Written By: Sarah Block, Director of Marketing & Education
The John Will Anderson Boys and Girls Club chose to fulfill a need for the youth of Gary, IN by providing a program of mentorship to guide children into becoming productive, well-rounded adults. The Boys and Girls Club overcame budget constraints and designing hurtles with the help of charitable contractors and opened their doors at the start of 2014.
Northwest Indiana's Boys and Girls Club
In Northwest Indiana, there is a place where kids can go to keep their noses clean and develop honest character. That place is the John Will Anderson Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Indiana. With programs centered on leadership, education, career, health and life skills, arts, and athletic development, the Boys and Girls Club provides a healthy environment for local kids. The Boys and Girls Club recognized a need for their program in Gary, IN and bought the building of a former high school to see that dream fulfilled. With the help of contractors who worked to stay within their tight budget, the club was able to open their doors at the start of 2014.
A Tightened Budget Brings out the Best in Contractors
The Boys and Girls Club had a challenging budget of $6 million to start, provided by the Community Block Grant Fund, a City of Gary grant. However, it was trimmed to $5.3 million after the initial planning stage had been completed, causing a huge challenge. They needed to scale back the scope and work with contractors to stay within budget.
Another challenge, from F.E. Moran Fire Protection's point of view, was that no drawings existed of the school that was being converted. They had no way of knowing where existing mechanical systems were located in the ceiling. The drawings and design had to be completed by field surveys as the GC was removing the ceiling.
Additionally, to keep with code, fire sprinklers needed to pass through unheated areas of the building. If they didn't resolve the heat issue, they would risk severely damaging the building if a fire sprinkler froze and burst.
Creative Solutions for Budget Shortfalls
To accommodate the Boys and Girls Club's new budget, F.E. Moran Fire Protection provided Value Engineering suggestions to cut costs in materials and labor. Additionally, even though there was a nine month gap between bid and project start, all contractors honored their original quote, adhering to their new budget.
In order to resolve the issue with unheated spaces that needed wet-pipe fire sprinklers, F.E. Moran Fire Protection brought in an insulation contractor to wrap the piping and keep it above 40 degrees.
"The project was a great success story due to the collaborative efforts by all contractors, community members, staff, and the visionaries that made this project a reality," said Dion Katsouros, project manager at The Skillman Corporation.
With the help of contractors who wanted to give back to the community, the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Indiana were able to build their club house and provide a much needed service for area youth. In January, they opened their door to the children of Indiana, providing a future generation the needed skills to succeed.