On January 31, 2020, we submitted our proposal to construct a new 12,548 square foot facility for Lima Memorial Hospital in Wapakoneta. Little did we know we were about to be thrust into a global pandemic within a month of breaking ground for this new medical facility.
After several rounds of post-bid qualifications, H.A. Dorsten was selected as the contractor of choice and turned this vision into a reality. Sitework started in the first week of March 2020. Around this same time, those deemed to be mission essential were settling into their makeshift home offices, and this project was no different.
For nearly the first two months, our project manager overseeing this project managed all construction aspects from home. His new makeshift home office offered his wife and five children a unique opportunity to see a commercial construction project manager’s day-to-day dealings as he supported our superintendent. This superintendent was out in the trenches of the field, keeping up with a fast-tracked schedule. They both worked meticulously to perform daily duties while navigating the state-delivered COVID-19 protocols that seemed to change daily.
Less than one month after mobilizing, we received the first change order when we encountered unsuitable soils. This would be the first change order out of thirty-one from the owner and architect over this project. All thirty-one change orders totaled nearly $102,000 in added work and added zero days to our already tight schedule. Our project team expertly navigated and scheduled the added work to complete this project by its original completion date.
A global pandemic and continuous changes to our contracted scope of work weren’t our only obstacles to successfully completing this beautiful facility. Within the first eight weeks of construction, we had lost twelve workdays to the spring weather. Along with weather days, the framer we had lined up for exterior walls and trusses told us he was too busy and backed out of the job. With foundation walls being poured, this left our team asking themselves, “What’s next?”