High-Tech Tools Advance Construction Management

The following article appeared in highprofile | April 23, 2018


By Chad McCullough

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High-tech tools hold the promise of allowing construction project team members to achieve greater efficiency and produce a better product. Does it work in practice? Absolutely. A recent example is the transformation of the Stratford High School campus in Stratford, Conn., which includes a new 127,000sf addition. Currently under construction across from the existing school, the new addition will contain administrative offices, kitchen and dining facilities, special education, and general classrooms. Future phases include a new gymnasium, locker rooms, auditorium, music classrooms, and specialty classrooms.

The project’s dynamic team, including Antinozzi Associates, CREC Construction Services, Turner Construction Company, the Building Subcommittee, and town of Stratford department heads, embraced new technologies to advance the project’s mission.

Here are just two of the ways Turner’s project management team is leveraging technology to enhance and improve the construction process for the $125 million project.

Installation tracking

During steel erection, Turner’s team utilized the project’s building information model (BIM) to take material placement tracking to a new level. BIM is a process for creating and managing the information on a project before, during, and after construction. The output is a 3D model of the built asset. Gone are the days of tattered steel erection drawings with different color highlighters to record the progress of steel installation. Instead, through software tools linked to the project BIM, the field team digitally tracked the installation of each piece with the tap of a finger. Using their tablets, the superintendent updated each day’s progress through the 3D model. Beyond the visual recognition of the completed work, the team harnessed data regarding productivity trends and tonnage, giving them better control over the project schedule and material inventory in their limited laydown area and allowed for more accurate billing.

Virtual inspections

While steel erection was in progress, the construction manager’s team was busy building out the kitchen and cafeteria spaces virtually to help ensure a smooth inspection and turnover process.

Using Antinozzi’s design BIM as a starting point, Turner’s virtual design and construction (VDC) engineers added all elements of the spaces down to the smallest details, providing a complete picture of the final product. The VDC group modeled all kitchen equipment based on approved submittals, all MEP finishes and devices, technology elements like security cameras, and FF&E items including point of sale terminals — even the condiment stations, complete with ketchup bottles.

After the model was developed, the VDC group rendered and created a lifelike virtual model of the kitchen, servery, and cafeteria. The team then conducted a series of collaborative team meetings using Turner’s virtual reality tools to allow a variety of stakeholders to explore and evaluate the spaces virtually. These meetings involved the project team, school administration, and their food service vendor, facilitating a clear understanding of the equipment layout and movement of the students and staff through the area.

In later sessions, local code officials, including the fire marshal, building inspector, director of public safety, and health department inspector reviewed the spaces through virtual reality. Officials had the opportunity to provide their feedback early — long before walls were built or services were roughed in. Changes were made to add splash guards at hand wash sinks, relocate fire alarm pull stations, and adjust soffit heights to provide better sight lines to exit signs. These interactive sessions produced a better understanding of the space by everyone and set the stage for a smooth inspection and turnover phase.

Implementing these tools has brought value to all project stakeholders and helped Turner’s team achieve its goal of eliminating rework, increasing client satisfaction and saving time and money.

Chad McCullough is the manager of business development for Turner Construction Company’s office in Shelton, Conn.


Lawmakers pleased Stratford High renovation money is set

Stratford’s state legislators managed to get funding for the Stratford High School renovation through both houses of the General Assembly last week.

Reps. Joe Gresko, Laura Hoydick and Ben McGorty, along with state Sens. Kevin Kelly and Ed Gomes, worked in concert with both the House and Senate to gain approval of $76 million in grant funds to be allocated for the extension, alteration and roof replacement at the Stratford High School.  The entire project is estimated to cost $125.9 million, and with the grant funds now in place, the state will cover 60.4% of the entire cost of the project.

Stratford High renovation gets final council approvals

After months of discussion, the resolutions needed to finance the Stratford High School renovation project have been approved.

Town Council members voted Monday to approve an ordinance that increased the appropriation of the project to $125.9 million. The council also voted to amend a previous ordinance that would allow for the issuance of $65 million in bonds to pay for the town’s share of the project.

Ordinance Committee votes for Stratford High renovation

The measures needed for the proposed Stratford High School renovation project took another huge step forward on Monday.

The town Ordinance Committee, made up of council members, voted 7-0 Monday to recommend approval of a pair of ordinances. One would increase the appropriation of the Stratford High renovation to $125.9 million, while the other would authorize the town to issue $65 million in bonds to pay for the project.

Tone optimistic for Stratford High renovation

Town Council members sounded as though they are ready to move forward with the proposed Stratford High School renovation plan after Thursday’s workshop meeting, though more work needs to be done.

Officials from the Board of Education, Antinozzi Associates and CREC spoke during the special meeting at Stratford High, attended by about 50 people.

Council workshop on SHS renovation Thursday

The Town Council will have a review of the proposed Stratford High School renovation project during a special meeting Thursday that is intended to be a workshop.

Thursday’s meeting, set for 7 p.m. at Stratford High, will include a history of the project, a presentation from Superintendent Janet Robinson on how it fits in with the district’s long range planning and a presentation of the renovation design by Antinozzi Associates.

LETTER: Move ahead with Stratford High renovation

To the Editor:

I was glad to read Marc Dumas’ editorial last week clarifying the town council’s views on the Stratford High School renovation. I appreciate that the new Town Council is taking steps to vet the SHS renovation project — it is more than appropriate to look at the numbers, confirm the reimbursement rate and bonding.

LETTER: Dumas addresses rumors on Stratford High renovations

To the Editor:

I support the Stratford High renovations and think it needs to get done as soon as possible, but there have been some rumors floating around about the project and I want to dispel them. Some have said the Town Council does not support the project. That’s not true, but it is important to remember that unless something is passed at a meeting then your best answer is what do 10 different people on the council think. Eight of the ten current Town Councilors have told me they support the project.

Special Stratford High renovation workshop set for Feb. 18

A date has been set for a special Town Council workshop to review the proposed Stratford High School renovation before voting the town’s top board decides to proceed with bonding the project.

Council Chairwoman Beth Daponte announced Thursday that the special council meeting will be held on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Stratford High auditorium. A public forum will take place after the workshop.

Stratford High renovation ordinances move on

Supporters of the proposed renovations to Stratford High School saw some progress as the Town Council sent bonding and cost resolutions to the Ordinance Committee for review.

The town’s top board voted at Monday’s lengthy council meeting to refer both an ordinance that would increase the cost of the renovation from $103.1 million to $125.9 million and an ordinance that would allow the town to bond for up to $65 million for the project. Both items will be subject to public hearings before the Ordinance Committee, which is comprised of Town Council members.

Stratford High renovations to cost more

Renovations for Stratford High School are now expected to cost about $125.9 million, though the town will be responsible for $52.6 million.

The new price, $125,966,646, was approved during a special meeting of the Town Council in what could be the outgoing council’s final meeting. The new council will take its seats next Monday. The approval and revised amount allows the town’s Building Needs Committee and the project team to proceed to the design and development phase for the project plan and allows the Ordinance Committee to update the appropriation ordinance.

SHS Renovation Presentation on Oct. 19

The Stratford High School Building Needs Committee and the SHS Renovations Subcommittee will host a public presentation at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 on the schematic design for the renovation of the high school.

The meeting will be held in the Stratford High School auditorium at 45 North Parade Street. The proposed renovation approved in August by the Town Council in August would involve demolishing the existing 1925 SHS building, which faces North Parade Street, in an effort to create a more efficient building and site design. It will also call for a second wing of the school to be built on the west side of King Street that will connect to the main building through an enclosed bridge over King Street and the creation of an athletic field that is half the size of a football field on the site of an existing parking lot.

Information on the project can be found at stratfordhighproject.com.

For more information, call 203-385-4205.

Stratford to Hold Public Presentation on High School Renovation Plans

The Stratford Building Needs Committee and the Stratford High School Renovations Subcommittee will be holding a public presentation of the schematic design for the Stratford High School project. The presentation will occur October 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the Stratford High School auditorium (45 North Parade Street, Stratford). Please join us for an informative evening on this exciting project that will become a treasured educational asset and focal point for the community. All are welcome, no reservations required. For more information, call 203-385-4205.


New-look Stratford High School being planned

Developed plans for renovating Stratford High School will make it a much larger building with two wings, a larger gymnasium and a new physical education and practice field on the main campus.

The Town Council voted Monday to approve the selection of the SHS renovation design known as Option 17. The plan involves demolishing the existing 1925 SHS building, which faces North Parade Street, in an effort to create a more efficient building and site design.

Stratford High Teachers Make Top 100 Best Teachers in CT List

The national list ranks 5,886 public high schools based on teaching statistics and about 920,000 ratings from 240,000 students and parents.

By Brian McCready (Patch Staff) August 6, 2015

If you’re looking for the best high school teachers in your area, the ranking website Niche compiled a list of the best in Connecticut.

Niche ranked more than 100,000 public and private schools across the country and districts based on dozens of statistics and 27 million opinions from 300,000 students and parents. View the full methodology here.

According to Niche.com, the high schools with the best teachers in Connecticut are: Staples High School in Westport followed by Wilton High School, Greenwich High School, New Canaan High School, and then Simsbury High School.

Stratford High School

  • Ranking: 80 out of 100
  • Parent/Student Surveys on Teachers: 3.3 out of 5
  • Academics: C+
  • Average Teacher Salary: $76,325
  • Teacher Absenteeism: 0 %
  • Teachers in First/Second Year: 5.8 %
  • Student-Teacher Ratio: 15 : 1

Dellapiano named new principal at Stratford High Schoo

The Stratford Board of Education didn’t have to look far to find a new principal for Stratford High School.

Jack Dellapiano was chosen by the Board of Ed at its meeting Tuesday to take over at SHS, according to Board of Ed Chairwoman Andrea Veilleux. Dellapiano, who was previously principal at Flood Middle School, takes over for Joseph Corso, who left Stratford High to become principal of Lyman Hall High School in his hometown of Wallingford.

Smiles at Stratford High

Smiles at Stratford High

High fives, handshakes and a few happy dances colored the evening at Stratford High School’s 2015 graduation ceremony.

The cloudy skies above Penders Field couldn’t dampen the joyful feelings among the more than 200 graduates or the audience of family and friends happy to see their graduates make that special walk to get their diplomas. Many of the red- and yellow-clad graduates waved as they marched onto the field to take their seats. They later thanked and hugged teachers and friends upon getting those most valued pieces of paper.