The race is on to finish the Red Deer College student residence, which is needed to house many of the 2019 Canada Winter Games athletes.
Jim Brinkhurst, vice-president of college services, said the time line was always “very tight” to finish the five-storey, eco-friendly structure, which is being covered in solar panels on three of its four sides.
Fortunately, everything is moving along on schedule — which means the residence will be ready by the end of January, added Brinkhurst.
He credits an innovative system of building for greater efficiency. Brinkhurst said the “integrated project delivery” approach means all the contractors are on site at the same time, working together to ensure things are built in the most advantageous way possible.
For instance, instead of construction being held up as one trade finishes before the other starts, Brinkhurst said there is collaboration from all the trades to either do the work at the same time, or in the order that makes the most sense for the project’s completion.
For this reason, he said whole floors of the residence are already almost done, with carpets laid, while much work is still needed on other floors. Contractors are working together to finish one storey before moving on to the next, he explained. The building’s main contractor is Clark Builders from Edmonton.
Brinkhurst remains confident that the residence — which will ultimately house 145 RDC students (and double the amount of Games athletes because of pull-down murphy beds) — will be finished on time and on its $18 million budget.
The project was started in the fall of 2017 after Alberta Advanced Education signed off on a debenture for the building, which will be paid off over time with student rents.
Brinkhurst said the extra beds in the residence will make a lot of sense during the summer months when RDC holds camps and various other residency programs and needs additional housing.
RDC has about 3,600 solar panels on various roofs around the campus. But Brinkhurst said this is the first time “photo voltaic” panels are being affixed to the exterior cladding of a building.
He noted there will be a couple of weeks before the Games to ensure everything is in working order.