Friday, July 27, 2012

Always learning

Hillsborough County schools open in 3 weeks.  I don't have children but I know this because I provided doors, frames and hardware to two Charter Schools that are almost at the end of the construction process.   Most of my work is done except for the occasional phone call from the job superintendent about something that has gone missing.  Happens at the end of every project.  

Both jobs went smoothly but one ended up being a big learning lesson for me and I wanted to share it in case anyone else runs into this. 

I was bidding 4 schools at one time but there were only two floor plan prototypes.  All four projects were being built by the same General Contractor, who is one of my favorite companies to work with.  I had been part of two other charter school builds the previous year so everything was pretty standard.  I was awarded two of the schools and they happened to have different floor plans.  Both were being built at the same time so I wanted to make sure I kept all the paperwork and communication separate.  I didn't want maple doors showing up at the school that was supposed to get birch!

All the hollow metal frames, wood doors and hardware had been delivered and installed at one of the schools when I had a call from the project manager. They were seeing an potential issue and wanted to see if I could come up with a solution.  The issue was that the corridor doors were designed to open almost back to back leaving a small wall between them.  

It was impossible to use a wall or floor stop to stop the doors from hitting one another when opened.  And lets be honest - kids barrel through classroom doors when they hear the bell. (Is there even a bell anymore?).  The architect didn't notice it during the design process, the GC didn't notice it when reviewing the plans and I didn't catch it either.  The fix was relatively easy.  I supplied stop closer arms for all the classroom doors and this solved the issue. 

In my humble opinion this wasn't any one person's fault and hopefully all of us involved learned a lesson that will be applied to future projects.  I am glad I was able to come up with a solution that didn't cost a lot in either time or expense.

One thing about this job is I am always learning something new!

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