STEM Secondary School
This $24.7M Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) school project involved new construction of a 63,000 SF secondary school on a wooded, 21-acre site. The project utilized modular construction, with a focus on flexible, adaptable laboratory/studio spaces to support the various phases of project-based team exploration – planning, engineering, fabrication, and experimentation. A kitchen, commons, assembly hall and administration offices are also included. The occupied site was shared with an elementary school and was phased to allow the secondary STEM students to move into the completed portion of the new facility while construction continued on the other half. Absher also developed 7.5 acres of the site to accommodate the school, parking, bus loop, and storm system facilities.
The district’s need for additional space for their STEM program resulted in an accelerated schedule that resulted in an innovative solution: modular design and construction. Although this project was a design-bid-build procurement, Absher worked through a collaborative design-build effort with Integrus for the first four months to develop the structural and architectural details, including structural engineering and permitting, and to coordinate with the modular design-build firm. The process also incorporated Labor and Industries, King County, and the prime permitting agency for the modular components into a collaborative working relationship to assure proper review and code compliance. These early months of design, coordination and constructability review allowed Absher, within four months from the beginning of site development, to have over 42,000 SF of the building erected, with a roof overhead and mechanical and electrical systems roughed-in – a level of completion that normally takes at least ten months. Due to the significant reduction of construction time that modular construction allows, the school was able to occupy the new facility within just eight months from the time we began site development.