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  The Tatnall School Performing Arts CenterThe Tatnall School Performing Arts Center

Construction Manager

EDiS Company
110 S. Poplar Street, #400, Wilmington, DE 19801


Moeckel Carbonell Associates
One Avenue of the Arts, Wilmington, DE 19801


General Description

Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Date Bid: (CM at Risk): Oct 2005 Construction Period: Nov 2005 to July 2007 Total Square Feet: 25,000 Site: 2 acres.
Number of Buildings: One; 500-seat theater, 2 classrooms.
Building Size: First floor, 15,000; second floor, 10,000; total, 25,000 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 20’; floor to floor, 20’; total, 85’.
Basic Construction Type: New/Structural steel.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtainwall. Roof: Membrane.
Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: MacIntosh Engineering, Inc. - 300 Delaware Avenue, #820, Wilmington, DE 19801
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Paragon Engineering - 708 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, DE 19809
Civic Engineer: VanDemark & Lynch - 4305 Miller Road, Wilmington DE 19899

EDiS Company served as construction managers on The Tatnall School Performing Arts Center, which involved constructing a 25,000 square foot state-of-the-art performing arts center. The center, equipped with professional grade lighting and theater equipment, audiovisual systems, theatrical rigging systems and fly space was designed to compliment the school's strong performing arts program. Work took place over 1 1/2 years and occurred on a campus occupied by students, faculty, parents and visitors. EDiS and the architect originally began work in 2003 with direction from the owner's representative that the budget was $15 million. After the building was completely designed, budgeted, scheduled and bid out, the school board responded with a new budget, reduced to $10 million. This required EDiS to work very closely with the architect and the owner to "back-out" $5 million from a building the owner had already approved and was essentially committed to. The original schedule and budget were abandoned and the architect was released to re-design the project, with EDiS' help. Through an aggressive value engineering effort, EDiS was able to work with the project team and bring the project, with the integrity of a high quality center intact, to successful completion.

Primary construction materials used in this project included a masonry building of brick and block, structural steel, concrete slab and EPDM roof. Because the budget had been cut, tangential support areas were designed out of the project. For ease in adding these areas at a later time, metal paneling was used on the exterior of the building in the areas designated as possible expansion points.

The building's systems supported the primary use of the building, which was a performing arts center. Theater lighting and the necessary systems for a fully equipped and functioning theater were installed. All the conduit, wire and dimming systems necessary for any equipment the school may want to use or rent in the future, but could net yet afford, were installed. The building has two mechanical systems; one for the theater support areas and one for the theater itself so the school would not have to fund heating or cooling an unoccupied 500-seat theater. The system installed to handle the theater included oversized duct work to accommodate the large space needed to be cooled or heated quickly and quietly, as not to disturb the acoustics of the room. The interior of the theater had a unique wood grid work pattern on the ceiling, millwork and high end finishes.

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