High School Expansion Under Way

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

An approximately 57,000-square-foot addition to Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe Farms that is currently under construction consists of an auxiliary gymnasium, which can be used for multipurpose activities, and a 12-lane swimming pool. The exterior of the addition will be brick and limestone. There will be a Mansard roof, which will be shingled.

"The Mansard roof appears to be a pitched roof, but it only goes up so far. Behind that pitched appearance is a flat roof. This is done in order to hide all of the mechanical equipment that is sitting on top of the building," Ahmed Beasley, project manager for Barton Malow, said. Barton Malow is the construction manager, and Ehresman Associates is the architect for the project.

The exterior of the facility will have masonry load-bearing walls. There will be some areas that will be structural steel-bearing walls. A deck and the pool shell are going to be hard tile. Locker rooms adjacent to the pool will have hard tile floors.

The cost of the project is approximately $12 million. The project began in May 2007 and is expected to be completed in September. Major subcontractors include Baro Contracting (masonry); B&A Steel (structural steel); Magnum Architectural Building Services (carpentry); B&H Construction (drywall and acoustical ceilings); VCT Flooring; Omega Glass (glazing, aluminum framing and FRP doors); Shoreview Electric; and Wolverine Fire Protection.

"The biggest challenge has been the logistics of the site. This is a very tight site. We are doing an addition onto an existing high school, so we must contend with school activities. So, the biggest challenge has been trying to keep construction activities and school activities from interfering with each other. We try to be as minimally intrusive as possible, but we also have a deadline to meet," Beasley said.

For example, one of the trusses on the building is 105 feet long and another truss is over 120 feet long. Beasley said that navigating the small residential streets in the neighborhood with the large materials has been a challenge.

"We had to shutdown streets in order to get some of the materials to the site," Beasley said. "It's a relatively small and easy building to construct, it's just that maneuvering around it and coordinating activities with the school has been the biggest challenge," he added.


Project: Grosse Pointe South High School addition

Construction manager: Barton Malow

Cost: Approximately $12 million