Completed last fall, The Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn., was a third-party, institutional remodel and addition to the oldest building on campus, the 147-year-old Phelps Infirmary. As with many of our projects, we had a tight and very firm deadline – just nine months total with six months for construction.
Our construction and project management team worked very closely with Patty Travers, chief operating office of Shattuck-St. Mary’s and the entire Shattuck team. We had a productive collaboration. Delivering a high-quality building on a tight schedule sometimes requires a little extra work as evidenced by this story Patty fondly told after the project was completed. This is the level of outstanding service we expect all Opus team members to give our clients.
The project had a very short timeline as we were generously given a major donation by a supporter of the school who wanted to hold an extremely important meeting in the renovated building in mid-October, just nine months later.
I spent the day before the meeting on site and over the course of the day subs were running in and out, getting their equipment and excess materials out of the building and finishing up projects. What really stood out to me when I look back on that day is when things started to settle down inside the building.
At about four or five o’clock when we could finally walk around the building and see how the space really had come together, Tim Callahan, senior project manager for Opus Design Build, L.L.C., and I spent time looking around and oohing and aahing, but as we walked into the banquet room, which is an absolutely spectacular space, it was disappointing to see that the painters hadn’t finished putting the final touches on the room. There had been a number of nicks, as there always are in new buildings, and they had put spackle over them so there were splotches of white that should have been covered with gray paint.
Our donor is very, very understanding, but it certainly detracted from what the room could look like when the group arrived the next day. Tim went upstairs and found paint and started painting over the spackle himself. He had an extra paintbrush, so I also jumped in.
When the painting was done we finally said goodbye to him and shoved him out the door. I was working in another room about an hour and a half later, and I heard a voice. I turned around and sure enough it was Tim. When I asked what he was still doing there he said that as he was leaving the building, he realized that the stickers were still on the windows. He didn’t want the guests to see that when they arrived the next day so he had come back into the building, hoisted himself up over the barrier that we put up to keep people from wandering upstairs, and unbeknownst to me, he had spent the next hour and a half on a Friday night removing stickers. That to me is a poster child for how Opus has addressed this project.
By the time the meeting took place, people were in absolute awe at what Opus had been able to do just four and half months after construction started. Some of the people involved in that meeting had been on-site earlier in the week, and I have to believe that they could not have possibly expected the quality of the product that was available to them just five days later.
Our donor was thrilled and the group was over-the-moon-excited. We had kept them apprised with some pictures of how the construction was progressing but they had no idea how fantastic it was going to look when they came inside. It was a meeting that I think everybody on the project would have wished could have been two months later, but the bottom line of being able to host that event on October 11, that’s what we needed and that’s what they delivered in a spectacular way.