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Washington University Athletic, Fitness & Recreation Center

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Client: Washington University
Size: $3.5 Million

The Washington University Athletic Complex construction project consists of a 36,000-square-foot interior renovation of the historic Francis Field House, site of the 1904 Olympics, as well as a 66,500-square-foot addition to the south side of the Francis Gym and an additional 20,000 square feet of improvements to the existing Athletics Complex.  Guarantee Electrical Company (GECO) provided design assist and preconstruction modeling services in a GMP contract that encompassed electrical and systems installation, including a substantial enhancement of the facility’s interior lighting system with energy conserving fluorescent and LED fixtures and advanced lighting automation.

The WU Athletic Complex project was the equivalent of a “gut” rehab removing and redesigning virtually every inch of the interior of the historic Francis Field House, as well as adding some 70,000 square feet of additions and improvements.  Guarantee Electrical Company was tasked with supplying an updated electrical and systems infrastructure, lighting, communications and audio visual required to support the expanded facility and activities of its sports team users.  

Using the University’s existing substation GECO supplied an upgrade to the electrical service to 2,400 amps, adding as well a 500 kW generator with accompanying UPS and a 600 amp panel.  The most significant enhancements involved the implementation of state-of-the-technology energy-efficient LED and fluorescent lighting with 21st Century controls automation.  Added to the lighting package was an advanced audio-visual platform serving new post-game media rooms and equipped with state of the art networked sound and IP video.  Also included in the “package” was provisioning of power, light and data services for the sports medicine applications serving both male and female athletes.  The goal, overall, was high-end performance and usability, room-by-room with maximized energy efficiency.

The 30+ foot height of the gymnasium space dictated the extensive use of “dance-floor” scaffolding, which required maintaining a daily/hourly workers’ safety planning regimen including tying off when working near the edges of the platform.  Elsewhere in the facility, limited space available for multiple systems made indispensable the close coordination with partners (using Trimble and preconstruction BIM modeling) to assure “clash-proof” staging and placement of floor boxes and electrical and systems infrastructure, as well as locating and wiring of lighting fixtures and controls. 

With a June completion, the sports complex was open in time for the fall sports seasons.  In addition, the Athletic Complex renovation was completed without incident or lost time accident.

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