October 2021 – Dallas, TX
Following extensive tornado destruction on its campus in October of 2019, Parker University tapped Skiles Group, a national general contracting and Lean Construction management firm based in Richardson, Texas, to help it rebuild and add new facilities in time for students to return to the classroom by fall 2021.
The Opening of Parker University’s New South Building
Parker University’s new 64,000-square-foot South Building provides students with more than 25,000 square feet of learning space filled with state-of-the-art technological and educational resources. Getting to a finished product by this fall entailed overcoming a series of unique challenges.
From the beginning, Parker University’s schedule requirements were aggressive to meet the fall delivery date. Throw in a global pandemic, historic ice storm, flood, and having to replace the entire first-floor slab due to ground settlement, and the challenges quickly escalated. As a result, Skiles Group completely re-sequenced construction activities to meet the projected finish without delay.
In addition to the tight timing, Skiles Group had to maintain student, staff, visitor activity, and safety while working in the middle of campus around numerous temporary services. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic began just months after the tornado, new health protocols were swiftly created to maintain safety and mitigate the impact of the tremendous pressure on labor and material scheduling. In such a tight setting and having been subjected to the effects of a large tornado, the existing South Building structure was laser scanned to ensure the integrity and accurate installation of building components in the rebuilt and new space.
ParkerFit Provides Advanced Health and Fitness Opportunities
Skiles Group was also tasked with bringing the university’s 21,000-square-foot ParkerFit gym to life. This campus facility features the Human Strength and Performance Lab, equipping students and faculty to become healthier individuals and future practitioners. ParkerFit includes a group fitness studio, cardio area, exercise equipment area, functional fitness area, indoor turf track, freedom climber, locker rooms, saunas, flatscreen televisions and projectors, outdoor sports courts, and outdoor exercise areas.
Parker University, architect Perkins & Will, and Skiles Group employed Lean Construction principles to establish a relationship based on mutual trust and respect to ensure the successful delivery of such an important project. Key project goals were set from the beginning and were frequently measured, creating accountability. Any challenges faced were overcome collaboratively as a team.
“Parker University has been incredible to work with. Their focus on educational excellence and student engagement is at the highest level. Although expectations are great, they work to ensure the success of the team,” says Michael Blakemore, senior vice president of Skiles Group. “Several companies and individuals came together to contribute to the success of ParkerFit and the Parker South Building. We are deeply grateful to Parker University for creating an environment where everyone could perform at their best.”
About Parker University
Parker University, the fourth-fastest growing college in Texas and the fastest-growing college in Dallas, was founded in 1982 by Dr. James William Parker (formerly Parker College of Chiropractic). Today, Parker University has more than 1,800 students and 34 academic programs, including its famed chiropractic program, as well as master’s degrees in neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, strength and human performance, and functional nutrition. Currently, Parker University’s chiropractic cohort is the second largest of any campus in the world. Parker University has been recognized as a Great College to Work For® and as a recipient of the 2021 FutureEdge 50 Awards.