Center for Allied Health and Athletics

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Marshall Craft Associates selected to design Chesapeake College Allied Health and Athletics Center

WYE MILLS – Marshall Craft Associates, a Baltimore-based firm experienced in designing both allied health and physical education centers, has been selected to design the Chesapeake College Center for Allied Health and Athletics.

The college’s Board of Trustees approved awarding the nearly $2.7 million design contract at Thursday’s board meeting, based upon the recommendation of a broad-based college committee that interviewed four finalists. Michael Kilgus, the college’s vice president for administrative services, said the project "generated a lot of interest from high-quality firms that put together impressive teams to compete for this contract."

Kilgus, who chaired the selection committee, said the committee was impressed with both MCA’s experience in designing allied health and athletics centers along with the firm’s track record with the college. MCA was the design firm for Chesapeake College’s Talbot Science Building, which was completely renovated in 2009 and came in "on time and under budget," according to Kilgus.

"The project manager and the principal for this project are the same as they were for the Talbot Science Building," said Kilgus. "Rick Barton, who served as project manager, was on site and involved from the beginning of the Talbot Science project to closing out the punch-list for construction. They did a fantastic job seeing that project to conclusion."

The $36.6 million project includes more than $27 million in state funding and over $8.5 million in local funding that is shared by the college’s five support counties.

Chesapeake is providing the nearly $700,000 in Fiscal Year 2013 local funding for the design portion of the project, an offer college officials made last year so the counties’ financial contributions could be pushed back until FY14. Three of the college’s five support counties – Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot – then approved the local funding for the project this past spring, which financially committed all five counties.

"I would like to once again thank our support counties, both those that voted to fund this project and those that after careful consideration did not," said Dr. Barbara Viniar, the college’s president. "It was never a question of whether the counties support the college – they do, year after year in funding our operating budget and many other capital projects – it was whether the counties could make this commitment in a difficult economic climate."

Kilgus said MCA has significant Eastern Shore experience, having designed a host of health-care-related projects for both Shore Health System and Salisbury’s Peninsula Regional Medical Center. The firm also designed Cecil College’s recent Physical Education Building addition and expansion.

Chesapeake’s project includes renovation of the 44-year-old Physical Education Building, with the 36-year-old indoor pool set to close as part of this project. The 45,872-square-foot Allied Health Center addition will allow the college to bring its nursing and allied health programs back to the Wye Mills Campus from Shore Health System’s Memorial Hospital at Easton, where Kilgus said those programs currently operate "in outdated space that the college’s programs have outgrown."

The design phase of the project will start in October once all state approvals are received and run through next September, with construction scheduled to run from October 2013 to May 2015. The building is expected to open in August 2015.

Kilgus said the building will "be designed at a minimum of LEED Silver certification, with the possibility of attaining LEED Gold certification." Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications were developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to provide independent, third-party verification that buildings are designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in areas including sustainable site development, energy efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.

It is uncertain whether, or for how long, the college’s athletic teams might lack access to the Physical Education Building. Various options for staging the construction limit or eliminate the need to shut down the building during the college’s affected sports seasons, but Kilgus said the college will only stage the project "if it is cost-effective to do so."

Kilgus said the only challenging aspect of that schedule will come near the end of the project. Chesapeake won’t be able to access funds for moveable furniture, fixtures and equipment until July 1, 2015 and "will have less than two months to have everything delivered, installed and set up."

With the completion of the project, Kilgus said the college expects to have "a building that will be flexible enough to meet our educational and athletic needs for the next 50 years."