​Opus' University Construction & Design Expertise Deliver

With the goal of creative campus improvement, St. Catherine University enlisted Opus’ university construction and design expertise to expand and renovate its Butler Center, a sports recreation facility, and Fontbonne Hall, a gymnasium, both on the University’s St. Paul, Minn. campus.

State-of-the-Art Space Enhances University Community & Recruitment

The expanded Butler Center created a state-of-the-art space for St. Kate’s varsity sports, wellness and recreation programs. The updated spaces have helped St. Kate’s achieve its vision for innovative and high-quality academic programs and enhanced its vibrant campus life.

The Butler Center expansion was a three-story, 31,500-square-foot addition, creating space for:

  • varsity locker rooms and lounge space,
  • a cardio room with new fitness equipment,
  • a dance studio and
  • a multi-purpose training center. 

Opus also renovated more than 10,000 square feet in a neighboring campus building. The transformation of Fontbonne Hall created additional classroom space.

New elevators, a third-floor skyway and a redesigned entry enhance the buildings’ accessibility and security.

Early Price and Schedule Commitment Delivered

A commitment to an early guaranteed maximum price (GMP) and tight schedule were key to the project’s success. Opus’ fully-integrated design-build approach was crucial to this success, setting the GMP and schedule in collaboration with the University. As the University’s board was discussing the expansion and renovation, Opus AE Group, Opus Design Build and University representatives collaborated on the design, allowing construction to commence just three weeks after the board approved the project.  

Reaching a guaranteed maximum price agreement eases budget pressures. The GMP agreement allowed me to focus clearly on the whole project instead of how every decision that I made impacted the bottom line.

Jim Manship
Director of Facilities Management
St. Catherine University

Additionally, Opus’ deep experience in institutional design-build projects allowed them to phase and schedule all of the construction to meet the University’s phased deadlines, while also accommodating its class and semester schedule.

The renovation of Fontbonne Hall was completed prior to the start of the fall 2014 semester. The Butler Center expansion was completed in February 2015.