July 6, 2023|, Company News

APS Early College Academy Renovation wins Grand Prize of Show and Best Building in the $5M – $10M Category

We are honored to announce that we have been selected for the Grand Prize of Show and Best Building in the $5M – $10M category by AGC New Mexico.

The Early College Academy (ECA) at Albuquerque Public Schools’ Career Enrichment Center (CEC) has provided students with practical skills and opportunities in various fields. However, the outdated state of the 47-year-old building was hindering its ability to support academic excellence and career development. The APS ECA at CEC Modernization, Renovation, and Addition project was undertaken to revitalize the facility and create a conducive environment for student success.


Meeting the Challenge of a Difficult Job

The ECA renovation and addition project faced numerous challenges, the most significant being the need to conduct construction activities in an active school building. To ensure the safety of staff and students, strict measures were implemented, including temporary partitions, clear signage, and minimal disruption during class hours. Additionally, the project successfully addressed unforeseen conditions, such as asbestos abatement and utility upgrades, through proactive problem-solving and collaboration with the architect and owner.

Excellence in Project Management

The success of the ECA renovation project can be attributed to the outstanding collaboration between the architect, owner, and construction team. Facing unexpected scope additions due to asbestos abatement and utility replacements, the team worked seamlessly to provide solutions, maintain the project schedule, and achieve substantial completion before the start of the academic year. The commitment to meeting deadlines and delivering results showcases exemplary project management.


Innovation in Construction Techniques or Materials

The addition of a second story to the building required innovative construction techniques. Micropiles were used to ensure structural independence while minimizing waste and costs associated with full demolition and replacement. Precise surveying and coordination with utility providers were key to the successful installation of micropiles and rerouting gas lines. Furthermore, the utilization of Building Information Modeling (BIM) facilitated effective planning and coordination of electrical and sanitary sewer system upgrades.


State-of-the-Art Advancement

While no groundbreaking technology was employed, the comprehensive surveying of the existing building to determine precise locations for each micropile was an innovative approach. BIM was also instrumental in developing a three-day steel erection plan for the second-floor addition, ensuring efficient construction within a limited timeframe while the building remained unoccupied.

Sensitivity to the Environment and Surroundings

The project’s location within the CEC building presented unique challenges, particularly regarding the preservation of the Hefferan Planetarium. Strict safety measures were implemented to separate construction areas from the active campus, ensuring the well-being of visitors. Additionally, the project team prioritized the protection of the planetarium’s dome, minimizing any construction activities that could potentially damage it and coordinating activities during non-operational hours.


Excellence in Client Service

Delivering the project on time was paramount, given the school’s schedule. Despite encountering unforeseen conditions and potential delays, the team collaborated closely with the architect and owner to address challenges without significantly impacting the project timeline. The successful completion of the renovation before the start of the fall semester exemplifies the commitment to exceptional client service.


Contribution to the Community

Throughout the renovation project, the construction team actively engaged with the ECA staff, students, and APS community. Tours, milestone barbeques, and demonstrations were organized, providing stakeholders with insights into the progress and outcomes. By involving the community, the project became a source of pride and inspiration for all those connected to the ECA.

Safety Excellence

With an active school environment and limited staging area, safety was a top priority. The construction team implemented strict safety measures to mitigate risks to both their workers and the students and staff on campus.


How We Can Help

Franken Construction has decades of experience in building design and renovation. And we’ve received awards for our many projects. We recognize the importance of school design and are dedicated to delivering high-quality projects within budget. We would love to work with you and continue improving New Mexico schools for students.