Drawing upon our broad-based technical experience, DPR Construction helps our college and university customers with award-winning renovation, upgrade and new construction projects for classrooms, laboratories, research spaces and student housing.



September 17, 2018

University of Georgia Unveils Sanford Stadium’s West End Zone Enhancements

Just in time for college football season, The University of Georgia (UGA) formally unveiled its enhancements to the west end zone of Sanford Stadium, the tenth largest college football stadium in the country.

Led by DPR’s Lauren Snedeker, the project team embraced the challenges of renovating the stands, locker room, recruit club, plaza and concourse area of UGA’s beloved Bulldogs, all while over 94,000 curious fans flooded the stadium during last season’s six home games. Through careful planning every week, the team demobilized the entire jobsite prior to each game day.

The $63 million project, funded primarily by donor support, creates a new game-day experience for current and future student-athletes, as well as fans. The 120,000 sq. ft. of new and updated space includes:

  • A 10,500-sq.-ft. hospitality lounge for hosting prospective student-athletes and their guests on game days. The lounge is the first of its kind at Sanford Stadium for the Georgia football program.
  • New locker room, including fully equipped locker and shower facilities, as well as additional storage space for sports medicine, equipment and coaches’ locker rooms.
  • New plaza replacing all existing entrances in the stadium’s west end.
  • Expanded and enhanced concession and restroom facilities as well as a new video board that is 33 percent larger than the previous one.

“This extension, renovation, and expansion project has made Sanford Stadium, already one of the finest college football environments, even better,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “It is one more step that the University of Georgia is taking to reach new heights of excellence across all our athletic programs.”

President Jere W. Morehead addresses the audience during the dedication ceremony for the project. Photo courtesy of Andrew Davis Tucker
UGA officials, DPR team members and HOK wait in anticipation for the cutting of the ribbon at the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Andrew Davis Tucker
The new locker room includes fully equipped locker and shower facilities, as well as additional storage space for sports medicine, equipment and coaches' locker rooms. Photo courtesy of Skyler Herring
The $63 million project creates a new game-day experience for current and future student-athletes. Photo courtesy of Skyler Herring

September 12, 2018

Cutting the Ribbon on Two New Central Arizona College Facilities

Central Arizona College (CAC) recently opened two new, ground-up facilities that DPR Construction delivered on its Signal Peak Campus in Coolidge, AZ: the Mel A. Everingham Student Union and a Science Building. CAC President Dr. Jackie Elliott, CAC Governing Board members, staff, students and the local community joined to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony as the new school year kicked off.

The new Student Union promises to be a new campus landmark and a destination for all students, enhancing the student experience with a modern campus hub. Architekton designed the 40,600-sq.-ft. facility to mirror the surrounding mountainous landscape with an undulating, angular roofline that provides a soaring open feel to the interior public space. The Student Union houses a full-service kitchen and cafeteria, a bookstore, student lounge, meeting rooms and the campus public safety office. An 8,900-sq.-ft outdoor seating and landscape area provides space for students to relax between classes and includes AV infrastructure to convert into an outdoor amphitheater to host large events, such as graduation.

The exterior view of the new Central Arizona College Student Union.
The new CAC Student Union's design takes cues from the surrounding landscape. Photo courtesy of Gregg Mastorakos

Just north of the new Student Union, the new two-story, 32,250-sq.-ft. Science Building offers students and faculty a Maker Space/STEM classroom with 3D printers and robotics, teaching labs, wet and dry labs, prep room and faculty offices.

“The efficient and functional learning space of the science building is designed to draw and engage students in a 21st Century educational atmosphere,” said Daniel Childers of Architekton. The building’s design offers nods to the surrounding desert with an outdoor garden and a water feature running through the building with roof drainage.

A dining area inside the new CAC Student Union
The new CAC Student Union enhances the student experience with a modern space for eating, studying and socializing. Photo courtesy of Gregg Mastorakos

It was critical for DPR to deliver both buildings in time for the start of a new school year. To help ensure the schedule was met, DPR used Digital Building Components, a Phoenix-based custom fabrication facility that uses robotic technology to precisely roll aluminum studs and build framing components. The CAC Science Building had all exterior panels fabricated at Digital Building Components and delivered sequentially for immediate installation at the project site, reducing the exterior skin installation time from four weeks down to a day and a half.

A science classroom at CAC featuring lab tables and fume hoods.
CAC students can take advantage of top notch facilities in the new science building. Photo courtesy of Gregg Mastorakos

July 5, 2018

Penn State University Celebrates Grand Reopening of Modernized Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building

PSU grand reopening
Penn State University (PSU) recently opened its newly modernized Agricultural Engineering Building, which houses the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE). Photo courtesy of Michael Houtz

Penn State University (PSU) recently opened its newly modernized Agricultural Engineering Building, which houses the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on June 8, 2018, giving PSU the opportunity to recognize the gifts and donations that made this facility a reality.

Home to some of the nation’s top architectural, engineering and building construction programs, PSU is incorporating Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) on this project, the first time the delivery method will be used on campus. The selection process began in the early summer of 2014, followed by PSU, DPR Construction, EYP Architecture & Engineering and mechanical and electrical subcontractors signing a multi-party IPD contract in 2015.

PSU lab
The Agricultural Engineering Building houses four multi-purpose classrooms, more than 30 comprehensive research and teaching labs, and several conference rooms and collaboration lounges. Photo courtesy of Michael Houtz

The two major components of this 93,500-sq.-ft. project are:

  • The modernization of the existing Charles Klauder building: built in 1938, the historic building needed major upgrades to meet safety and energy standards, as well as building needs.
  • The demolition of a 1960s addition to the building: In its place, the team constructed a new, replacement building, designed to match existing campus architecture.
PSU photo
With an energy efficient, open-concept design, the Agricultural Engineering Building is aiming to achieve LEED Silver certification. Photo courtesy of Michael Houtz

The Agricultural Engineering Building houses four multi-purpose classrooms, more than 30 comprehensive research and teaching labs, and several conference rooms and collaboration lounges. Agricultural engineering, with its diverse range of study, houses not only bio-chemistry laboratories, but machine shops, integrated hydrology-hydraulics laboratories and a new centralized fermentation laboratory.

With an energy efficient, open-concept design, the Agricultural Engineering Building is aiming to achieve LEED Silver certification through sustainable elements including a green roof, water conservation technology, renewable materials and use of natural light.

PSU lab
Agricultural engineering, with its diverse range of study, houses not only bio-chemistry laboratories, but machine shops, integrated hydrology-hydraulics laboratories and a new centralized fermentation laboratory. Photo courtesy of Michael Houtz

June 25, 2018

Duke University’s Dean Marion Broome Celebrates Progress of Duke Health's Interdisciplinary Building

In Durham, North Carolina, Marion Broome, PhD, RN, Dean of Duke University School of Nursing, paid a visit to personally thank the DPR crew on the progress of Duke Health's new five-story, 103,000-sq.-ft. interdisciplinary building.

Expected to be completed in fall 2019, the building is the future home of the Duke School of Medicine’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Division, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the School of Nursing. The shared space aims to promote collaborative scholarship and strengthens Duke’s academic community by teaching students the value of patient-centric care across multiple medical disciplines.

“On behalf of the Duke University School of Nursing faculty and staff, we are so excited about this opportunity to do, as Duke does, to collaborate so well but to also take interprofessional education to the next level,” said Broome.

Dean Broome visits jobsite
Dean Marion Broome visited the jobsite to celebrate progress of the interdisciplinary building. Photo courtesy of Andrew Buchanan
Dean Broome visits jobsite
Dean Broome personally thanked the project team for its work on the 103,000-sq.-ft. building. Photo courtesy of Andrew Buchanan
Dean Broome visits jobsite
The team gave Dean Broome a tour of the jobsite. Photo courtesy of Andrew Buchanan
Dean Broome visits jobsite
Expected to be completed in fall 2019, the building is the future home of the Duke School of Medicine’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Division, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the School of Nursing. Photo courtesy of Ayers Saint Gross

March 5, 2017

Southeast Sports Construction: Bringing Home the W’s On and Off the Field

After a heartbreaking loss to Alabama in 2016’s College Football Playoff National Championship, the Clemson Football team worked harder than ever to earn a rematch and, with only a few minutes left on the clock, upset The Crimson Tide in true cinematic fashion to win the 2017 national championship game 35-31—bringing home Clemson's first national football title since 1981.

In a field office covered with Clemson emblems and gear, the DPR Construction team mirrored the spirit and work ethic of its 2017 national championship customer to complete a new $55 million, 140,000-sq.-ft. football operations center by National Signing Day in February 2017.


Champions on and off the field: the DPR team poses with Clemson’s national championship trophy. (Photo courtesy: Bryan McCaffrey)

Home to the team's national championship trophy, Clemson’s new center is fully loaded with amenities, including a bowling alley, hydrotherapy pools, X-ray suite, 25,000-sq.-ft. weight room, production studio, barber shop and a replica of Clemson’s famous Death Valley hill, and is set to become a major tool in the competitive college football recruiting landscape. 

The project overcame such challenges as:

  • Tight schedule: Although work couldn’t begin until Clemson’s soccer team completed its run for the national title (they were using the existing site as a practice field), the project still needed to be completed as originally planned in just 12 months, in time for the next football recruitment season.
  • Procurement: Because of DPR’s previous work on Clemson’s life sciences facility, the Clemson team trusted DPR to manage the football operations center’s expansive and complex procurement process, resulting in more than 85 contracts that DPR managed, ranging from MEP to indoor golf simulators and bowling alleys.


An aerial shot from December 2016 shows how Clemson sits along the banks of Lake Hartwell and the Seneca River Basin, creating a shallow 3-foot water table that presented a challenge for the team. (Photo courtesy: Ashley Conklin) 

  • Water table: Clemson sits along the banks of Lake Hartwell and the Seneca River Basin, creating a shallow 3-foot water table that presented a challenge for the facility’s 10-foot deep hydrotherapy and lap pools. The DPR team closely coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers and watershed management to minimize the impact of rain and groundwater on the project schedule.
  • Building codes: The team needed to connect the new facility to an existing indoor/outdoor practice field built under an older building code. With the help of an engineering firm and the State Engineers Office, the team created an engineered life safety system, preventing the cost and delay of having to upgrade the slightly older building as well, saving Clemson $1.3 million.


The Clemson football operations center features 10-foot deep hydrotherapy and lap pools. (Photo courtesy: Thomas Watkins)

“Sports facilities are unique opportunities to leverage our expertise as a national technical builder,” said DPR’s Bryan McCaffrey. “These types of projects are much more sophisticated today than ever before–whether it’s mitigating a water table to accommodate a hydrotherapy pool or building the only red clay tennis courts in North America for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Combined with accelerated timeframes and the public spotlight of a fan base and team eager to move in to their new home, sports facilities are growing much more complex."

Other sports facilities recently completed in the Southeast include the University of Georgia Indoor Athletic Facility–which was completed on an accelerated schedule to allow the team to use it for bowl game practices–and the United States Tennis Association National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida, which is the largest tennis facility in North America. Up next is Florida Atlantic University’s $40 million Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence, set to open in the summer of 2018.  


Clemson’s football operations center (locker room pictured above) is set to become a major tool in the competitive college football recruiting landscape. (Photo courtesy: Thomas Watkins)

September 21, 2016

Clemson Alum and DPR Project Team “All In” at Clemson Football Operations Center

Clemson Football head coach Dabo Swinney has a saying that has become an organizational mantra, a way of life, a mindset: “All In.” In October 2008, Swinney, who at the time was a wide receivers coach, was unexpectedly named the Clemson Tigers’ interim head coach mid-season. He made a now-famous speech to his players, “For the next six weeks we’re going to do things differently. I know I don’t have much of a chance to get this job, but I have a chance. For the next six weeks, I’m all in— everything I’ve got.”

There’s something about the emotions college football can evoke, unlike any other sport. The way it can fill a stadium with screaming fans, then just as easily silence them with unexpected heartbreak.  The way you know nothing about the person cheering next to you other than they too have a heart filled with the same spirit, joy and stress that fills yours. The way cheers and chants are passed down as traditions year after year.  Your college team is different than your pro team; it’s more than just your favorite team, it’s part of who you are.

You’re a Texas Longhorn, a Michigan Wolverine, an Oregon Duck, or in the case of DPR’s Joey Weir, you’re a Clemson Tiger, supporting your team in the best way you can by building its new football operations center.  


DPR’s Joey Weir (on far right) was born and raised a Clemson Tiger in Clemson, South Carolina. Three generations of his family have graduated from Clemson. (Photo courtesy: Joey Weir)

Born and raised a third-generation Clemson grad in the town of Clemson, South Carolina, Weir knows every backroad, and everyone knows him. He does his laundry in loads of lights, darks and oranges. It’s hard for him to find a shirt he owns without a Clemson Tiger Paw on it. He’s driven 60 hours (30 each way) to the national championship in Phoenix, Arizona instead of flying, just so he could throw a proper tailgate. He’s paid for every meal, souvenir and expense on the road in Tiger Paw-stamped two-dollar bills, as part of a school tradition to prove that Clemson fans do indeed travel to other cities and states to support their team.  

He never wanted to go anywhere else, so he didn’t apply to any other colleges other than (you guessed it) Clemson. After beginning his career at DPR as an intern, Weir worked as a project engineer on life sciences projects with DPR’s Atlanta and Raleigh offices. When he found out DPR was building Clemson’s new $55 million, 140,000-sq.-ft. football operations center, his ears perked up; if any project was made for him, it was this one. He made a few calls, and the rest is history.


Weir is living the dream, building great things for the school he has always loved. (Photo courtesy: Paul Borick)

Weir now works in a field office covered with Clemson decorations and gear, with a project team that includes six Clemson alumni, making for a very spirited work atmosphere as they move toward their goal of completing the facility by National Signing Day in February 2017.

In his natural habitat, the world that revolves around Clemson Football, Weir has been able to get to know the team’s coaches and recruiting staff, even appearing in a series of videos made by the athletic department. When Swinney played an Undercover Boss prank on the jobsite, it was Weir who was right beside him, showing him around and introducing him to the project team as “Fred from Albuquerque.” In other videos, he tells The Tiger mascot to get out of a crane, gets hit in the head with a football and joins the offensive line playing with Mega Tonka Tiger trucks.

“To be able to work on the football operations center, and get to know the coaches and staff has been an experience I’ll never forget. As a Clemson fan, to know that we built something that will make a positive impact on this football program for years to come, has been so rewarding,” said Weir. “I stand behind Dabo Swinney, and everything that he, this team, and this building stand for and represent.”


Clemson’s football operations center will include a locker room, bowling alley, barber shop, relaxation room and golf simulator, among many other amenities. (Rendering courtesy: HOK) 

Eight years after Swinney’s emotional locker room speech, the team is coming off a dream season that sent them to last year’s national championship. Their football operations center, fully loaded with amenities including a bowling alley, hydrotherapy pools, X-ray suite, 25,000-sq.-ft. weight room, production studio, barber shop and a replica of Clemson’s famous Death Valley hill, is set to become a major tool in the competitive college football recruiting landscape.  

Weir and his team are giving it everything they’ve got to make sure the project will be the forever home where Swinney can make countless more inspirational speeches, where recruits can visit and realize what it means to be a Tiger, and where Clemson Football can build and grow their program for decades to come.  

They’re all in. 

June 6, 2016

Touchdown! Clemson Coaches Offer a Sneak Peek of Football Operations Building

It's safe to say Clemson football is excited for its new Football Operations Building

A tiger may never change its stripes, but it can put on a DPR safety helmet. Head coach Dabo Swinney recently pulled off an epic trick play, disguising himself as "Fred," a laborer from Albuquerque, as part of Clemson's version of popular reality TV series “Undercover Boss.” 

Watch ESPN's video to see if his plan to get a sneak peek of the new facility while it's still under construction works. 

Coach Swinney wasn't the only surprise visitor on the site, as defensive coordinator Brent Venables also stopped by to "coach" the construction crew, bringing his trademark intensity along with him. Check out the video and see what happens.

But for now, back to the building.

This new facility, which Swinney calls "the epitome of Clemson" due to its fun and unique nature, will set the bar high for any future athletic facility in the college football arms race.  

The 142,500-sq.-ft. operations building will include coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, recruiting areas, locker rooms, weight rooms, training rooms, a hydro-therapy area, equipment room, dining areas and associated support spaces.  All of which will allow Clemson’s Athletic Department to better serve the needs of its student-athletes.

Coach said it best when he said, “Clemson is going to be the envy of the entire country when this thing is finished.”

Go Tigers!

September 8, 2015

Back to School…Safely

The end of the dog days of summer welcome an annual rite of passage—back to school time—for students coast to coast.

Building on an Active College Campus
For construction companies working in a fluctuating campus environment, the back-to-school season brings a heightened awareness of the importance of safety. Specifically, this means maintaining a stringent, comprehensive safety program to keep the public—as well as workers—safe on and around jobsites. And even as they push to meet critical budget and schedule goals, savvy owners and builders understand that a safe project and a successful project are ultimately interwoven.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society project is just one example of a project currently underway on a busy college campus. DPR is building the $128 million facility on Arizona State University’s downtown campus, a beehive of activity since fall classes recently began. The project is slated for completion by the start of the 2016 fall semester.

Culture of Safety
Over the past 25 years, DPR’s focus on continuous improvement has been directly reflected in a culture of safety. Our safety culture promotes awareness of the need to work continuously and collectively better and more safely—as a company and as an industry. To further that goal, this past May some 6,670 individuals across 79 DPR jobsites and 18 offices nationwide participated in OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down. OSHA’s industrywide safety effort raises awareness about fall protection on construction jobsites.

Integrated, Holistic Approach
An integrated and holistic focus on safety, quality and productivity has long been the cornerstone of DPR’s approach to successful project delivery, whether we are building on a college campus, within an operating hospital or anywhere else. Our record reflects that—in 2014, DPR’s OSHA incident rate was less than one-third the industry average.

At DPR, we promote and nurture an Injury-Free Environment (IFE), with the goal of achieving zero incidents on every project.

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years. Here's the last one. Follow #DPR25 on social media to learn more.

July 28, 2015

Is a Net-Zero Energy Campus Possible?

When it comes to higher education facilities, how attainable is net-zero energy? 

During the Florida Educational Facilities Planners’ Association, Inc. (FEFPA) 2015 Summer Conference, I joined industry leaders Nick Ertmer with DPR Construction, Stella Perico with Leo A. Daly, Scott Robinson with AEI Consultants, and Buck Martinez with FPL on a panel to discuss sustainable design and construction strategies, and lessons learned from prior campus projects.

Here's a summary of what we discussed:

  • Change starts early. And it starts with all of us inspiring and challenging industry professionals to push themselves and help their customers consider incorporating sustainable options, such as Architecture 2030’s “2030 Challenge.” Imagine if we could meet the goal of all new buildings being carbon neutral by the year 2030!
     
  • Consider the human impact on sustainability. The next phases of green building will be as much about people as technology. To evolve to the next level of green, the industry needs to embrace using energy models and building owners need to commit to collecting post-occupancy data. Facility managers can then compare data to the energy model to verify that the building meets the performance metrics it was designed to achieve. To bridge the gap from construction to efficient operations, the campus facility manager can participate in design discussions. Why? Through early education, the facility manager can use the energy model to establish a performance baseline, and have a solid understanding on how to maximize the building’s performance to track each year.
     
  • Success stories. While we can use technology to measure successful sustainable practices, one thing will always affect the bottom line, and that’s the end user. Consider Florida International University’s Academic Health Center 4. Completed in 2013, the team on the 136,000-sq.-ft. project used the energy model and as a result, was able to modify the building controls to make sure the building performs as designed. In just one year, the university saved $77,000 in gas and electric costs.

By challenging ourselves, our project teams, and by raising awareness on lessons learned from others on the path to sustainable campus design and construction, net-zero energy can be attainable.

Learn more about DPR's green and net-zero energy experience here.

(Left to Right) Buck Martinez, Scott Robinson, Stella Perico, Kirk Stetson, Mouji Linarez-Castillo (blog author), and Nick Ertmer speak on a panel discussing ‘Is a Net-Zero Campus Possible? What Others Have Done and What the Payoff Can Be’ during FEFPA’s 2015 Summer Conference

July 24, 2015

Transforming Higher Education at SCUP Conference

Last week, the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s 50th annual conference took place in Chicago.

DPR's Tracy De Leuw attended the conference and reported, "The theme was around strengthening and transforming education. Attendance was at an all-time high, hitting 1,800. In addition to the central theme, the conference highlighted the concept of integrated planning as a sustainable approach. The concepts of building relationships between schools and preparedness for change also resonated throughout the sessions."

He continued, "SCUP is a great platform to catalyze transformational planning in higher education."

Projects within the higher education market require helping college and university customers determine the best strategy for minimizing budget and maximizing results on renovations, upgrades and new construction.

With close to 400 education/classroom space projects completed to date (and growing), DPR is proud to build spaces where teachers can shape young minds. For example, here's one we're currently building in downtown Austin for the University of Texas.

*This blog post is part of a series that celebrates DPR's silver anniversary and focuses on 25 great things from the company from over 25 years.Here's the first one. Follow #DPR25 on social media to learn more.