BUILDING THE MURRAY INNOVATION CENTER IN 2021
Welcome to “Construction Corner,” where we will update our MPCS family periodically on the exciting progress of the Murray Innovation Center project. MPCS has contracted with TVS Architects, UDS Development Services, and Hodges & Hicks General Contractors to complete the project. During the next several months, we will learn about the construction process and celebrate the milestones reached along the way as we anticipate opening the building second semester next year.
With the end of summer break in sight and the start of school just around the corner, construction crews are accelerating progress on the renovations in the Murray Arts Center and Dozier Hall.
In the MAC and Dozier Hall:
- Crews finished building all interior walls and framing for acoustical ceiling tile.
- Carpenters will finish installing all millwork cabinets in the next few days.
- Painters are on site as you are reading this and will be complete by mid-next week.
- Flooring crews are scheduled to start carpet installation on Saturday and will wrap up this work soon.
- Final inspections are scheduled for the end of next week.
- As soon as the Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the City of Marietta, furniture crews will be installing new teacher work stations, guidance counselor furniture, and student desks/chairs.
It’s exciting to see the team push through to the finish line on these two important initiatives!
On the Murray Innovation Center:
- Framing crews are nearly complete with all exterior walls.
- Roof trusses and decking installation are substantially complete.
- Crews have been battling recent rains but are pushing hard to finish the exterior sheathing and air barrier.
- Roofing crews are on site now installing synthetic underlayment for the asphalt shingles and should finish all roofing operations by mid-September.
- The team is pushing hard to get the building “dried in” so weather is less impactful to the overall project schedule.
- Brick masons will be on site in the next few weeks and plan on starting on the north elevation. Demolition crews started cutting the opening for the bridge connection to Dozier Hall this week.
- To help with weather protection, the contractor installed a giant blue tarp on the side of Dozier Hall.
- On the building interior, framing crews continue to install wall framing.
- Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing rough-in is ongoing.
The market for construction materials availability and supply chain continues to be a challenge. The team is doing everything possible to ensure little to no impact to the timeline. Continue to pray for safety and progress on the worksite!
BEAM SIGNING AND TOPPING OUT CEREMONY
On Friday, May 7, MPCS hosted a “Topping Out Ceremony,” a traditional construction celebration whereby crews place the uppermost steel beam during the final phase of framing the interior skeleton of a building. Head of School Dr. Tim Wiens offered a warm welcome to those in attendance and thanked the crews from Hodges & Hicks General Contractors. George Ethridge, MPCS Board Chair, offered a blessing for safety over the remainder of the project. A large crane placed the final steel beam atop the building, accompanied by an American flag and a wooden cross, in lieu of the customary evergreen tree. Lunch was served to the building and construction team in appreciation for the milestones reached thus far.
Before the final steel beam was placed atop the new Murray Innovation Center, the entire MPCS family was invited to a “Beam Signing Day” on Friday, April 30. The 24-foot steel beam was painted white, and graduating seniors, faculty and staff, current students and families, alumni, and donors to the project were invited to sign their names and leave their favorite verse of scripture on the beam. Following the topping out of the building, crews will begin to construct the exterior skin and roof systems of the Murray Innovation Center to help protect the building from the elements and allow for work on the interior.
On Friday, February 5, MPCS celebrated the culmination of a years-long capital campaign with a “virtual” groundbreaking ceremony for the new Murray Innovation Center. The building, named after a generous lead gift from the Stuart and Eulene Murray Foundation, is a much-needed 23,000-plus square foot expansion of the current Dozier Hall high school, originally built to house just 250 students. With its booming enrollment, MPCS is thrilled to offer innovative new learning spaces for its 450 high school students.
MPCS families and staff were invited to watch the festivities safely via a live-stream. After a welcome from Head of School Dr. Tim Wiens and Chair of the Board of Trustees Mr. George Ethridge, Capital Campaign Co-Chair Mr. David Bottoms thanked the 276 donors who contributed $12.4 million to pay for the new building in full, including a $1 million building endowment fund.
Head of High School and Assistant Head of School Mrs. Rusk then shared specific features of the new building. The Murray Innovation Center will include additional classroom and lab space, as well as a collegiate-style technology-enhanced classroom, a maker space, a fabrication lab, a state-of-the-art digital lab, and a permanent home for the State-championship-winning Eagle Robotics teams.
Middle school students paraded onto the building site, lining to form the marked perimeter footprint of the Murray Innovation Center building as a visual representation of the innovative space to come. The event was officially commemorated with a countdown as Shelton, the Eagle mascot, released confetti cannons to the enthusiastic applause of those in attendance.
MPCS looks forward to welcoming students into the Murray Innovation Center during the second semester of the 2021-2022 academic year.