Tarrant County College Opens New Location with Job Order Contracting

Tarrant County College Opens New Location with Job Order Contracting

Challenge

Established in 2015, TCC Connect is the sixth campus of Tarrant County College.  There are two modalities offered through this campus, both eLearning and the Weekend College. TCC Connect Campus offers 18 fully online programs, five associate degrees, 13 certificates and more than 350 online college credit courses. When initially established, TCC Connect Campus was virtual only with administrators and faculty using offices in the existing TCC Campuses.

A renovation project was planned for the summer of 2016 to provide a central location for TCC Connect’s administrative offices and to establish a physical address for the campus. An existing, previously-occupied building was selected for repurposing which required extensive interior and exterior renovations  to transition the building from a retail space to a college campus.

The creation of a new physical address was initiated as a requirement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation process. As directed by SACS, the new campus location would need to follow careful steps. These included the TCC Real Estate and Facilities Planning Team programming the new campus, then having the campus designed by an outside professional. The project was then to be bid, awarded, submittals reviewed, materials ordered and installed and all faculty and campus administration relocated. If TCC Connect wanted to provide its non-traditional students accredited programs, they needed their new location ready for fall classes. This created a tight schedule with little room for flexibility. Needing to get the work finished and a physical address established, Tarrant County College officials looked for a way to start their renovations quickly.

Solution

The project was initially bid via a traditional request for proposal and was determined to be over budget, sending TCC in search of an alternative solution. School leadership opted to complete the renovations using Job Order Contracting (JOC), a procurement method that allows multiple projects to be completed through a single contract. This enables projects to start faster and for project owners and contractors to become long-term partners, resulting in a better overall experience.

“We like using JOC from Gordian because of the relationships they have with contractors and subcontractors in our area and beyond. Plus, our Gordian contact helps us vet proposals in terms of price and speed,” says Jade Ansley, Project Manager at TCC.

The first order of business was the budget. Job Order Contracting provided TCC the ability to use fixed (or pre-set) line-item pricing to ensure a good value to the college. In addition to delivering on value, JOC enabled the school to work with a company it trusted. The awarded contractor, Chambers Engineering, LLC had performed projects for TCC with a verifiable track record of success. This previous experience was key to the success of the renovation and helped maintain the critical schedule. After a joint scope walk between the contractor, TCC officials and Gordian on May 10, Chambers began work on June 26.

 

Result

Converting the space meant constructing a new entrance. This included demolition of an existing sidewalk, relocation of irrigation, pouring of new rerouted sidewalk and installation of new exterior glass doors. There was also significant structural and architectural work done to the west elevation of the building for the installation of the new entrance.

The interior renovation consisted of creating five conference rooms, three dedicated offices, three open office spaces, 14 focus rooms, three storage rooms, a breakroom, video production studio, training room, lounge, lobby and vestibule. These areas included a combination of hard lid and suspended ceiling, feature walls, new carpet and paint. The existing raised floor system that held HVAC and electrical presented additional challenges, requiring x-rays of the concrete floors to run cabling and other pathways.

Timely contract procurement was essential to procure long-lead-time items and to plan the logistics of the project. Gordian’s Job Order Contracting method saved valuable time in the procurement process. Chambers Engineering delivered a quality project quickly and TCC Connect is now open to students and serves as a professional home to faculty and administrators.

View this infographic to find out if JOC is right for your next project.