KPE Architects & Engineers worked with Hometown Mechanical on the Garfield School Climate Control Project for the Davenport Community School District. Hometown provided both
general and mechanical contracting services for this project, playing a critical role in its development, organization, and successful completion. K-12 educational projects require very tight scheduling and coordination to ensure there is no impact to the educational environment, while still completing the project in a timely and quality manner.

There were a number of challenges involved in the Garfield School project, such as basement access for new equipment, coordination around a second independent project being performed in the building, and the addition of multiple scope items near the end of the project. A significant problem was encountered when the existing casework was removed to reveal unexpected floor elevation shifts and slightly curved outside walls/windows, making the installation of new casework and cabinet unit heaters a particular challenge. This was compounded by tolerance issues with the cabinet unit heaters. Hometown put much time and effort into coordinating and planning with the owner and KPE to devise solutions to these problems.

The most significant challenge faced during the project was the delay of the mechanical equipment. All projects in the area encountered large last-minute delays in mechanical equipment delivery that summer, making a huge impact on the intended completion schedule. With the beginning of the school year looming, Hometown worked to modify and optimize the schedule, and complete as much preparatory work as possible while waiting for the deliveries. Once the equipment arrived, they quickly and efficiently installed the cooling portion of the system and had it up and running in time for school to start during a very hot fall. They continued to ensure the remaining work was completed without impact on the students’ learning environment.

Thanks to Hometown’s team spirit, ability to organize, and willingness to adjust and meet challenges, the Garfield project reached substantial completion within a few days of the target date despite multiple equipment delays in excess of 2-3 three weeks. KPE has since worked with Hometown on several projects, and hopes to continue to do so. They are a very professional firm, easy to work with, and perform quality work in a timely manner. Their ability and willingness to work with unexpected changes is an asset to any project. We will continue to happily recommend them as bidding contractors for our clients.