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. 

 

NOVEMBER UPDATE:

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are incredibly grateful for all of the hard work and tremendous progress the team has achieved over the past month on the Murray Innovation Center.

Exterior and Sitework:

  • Masons wrapped up the brick veneer and recently finished the cast stone on the amphitheater seating. 
  • All exterior finishes on the building and bridge are complete. 
  • Crews are sealing joints in the brick and cast stone with waterproof sealants, which will soon be complete. 
  • All concrete curb and gutter is substantially complete.
  • Workers will finish the remaining concrete sidewalks and concrete patio soon, provided the recent beautiful weather continues.
  • Asphalt paving for the new driveway is scheduled for this month.
  • The irrigation system installation and irrigation pump relocation will begin soon.  Landscaping and planting operations will follow.
  • Final connections for permanent power and gas utilities will be made soon.

Interior: 

  • Drywall operations are substantially complete. 
  • A majority of the acoustical ceiling grid is installed.
  • Floor and wall tile in the restrooms are complete.
  • Interior doors were delivered to the site and will be installed in the next few weeks.
  • Painting on the interior continues.
  • Millwork and casework installation is ongoing and will be complete soon.
  • Flooring is scheduled to start in the next few weeks.
  • The elevator has been installed, and final inspections are on the schedule.
  • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing contractors are working on setting fixtures, HVAC start-up, and device trim-out.
  • Low-voltage wiring installation is substantially complete.
  • Audio-visual systems for the classrooms, sciences laboratories, and maker space are scheduled to start in the next few weeks.
  • Furniture for the new Murray Innovation Center is safely warehoused and ready to be installed.

As we approach the finish line, the entire team works diligently to anticipate material availability challenges that continue to plague the construction industry to ensure there is little to no impact to the project schedule.

The Murray Innovation Center is still slated to open in early January. Information on exact timing will be communicated as we get closer to the holidays. Please continue to pray for safety and progress on the worksite!


 

Renovations to Dozier Hall and the new visual art gallery in the Murray Arts Center are complete. Watch the slideshow above to view images of these spaces from the start of school.


Time-Lapse Banner Header
MIC Construction Time-Lapse (through mid-August 2021)

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.

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 began 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. 


BREAKING-GROUND

MPCS celebrated the culmination of a years-long capital campaign with a “virtual” groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, February 5, 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 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. Tawanna 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. 

 

Watch the MIC Breaking-Ground Ceremony 2/11/21
MIC front elevation render

Why Build an
Innovation Center? 

The Murray Innovation Center — a 23,000+ square foot expansion of the Mount Paran Christian School high school building — will offer innovative instructional spaces for enhanced programming and instruction for an enriched high school educational experience. The expansion will almost double the size of the high school, which was originally built for 250 students and now houses close to 450.

The final design offers improved layouts for student experiences in every STEAM discipline. The "MIC" will provide needed space and technology for innovative education designed to equip students with the skills that will be in-demand for their future careers. The facility includes a dedicated robotics field,  new science labs, technology-rich collaborative areas, digital lab, makerspace, fabrication lab, Roost café for the entrepreneurship classes, and a lake-facing quad with picturesque spots for outdoor teaching and community events.

We eagerly look forward to the Murray Innovation Center's completion, projected for January 2022.


THANK YOU, MPCS FAMILY, FOR MAKING
THIS CONSTRUCTION A REALITY.

May God bless every single soul who works on this project and who enters into this building.
It's really going to be something special
for years to come.

— Mrs. Tawanna Rusk, Head of High School


MIC back elevation from lake