Higher Education

Having worked for higher education clients for over 25 years, we offer a broad range of experience building all types of university facilities, including science teaching and research laboratory facilities, general classroom buildings, student unions, dormitories, parking garages, central plants, and more. We understand how to effectively balance the needs and desires of faculty, staff and students with the goals and requirements of the campus and university system facilities departments. We know that buildings must open before the next semester starts. We know how to work adjacent to occupied facilities and in sensitive environments where safety of your campus residents is paramount.

Football Stadium Renovation

Texas A&M University wanted to complete a major redevelopment of its football stadium, Kyle Field, without relocating any home football games during construction. To meet the challenge, Vaughn joint ventured with Manhattan and constructed this project around three collegiate football seasons. Over 60 Manhattan | Vaughn team members led the charge, collaborating with a third-party schedule facilitator who had extensive previous experience building stadiums. Together, we developed a baseline schedule and determined what work we could begin early, how much manpower we needed, and what materials we could install the fastest. This approach allowed our project management team to focus on logistics and be prepared to act quickly on each scope of work to meet the project milestones.

Early Work. We performed as much advance work on the project as possible. During the football season, we constructed temporary ramps to allow visitors access to the stadium while we demolished two adjacent structures located outside its footprint on the east side. Demolishing these structures early allowed us to construct the first phase foundation and activation tower immediately after the last game of the season, resulting in us gaining two months in the schedule. We performed laser scans of the structure and MEP systems for quicker coordination of shop drawings in BIM. And, we submitted long lead materials for early fabrication.

Manpower. In preconstruction, we gained early buy-in from the trade contractors to accurately schedule timeframes for each contractor’s scope of work. As an example, the structural steel contractor had erected previous stadiums and based on his experience, helped us identify missing logistical information in our preliminary schedule. We contracted with local, state, and national trade contractors, creating joint venture teams where necessary, to ensure we met manpower requirements. We scheduled the work on 24/7 construction hours, including double shifts. We obtained commitment from our trade contractors to provide multiple crews working around the clock so we could have the same scope of work being installed in multiple areas at a time. At the busiest times, over 1000+ people occupied the site every day.

Materials. During constructability reviews, we identified materials we could procure and install quickly. We used structural steel in lieu of concrete for the structure because it was faster to erect. When the original design of the façade and building envelope called for hand-laid brick, we immediately recognized a shortage of masons, coupled with the significant volume of brick work required, would cause major schedule challenges. We suggested architectural precast concrete panels with brick facings, which were faster to install. Vaughn Construction self-performed the structural concrete for the project to maintain control over the schedule.

Execution. We tackled the project as two nine-month phases of construction. Our phasing scheme moved the construction from the east to the west side of the field so the university could occupy completed portions of the stadium at the conclusion of the first phase. We distributed the phasing plan to all parties, particularly vendors and trade contractors, and dedicated an in-house scheduler to quickly facilitate contracts, procure materials early, and track the schedule progress with the schedule facilitator. The schedule facilitator was instrumental in helping our team maintain the schedule. On a normal project, the schedule is typically updated monthly. Since this was an accelerated project, we updated it weekly to ensure the project was tracking with interim milestones and schedule activities. The schedule facilitator constantly monitored our progress informing us of any changes or delays in real time so we could address them as they arose and maintain the fast pace of the project.

From preconstruction to final close out, we finished the entire project in just 27 months, in between three football seasons, allowing all of Texas A&M University’s home football games to be played at Kyle Field.

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Testimonial

“Manhattan |Vaughn’s best attribute was that they figured out how to build things in a short amount of time and used various ways to accelerate their schedule as much as possible to get to the end result. Everybody knew going into it that they couldn’t be part of the team if they couldn’t be accelerated.” 

Kevin Hurley, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Facility Planning & Construction, Texas A&M University System