Philadelphia, PA Drexel Rush Building iCommons

Situation

Since the early 1980’s, Drexel’s Rush Building has undergone a series of renovations to outfit the space for the school’s College of Computing and Informatics. As technology evolved and student needs shifted, Drexel wanted to build and open an iCommons Computer Lab in the historic Rush Building before the Spring 2008 semester. That’s when they brought in Philadelphia’s single-source, multi-trade contractor to complete the job.

Challenges

JJ White crews were tasked with a nearly impossible turnaround time to complete the project. Construction began on the 3,500 square foot area while the building was still occupied with students and staff as the semester wrapped up. Students then had a break between semesters, opening a brief window for faster construction. The high-end finishes and wood casework had to be built from scratch and approved by the University, further complicating the project. Full Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing systems had to fit in the relatively small ceiling as well.

Solutions

While classes were still ongoing, JJ White crews coordinated with Drexel professors to obtain class schedules and cause the least amount of interruption possible. Adherence to a stringent schedule during unoccupied hours allowed JJ White crews to complete the project before the upcoming semester. There was also a great deal of up-front prep work in regards to custom finishes and casework to ensure customer satisfaction.

Results

The $500,000 project wrapped up on-time and on-budget, giving Drexel students access to a state-of-the-art computer lab and collaborative space. The iCommons has become an integral space for Drexel’s College of Computing and Informatics.