Madonna University Expands

By Aram Kalousdian, editor | September 28, 2010

An over 60,000-square-foot Science and Media Center is being constructed for Madonna University in Livonia. The cost of the project is approximately $17.5 million. The stand-alone building will include 15 science laboratories, a 1,300-square-foot television studio, and a 170-square-foot radio studio. The facility will have a large gathering space, a lecture hall and administrative support areas.

The Science and Media Center will be two stories with a third-story mechanical penthouse. It will feature arubber roof. One area of the roof will be "green" (environmentally friendly). Upon completion, the university intends to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the project.

Clark Construction Company, of Lansing, is the construction manager for the project. The project began in November 2007 and it is expected to be completed in April 2009.

"A lot of 'green' thought went into planning this building," Timothy J. Ward, project manager for Clark Construction Company, said.

"It's primarily a steel structure with a masonry exterior and some decorative aluminum on the exterior," Ward said. Most of the existing buildings on the campus have masonry exteriors. SmithGroup, of Detroit, was the architect for the project.

Ward explained that the west side of the building will be timber frame construction with laminated wood beams and tongue-and-groove decking, which is somewhat unusual for a commercial building.

"This is the first major construction project that the university has had in approximately 40 years," Charles R. Bisel, A.I.A., of Focus/Facility Consulting Services, Inc., said. Bisel worked with the owner from the beginning to select the architect. He counseled the university through the design process and was involved with selecting Clark Construction Company as the construction manager.

"This is a sizeable addition to the campus. It consolidates and expands facilities that are currently located in an existing building that they have simply outgrown," Bisel said.

"This building is also intended to be a bridge between the north and south parts of the campus that had previously been separated. This building will actually provide a connection, even though it's not physically connected. You can walk through the building to get from one building to another," Bisel said.

Kirby Steel, of Burton, is a subcontractor doing the structural steel for the project. Kirby Steel is using a SkyTrak forklift with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering to trasport materials on the site. John R. DeBrabander, superintendent for Clark Construction Company, said that the machineprovides excellent maneuverability in tight places.

Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. (SME) conducted a geotechnical evaluation for the project that provided recommendations for seismic site class; soil corrosivity; site preparation and earthwork; foundations; preliminary comments regarding below-grade walls and drainage, as well as stability of slopes and earth retention; and provided pavement design services. Currently, SME is providing construction materials services related to earthwork and utilities, foundations, concrete, structural steel, masonry, floor slabs,roofing, and pavements.

Subcontractors on the project include W.P.M., of Grand Blanc (site work); E.L.S., of Orion Township (foundations); Contek, of Ann Arbor (concrete flatwork); Nelson-Mill, of Southfield (carpentry and casework); Baro, of Casco Township (masonry); Interstate, of Milford (fire protection); John E. Green, of Highland Park (mechanicals); LaBelle, of Macomb Township (electrical); J.D. Candler, of Livonia (roofing); KLM, of Romeo (landscaping); and Harmon, of Livonia (glass).


Project: Madonna University Expansion

Construction manager: Clark Construction Company,of Lansing

Cost: Approximately $17.5 million