West Chester University Student Housing

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Construction Cost: $82 million
Building Gross Area: 400,000 sq ft
Completion Date: 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Architect: Voith & Mactavish Architects
Contact: Cameron Mactavish
Position: Principal
Telephone #: 215-545-4544

As a result of a Design / Build competition held in the Summer and Fall of 2006, our Team, anchored by Allen & O’Hara Development Company, was selected to provide a new 3,200-bed residence hall complex to replace the aging 1960’s-era dormitories in use. This project provided the University with the opportunity to enhance the student experience of campus life while providing a new campus image. Our Team presented a scheme that condensed the project into three phases and shortened the multi-phase project schedule by five years, thereby achieving significant cost and time savings while giving the University the look and amenities desired. Phase One opened in the Fall of 2009 consisting of two new seven-story buildings, 1,200 beds within approximately 400,000 sf of residential, mixed use, and academic program spaces ahead of schedule and under budget. Phase 2 began March 2013 and is scheduled to be complete July 2015.

Approach and Challenges

An integrated Team approach was critical to the success of this project. P. Agnes was involved early in the pre-construction process providing our Team with important sequencing, schedule, technical and budget information. This information helped the Team plan for the construction by providing critical dates for regulatory approvals, utility relocations and decisions needed in order to maintain the cost, quality and schedule of the project. P. Agnes is also responsible for the Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical Design / Build to be coordinated with the campus wide infrastructure and new geothermal systems. Together, the Developer, Designers, Consultants, P. Agnes, and Subcontractors work closely with West Chester University to coordinate student, University, and construction activities.

The challenges on this project are many given the context and size of this project. Throughout the project efficient and effective communication among the various parties was necessary. Planning the relocation of existing utilities during the Winter months of 2008, including; steam, sanitary, storm and communications, was an critical path effort that required newly developed relationships between the Project Team and University to work successfully in order to give the project the start that was needed to finish prior to the new school year. The challenge of scale was next; moving over 20,000 cubic yards of soil, pouring nearly 7,000 cubic yards of concrete for the foundations and constructing the superstructure that consisting of seven stories of 12” hollow core plank supported by CMU walls within the middle of campus was required and completed with success. P. Agnes remained flexible and responsive to Owner changed throughout the project by incorporating enhancements, some of which included; academic classrooms, campus data center, IT Department offices, centralized geothermal distribution piping, demolition of existing buildings all internal to the campus with the limits of disturbance identified within the above site image in red. The challenges to complete the project on time, with a high standard of quality and within budget continued until the end of the project and completed with success and exceeded expectations. P. Agnes is currently working on the second phase of this project.

Contact Us

For more information, contact us online or call us at 215-755-6900.