2020 Project Highlight – Lakeside Elementary

January 29, 2021

The Finished Product:

Lakeside Elementary is a newly constructed elementary in Chisago Lakes that shares the name of the old facility. The new elementary features 45 classrooms, a district office, a gymnasium, cafeteria, and library. The K-5 facility is designed to hold 600 students for a growing district.

Donlar’s Role:

As General Contractor, it was Donlar Construction’s role to coordinate the construction of the Lakeside Elementary School. Donlar Construction worked with the Architect, Owner, and Construction Manager while coordinating the efforts of more than 35 different subcontractors. We managed budgets and enforcing job site safety protocol, and Donlar Construction’s crews also self-performed concrete, and rough carpentry.

Project Challenges:

This project presented a few unique challenges of note. The weather and the soil were an issue, and as the soils were found to be unfit for use in construction, they were removed from the site. The rain made the jobsite exceptionally difficult to work on at times, and mud mats were used and roads were rebuilt to allow entry to the muddy jobsite.

Temp sheltering on site took on a special importance as the polar vortex hit. The building was not entirely enclosed come winter, so temp sheltering was installed to ensure a safe and warm work environment for our crews and subcontractors inside

Early in the project, the owner decided that they would like to add classrooms to two of the wings of the facility. The schedule was revised to account for the two new additions, and this, paired with with record breaking rainfalls, led to delays in the schedule. Donlar construction collaborated with the owner, architect, CM, and subs to revise the schedule. Work was scheduled on site to finish the classrooms first, so that teachers could move into their new rooms while we finished spaces like the gymnasium and cafeteria. This revised schedule became our new baseline, and through efficient, high quality work and collaboration we reached substantial completion at our revised date of August 30th, one week before school began.

Unique Features:

The New Lakeside Elementary Project involved some great examples of innovation and creativity. The new school is named after the school that it is replacing, and the owner’s wanted to draw on the feel of the old school however they could. So, the stone Marquee that used to stand in front of the old school is now a bench in the hall of the new school, still sporting the “Lakeside Elementary” name. The old gym floors were used to create an accent wall in the new facility, and the steel paneling that is used for the ceiling in the new facility was made to look like the timbers that ran over head in the old one.