The Mal Moore Athletic Facility is widely looked to as a significant showpiece on the University of Alabama campus. Not only does the facility house the Alabama football team, a training room, and a strength and conditioning facility, but it also contains the university’s renowned Hall of Champions. The facility has undergone other renovations over the years, but we were proud when Harrison Construction asked to be a part of its most recent renovation.
The purpose of this renovation was to remodel the existing therapy space used to treat injured players, remodel the lobby, as well as add on new space. The lump sum project had a $604,555 flooring and wall tile budget, and it was for a space of approximately 50,000 square feet. The scope of the work required installation of five-foot-by-10-foot porcelain panels on lobby walls 20-feet high, two-and-a-half-by-five-foot large format tile on hydro therapy walls 16-feet high, and decorative mosaic tile throughout, including on the ceilings.
Numerous materials were involved in the project, including 21,000 square feet of carpet tile, 3,500 square feet of luxury vinyl plank, 6,000 square feet of rubber flooring, 6,000 linear feet of rubber base, 7,200 square feet of large format porcelain floor tile, 2,600 square feet of ceramic wall tile, 3,000 square feet of glass mosaic wall tile, 3,800 square feet of large format porcelain wall tile, and 2,300 square feet of five-foot-by-10-foot porcelain panels.
In addition to being a high profile project with multiple University of Alabama representatives checking on it daily—including even Alabama Football Head Coach Nick Saban on occasion—the job had an extremely aggressive timetable—just three months for completion. “This was a fast-paced project that needed to be completed in half the time it would normally take for this scope of work,” said Southern Carpet, Hardwood & Tile Project Manager Chad Reagin. “It was an aggressive timeline, so it was very challenging from that standpoint.”
Adding to the stress of the three month completion date was that many of the materials were being shipped from Italy. Procuring materials from outside the United States can always be difficult, but this was also going on during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that further slowed the procurement of some of the materials. To effectively manage these challenges, much attention was placed on coordinating an aggressive work schedule. We brought in more workers than we typically do on a project this size, sometimes having up to 15 workers onsite at one time when needed. We also scheduled work on weekends as needed. All of this was done with close coordination with the general contractor and other trades involved. “We had to all work together as a team to not cause anyone else any delays,” Reagin added. “It was a true team effort to make sure this project completed on time.”
On top of the quick turnaround of the project, there was also the challenge of delivering a quality product to the owner in that given timeframe. To maintain the highest quality control throughout the entire project, we self-performed 100 percent of the work, employing skilled and experienced craftsmen that paid careful attention to detail. “This project required the use of many specialty tile products that aren’t typical,” Reagin said. “Some of the materials required special tools to work with it, so a lot of thought and planning had to go into the work.”
Despite the project’s many challenges, we completed the job on time. “Every job is important, but this was such a high profile project that threw so many obstacles our way, so we’re really proud of the job we did,” said Reagin. “The job turned out to be beautiful, and we know that the University of Alabama will be able to enjoy many great years in it.”