Beverly, MA–Windover Construction of Beverly recently completed a $13.9 million renovation and expansion of the Callahan Student Center at Endicott College, marking its ninth project on the private college campus north of Boston. Windover led the Design/Build approach and completed the project during the active school year. The project architect was Connor Architecture of Lexington.
The Callahan Center is at both the physical and figurative heart of Endicott College where students can eat and relax in a casual atmosphere. The original student center was already large at 35,000sf – the new plan was to completely renovate the existing structure and add 30,000sf of new space around every side of the building. (In fact, when finished, there was only 12sf of original façade left.)
The original Callahan building dates back to 1964. As with any structure of this age and size, unforeseen conditions are expected during renovation and the challenge, of course, is trying to understand the extent of these conditions before the walls are knocked down. Windover’s team proactively performed extensive investigative work well before construction commenced. This prepared Windover, Endicott, and all project partners to mitigate any age-related conditions as the gut rehabilitation of the building took place.
“On any project, you expect some hiccups and build contingency into your timelines and budget. Callahan faced a tight schedule without much wiggle room. Despite the structural challenges encountered, we achieved the project’s budget and schedule because our team was flexible and quickly implemented contingency planning as changes occurred,” said Windover Project Executive Tyler Virden.
So the question is, how did they do it? How was it possible for a building undergoing complete rehabilitation to still remain accessible and provide dining to over 1,200 students every day of the school year? According to Windover President and CEO Lee Dellicker, collaboration and communication with Endicott made this feat possible on-time, on-budget, and without disruption to campus life.
Much of the construction took place through the school year, which added to the logistical challenges. Demolition and construction were completed in phases to accommodate the occupied areas of the Callahan Center that needed to remain in use.
Today, the completed Callahan Center features an expanded kitchen and dining areas that accommodate 950 students with multiple food “stations” creating an interactive dining environment unlike traditional cafeterias. The building also includes a new bookstore, administrative offices, a new health center, counseling center, mail and copy center, and an expanded student lounge. Outside is just as beautiful with a stunning new façade, attractive landscaping, and fresh pedestrian ways leading to and from the building.
“Our relationship with the people of Endicott was paramount,” Dellicker said. “Having an open and honest dialogue throughout all project phases became so critical. We were able to be candid about existing conditions, potential resolutions, and cost implications.”
Temporary fixes were also employed, such as moving the entranceway to the mailroom so that students wouldn’t need to line up outside during rainy or cold weather. Access to, from, and through the building changed throughout the project, but was never compromised.
By approaching the project innovatively and providing Endicott value management solutions where possible, Windover helped the school achieve schedule and budget despite unforeseen conditions. Completing Callahan on time and on budget was certainly an accomplishment; however, what truly has come to define the project’s success is the positive impact it has had on Endicott’s students.
“Together with Endicott, we embraced the challenges this project presented and moved as a team through them. The feedback from the students has been wonderful, and at the end of the day, that is what is most important to us,” Dellicker said.
This was the ninth project Windover completed for Endicott — and thanks to its strong leadership, proactive communications, and expertise, it is not the last. In August of this year, Windover will finish the college’s first-class Raymond J. Bourque Ice Arena, which broke ground this past summer, and a new, 287-bed modular Residential Village.
“Our approach with Endicott College, as with any project, is to truly understand the client’s needs and expectations,” Dellicker said. “Our team focused on constructing an impressive building, while building a strong relationship with our client. It is always about carefully balancing traditional sensibilities with creating state-of-the-art learning facilities, all with minimal disruption to campus life. After nine projects here, we’ve been successful in striking that balance.”