Urban Village Middle School

In 2013, this California Charter School project for Charletta Johnson of The Community Harvest Foundation was brought to us by Celerity General Contractors, a contracting firm that works on many Charter Schools. When we met our prospective client and walked the property to see what would be involved with this project, we discussed our fees and were approved to move forward.

Although this was a Design Build type of project our agreement was directly with the Owner. This project entailed providing tenant space to meet the 6 classroom program and to meet all required Change of Use issues including preparing a parking analysis. This space was once permitted for office use but in the last few years had been used for a different Charter School without permits.Our client wanted to obtain the proper permits. We needed to adapt the front sidewalk to meet required accessibility landing slopes. On the interior of this 2 story space we had to prove the existence of a fire separation wall between the different uses. Within our space the only functional change was to enclose 1 open area and turn it into a classroom with new skylights. We needed to upgrade all the exit corridors for fire ratings at the doors and jambs, widen some corridor spaces, and upgrade the ramps between two floors that had a 6 inch change in height for accessibility issues.

The stairs and landing needed to be modified for riser consistency; modification was approved for head height conditions at the upper landing and rails needed to be adjusted. The majority of work was the upgrading of all the toilet rooms. In 2 toilet rooms the ceiling was so low we had to raise the roof to get the clearances we needed. To meet the accessible requirements we removed a non-required kitchen area to expand the size of the existing rest rooms. Besides attempting to keep all the construction costs to the bare minimum for city approval, the schedule was by far the hardest part of the job.All approvals were though Los Angeles City governing bodies. Case Planning really helped us expedite this effort. Every day we lost in city approvals was a day lost on the construction schedule which was very tight. The good news is that the school opened on time.