SOURCE: Butler Manufacturing

Butler Manufacturing

February 13, 2011 22:23 ET

Hybrid Construction Method Raises Private High School Campus Up From Ashes

FRYEBURG, ME--(Marketwire - February 13, 2011) - When the school's gymnasium burned to the ground, Fryeburg Academy needed a plan for reconstruction that could get done quickly, but not break the bank.

The private school in western Maine also had to insist on quality. After all, they need to compete to attract a certain percentage of their students each year. "We had an immediate obligation to rebuild and to do so as cost-effectively and as quickly as possible," said Dan Lee, headmaster at Fryeburg Academy. "But we need to show prospective students a really magnificent campus," he said.

Founded in 1792, Fryeburg Academy wanted the new building to complement its long history without compromising the appeal of pleasant, modern facilities. So with one eye on the calendar and the other on the bottom line, the school's building committee hired a construction manager to assure on-time, on-budget delivery.

The Sheridan Corporation, a Butler Builder® in Fairfield, Maine, quickly demonstrated an ability to streamline costs while addressing the architect's vision and the client's needs. Rick MacKenzie, LEED AP, sales engineering manager for Sheridan, knew his job was to find ways to cut costs. "We looked for places where value engineering could come into play," he said.

MacKenzie also brought in Steve Eisenacher, a sales engineer with Butler Manufacturing, the nation's largest provider of pre-engineered steel building systems. Eisenacher, an expert in hybrid construction, explained how to integrate systems construction with conventional construction to maximize cost-effectiveness. By integrating the structural system into the design, Eisenacher was able to achieve the building designer's vision while dramatically reducing costs.

Eisenacher knew he could use a Butler product called the Widespan™ structural system to provide clearspans for the three basketball courts and come in at a fraction of the cost of conventional steel. But more importantly, he knew the system would easily incorporate with the conventional construction of the two-storied support facilities. Plus, it accommodated the weathertight MR-24® roof system -- valued by schools for its low maintenance and long life.

Hybrid Construction Also Saved Time

Using the hybrid construction method with Butler systems also allowed the project to be done in phases, which helped to speed things up. The gymnasium was already under construction while details were being finalized about the offices, fitness rooms and other areas.

Another advantage was the fact that Sheridan operated as a single-source supplier. It creates a process where budgets can be monitored on an ongoing basis. If pricing comes in over budget it can be caught early and the necessary changes can be made. MacKenzie estimates that Sheridan shaved about a month off construction time by using hybrid construction and single sourcing from Butler.

And that's important when you need to be ready for the next year's sports seasons.

For more information about the hybrid construction method, go to

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    Bruce Bortree