It is our distinct privilege to share details of the completed construction of the reimagined Julia Tutwiler Hall at the University of Alabama (UA) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. HPM served as program manager for the project, working to oversee budget control, scheduling and project management through every phase of construction from planning to closeout.
The new Tutwiler Hall spans 383,000 square feet and holds 625 traditional bedrooms, 35 Resident Advisor rooms and four apartments for full-time housing staff. The residence hall accommodates more than 1,200 female students with two-person rooms, private bathrooms in each room, lounges and a market selling merchandise and food on the first floor. The building replaced the existing 54-year-old Tutwiler Hall dormitory on campus that was demolished this summer.
Our team worked diligently to find innovative solutions that led teams through unique challenges during the project, resulting in cost savings and avoiding delays in the timeline. During the bidding process in the fall of 2019, we presented a foundation and site package with alternative foundation systems offered, allowing for these systems to be submitted and reviewed during the bidding process. Introducing these new options made it possible to recognize significant price cuts by the final bid day.
“We are pleased with our team’s hard work in tackling any challenges that arose during the construction of this monumental addition to the University of Alabama’s campus, which sets a new standard for on-campus housing,” said HPM President Ryan Austin. “Our relationship with the university over the years has been incredibly valued within our company, and I am proud that we have continued to serve this partnership with program management excellence on numerous projects. Our expertise in every step of the construction lifecycle has driven home success for this client time and time again, and we look forward to continuing our work with the university in the future.”
During construction, our team and our partners faced material shortages and price hikes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While able to navigate through the entire project without any coronavirus outbreaks on the worksite, the team had to work with extra diligence to ensure there were no delays due to these setbacks. One specific challenge occurred when it was realized that the insulation would not arrive in time for the confirmed completion date; however, the team quickly secured another product that would perform as well as the original. Ultimately, our adaptability allowed the project to remain on schedule and within budget.
In addition to the construction of the new Tutwiler Hall, HPM oversaw the planning and execution of the old dormitory’s demolition in a separate project package. The team first removed remaining hazardous materials from the site, clearing out the floors that were going to be blasted. All structural members where the dynamite was to be placed had to be drilled as protective measures were implemented to ensure the safety of the surrounding area. The official demolition took place in early July of this year, with all remaining building materials hauled off the site by the end of the month.