to last 35-50 years, about the same as regular construction.

Little is familiar with modular buildings since he has worked in a district with modular buildings in the past.

Lower building costs might allow the district to build a larger building than the most recent revised building plans presented by Farnsworth.

Several board members had expressed concern about building a facility that was not really large enough for the district’s needs.

Prior to the discussion about modular buildings, David Pistorius, bond underwriter for First Midstate Inc. Investment Bankers, spoke to the board about its options for financing a new building, which essentially would be a life safety replacement project.

His conservative estimate for interest rates on bonds the district might purchase was 4.95 percent.

Little said the board has not discussed if any of the district’s reserve funds would be used for the proposed building project. The district currently has 10-11 months in reserves.

Modular Construction Begins

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Construction Begins for Louisa County Middle School 
** To view the video attached with this article, please visit the link at the bottom of the post. Thank you!

Construction crews are moving dirt for Louisa County’s modular high school.  The pod-style structures will placed on the parking lot in front of the now condemned earthquake-damaged school.

Construction is on track to have the modular school in place by late November so teachers can begin moving into their makeshift classrooms in mid-December.  Then students can return to a regular, five-day class schedule on February 1.

Crews started uprooting trees and pulling out parking lot lights to make way for the modular school.  Right now, they’re putting the pipe work in place to hook the units up to water and sewer.

The modular school consists of a collection of more than a dozen pod buildings with space for 90 classrooms, a library, gym, and cafeteria.  It will wrap around the front of the earthquake-damaged high school and cover most of the parking lot.

Louisa County Assistant Superintendent Doug Straley stated, “It’s vital – we need to get our kids back in school five days a week. We want to be able to provide an education for our kids just like everyone else around the commonwealth is getting at this time – and that’s a five day a week education and a quality education. We want to give them their own school they can be proud of.”

County schools expect to pay about $3.6 million to set up and rent the modular high school for the next two school years.

The county is also waiting on three separate damage assessments to see how much it will cost to rebuild the high school and Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

The schools have already spent about $884,000 on earthquake expenses.  The system hopes the Federal Emerge


A complete version of this article can be found here: