Swinerton Completes New Building for Long Beach Unified School District

The new Building 11000 for Long Beach Unified School District’s Millikan High School included both preconstruction and construction efforts on what started as a completely designed three-story, 20-classroom building, cast-in-place concrete structure. During preconstruction, the District elected to reduce the design of the building to a two-story, 56,000-square-foot building. Our team worked with both the District and the design team to achieve a DSA-approved design that met their new vision. Construction for the new two-story classroom building included interconnecting two segments by an elevated bridge; all new utility tie-ins; a new soccer/softball field; dugouts and bleachers; rework of existing tennis courts; parking; and associated sitework.

The focus of our Education Market’s vision for constructing sustainable campuses provided the initial framework for our preconstruction efforts. In addition to the redesign of the classroom building, this project was initially designed in 2017 utilizing a previous set of the District’s design standards. This created the opportunity to demonstrate and promote Swinerton’s diverse in-house Self-Perform and Quality Assurance Support Groups to further enhance the program. Our team was able to provide the District with a comprehensive constructability review plan, including project enhancements to align with their new design standards as alternative options that proved to be instrumental in forging a great relationship by maintaining their needs at the forefront of Swinerton’s building process.

The District’s vision of sustainability is predicated on two methodologies: the durability and long-lasting nature for the palette of materials selected; and the cost-effective maintenance for the life cycle of the buildings on their campuses. Utilizing this vision as guidance, three unique sustainable features were integrated into the project.

The first was the change of operable windows to Arcadia T200 Series thermally broken. This provided a $100,000 credit to the District from the original system and allowed for the opportunity to reduce life-cycle maintenance costs by having these features match systems recently constructed in buildings on other campuses within their O&M Department.

The second feature was redeveloping the flooring system’s material palette by introducing a mixture of Forbo Marmoleum and sheet carpeting over their original VCT and carpeting selection. This provided 10 times the indentation resistance of VCT with seams that will not shrink, the reduction in cleaning materials, and improved classroom acoustics.

The third feature was a series of redesigning efforts for small details in high-traffic areas that included different spacing on handrail reveals for longevity; increasing the length of softball netting to provide protection to adjacent structures; seeding the field in lieu of sod, which eliminated the mesh tripping hazards for students; and various additional elements.

Building in the Education Market, the phrase “Occupied Campus” is the foundation of our onsite safety program. Constructing around students in a learning environment has its fair share of challenges and opportunities. However, constructing in 2020 introduced building in a semi-occupied COVID-19 environment carried a whole new set of unique challenges, including the maintaining of a positive and proactive jobsite culture.

In addition to Swinerton’s fast acting implementation of comprehensive safety protocols, the onsite team utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) as a successful tool to assist in the process of productive construction. By identifying the layering aspect of MEPFS systems in the model from the highest point in a given space down to the height of the ceiling, our team was able to re-orchestrate installation efforts, detailed down to each subtrade partner to each room. This allowed our field crews with the ability to socially distance themselves without impeding the follow-on trades’ installation and productivity. In the end, this approach was so effective not only for safety, but it ultimately reduced our overall project schedule by a month. Learn more about how Swinerton uses technology in our projects.