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Case Study : K-12 : Woodward Academy

Woodward Academy, Jane Woodruff Hall

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Woodward Academy is the largest independent day school in the Continental United States as well as the oldest college preparatory school in Atlanta, GA. In 2013, the school was ready to begin the final phase of their existing campus master plan with the construction of a $32 million humanities building, Jane Woodruff Hall. Woodward Academy approached BDR to help them deliver a state-of-the-art, LEED Gold Certified learning facility and, at the same time, successfully manage a series of enabling projects within an aggressive 18-month schedule.

BDR Solution

At the beginning of the project, the site for Jane Woodruff Hall was occupied by three smaller classroom buildings. To maximize disruption to the student learning environment, the team needed to provide classroom space for the students displaced from the soon-to-be demolished buildings. The team came up with two solutions. First was the renovation of Brand Hall, an old classroom building primarily used for storage purposes in recent years. A full renovation was necessary to accommodate students, yet more space was still needed to house the additional students displaced during the project. As a result, the BDR team chose to repurpose a portion of the practice fields to hold over 30 trailers – affectionately referred to as “The Cottages” – to fulfill the remaining need.

Over the course of the project, the BDR team had to navigate several unforeseen challenges to keep the building on schedule. These challenges included a rare Atlanta snowstorm and a government shutdown. BDR stayed on top of the already aggressive schedules, tirelessly searching for every method to keep the construction progress going. The team made effective use of a lean technique called pull planning, sitting down with the contractor to identify establish efficiencies and reduce overall waste in the schedule. One of these efficiencies was the implementation of early dry-in solutions. With expedited dry-in, more subcontractors were able to begin work on the building interiors and make-up for lost time. Through precise management, BDR was able to turn the building over in time for administration and student occupancy for the Fall 2016 semester.

“We have set many ambitious goals for this $32 million project including achieving LEED Gold Certification upon completion of the humanities building. It is BDR’s attention to detail and leadership that gives me great confidence that we will successfully achieve all of our goals.”

- Kelly Sanderson, CPA, LEED
Vice President for Finance & Administration
Woodward Academy


Despite weather delays and economic circumstances, the BDR team successfully built a state-of-the-art classroom facility, repurposed and renovated Brand Hall, and opened the doors in time for the fall 2015 semester. Using lean construction processes and an extensive background in K-12 Program Management, BDR delivered the new 101,297 SF humanities building that leveraged all the historical features, markings and traditions that make Woodward so beloved. State-of-the-art technologies were brought into all classrooms, the collaboration space, and 157-seat lecture hall.

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