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Thursday, Feb 29, 2024
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Real Estate Roundup

State-of-the-Art Planetarium Opens at Palomar College

North County San Diego’s only planetarium open to the public and the fourth largest planetarium in California, located on the campus of Palomar Community College, had a grand opening celebration fit for the stars. Attendees of the festivities included members of the local community, school officials, staff and students; tBP/Architecture; and Swinerton Management & Consulting, who delivered the project under a construction management-multiple prime delivery method.

The new, state-of-the-art, 6,300-square-foot planetarium seats 142 students and includes immersion technology that surrounds the viewer with an amazing 360-degree image. The six-sided building is almost as tall as it is wide, housing a 50-foot aluminum perforated dome. The dome rests on a 12-inch-thick concrete ellipse with a sloping top wall at 15 degrees. The 15-degree “slice” through the ellipse then creates a perfect 50-foot diameter circle for anchoring the specialized dome.

The planetarium and multimedia lab replace the previous facility built in the mid-1960s, which held half the capacity with only a 30-foot dome. Funded by the second bond series of the $694 million Proposition M measure approved by voters in 2006, not only will this visually stunning technology create a more effective way of learning, it will provide a better educational experience. Swinerton said it is proud to be building a legacy in education and a starry future for students at Palomar College and the surrounding community.

The Swinerton Family of Cos. provides commercial construction and construction management services throughout the western United States and is a 100 percent employee-owned company.

Topping Out Ceremony Held at College Complex

A topping out celebration was held for the Mesa College Math+Science Complex, marking the point when the structure’s highest element is hoisted into place.

The practice started in Scandinavia more than 1,000 years ago. Upon reaching the highest point, workers traditionally put into place a small evergreen tree as a symbol of good faith and good luck.

In keeping with this longstanding construction tradition, the final horizontal beam — one of approximately 6,480 used for the Math+Science Complex — was painted white and made available for construction crew members, campus and district dignitaries, students and others to sign before it was lifted into place along with an evergreen tree and American flag. A 275-ton crane hoisted the beam into its final position.

The $110 million Math+Science Complex is the largest and one of the most complex projects being built under the Propositions S and N construction bond program. It will be a four-story, 206,000 gross square feet facility providing a new home for degree and certificate programs in biology, chemistry, physical sciences and mathematics. The building will include computer classrooms, teaching lab classrooms and faculty, staff and administrative support space. Specialty spaces will include a greenhouse and astronomy observation center.

Exterior landscaping will have globally themed gardens, such as an Australian Garden and a South African Garden. The project is on track to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Sustainable features of the project include use of sustainable materials and materials with high recycled content. All wood surfaces in the building will be made up of caramelized bamboo, a 100 percent sustainable resource since it does not require replanting after harvesting. It is extremely durable and is tougher than typical hardwood surfaces.

Linoleum flooring, a natural material made from linseed oil, is also used extensively throughout the building, and the project maximizes use of natural lighting which reduces energy demands from artificial lighting, and helps to reduce eyestrain and increase productivity. Additionally, all windows utilize “high-performance” glass that allows sunlight to filter into the building, but reduces the amount of ultraviolet light and solar heat entering the building.

The project team included architect: Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker Architects; construction manager: McCarthy Building Cos.; civil engineer: RBF Consulting; electrical/mechanical engineer: Exp.; structural engineer: Hope Engineering; landscape architect: Wimmer Yamada and Caughey; Propositions S and N program manager: Gafcon Inc.; campus project manager: Diane K. Malone of Gafcon, Inc.; project manager: Clayton Craft of Gafcon Inc.; and furniture, fixtures and equipment project manager: Laura Faustine of Gafcon Inc.

Gould Electric Honored For Law School Project

Associated Builders and Contractors, or ABC, recently announced that Gould Electric’s work on the Thomas Jefferson School of Law project in San Diego has earned the Poway company a Pyramid Award in the Electrical-Commercial category of ABC’s Excellence in Construction Awards. Gould representatives received the award during the 22nd annual Excellence in Construction Awards celebration at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

“This project is an outstanding example of the innovation and commitment to superior craftsmanship that embody merit shop construction,” said Michael D. Bellaman, ABC president and CEO.

The Excellence in Construction awards program is the industry’s leading competition, developed to honor innovative and high-quality merit shop construction projects. The award honors all construction team members, including the contractor, owner, architect and engineer. The winning projects, selected from entries submitted from across the nation, were judged on complexity, attractiveness, unique challenges overcome, completion time, workmanship, innovation, safety and cost.

“Anyone who has submitted such projects realizes that it’s a total team effort,” said Jeff Rank, marketing manager for Gould. “The level of criteria needed for serious consideration for the San Diego chapter award was perfection in safety, budget and schedule. It requires outstanding performance by our field, design and management teams. The National Award criteria are even more particular.”

A panel of industry experts served as the competition’s judges. This year’s panel included representatives from the Design-Build Institute of America, Engineering News-Record, the American Institute of Architects, and the National Association of Women in Construction, and representatives from higher education, among others.

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national association with 74 chapters representing 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms.

Straub Construction Wins Award for Military Work

Associated Builders and Contractors recently announced that Straub Construction’s work on the Design-Build Human Resource Services Center Southwest project at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego has earned the Fallbrook company a Pyramid Award in the Institutional $10 million to $25 million category of ABC’s Excellence in Construction Awards. Straub Construction representative, Bob Felix, received the award during the 22nd annual Excellence in Construction Awards celebration at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

“This project is an outstanding example of the innovation and commitment to superior craftsmanship that embody merit shop construction,” said Michael D. Bellaman, ABC president and CEO.

The Excellence in Construction awards program is the industry’s leading competition, developed to honor innovative and high-quality merit shop construction projects. The award honors all construction team members, including the contractor, owner, architect and engineer. The winning projects, selected from entries submitted from across the nation, were judged on complexity, attractiveness, unique challenges overcome, completion time, workmanship, innovation, safety and cost.

A panel of industry experts served as the competition’s judges.

Straub Construction is a general contractor specializing in design-build and construction management services. The company has provided comprehensive services to support public construction programs for clients in California, Nevada and Arizona and has always maintained a reputation for excellence throughout its 30-year history.

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