Electrical installation includes four campus buildings; each poses its own set of challenges

DENVER, CO — On May 25th, 2006, Allstar Electrical Services was contracted to perform the electrical portion of the remodel at Warren Occupation Technical Center in Lakewood, Colorado. As the career and technical high school for Jefferson County Public Schools, Warren Tech offers career/technical training in 21 different programs that prepare students to enter the job marketplace or continue their education at post secondary institutions. Warren Tech teaches mostly junior and senior high school students’ occupational skills in the areas of business, construction, graphics, manufacturing, service and transportation. The scope of work at the Warren Tech campus for this project included work at all four buildings (A, B, C, and D), with each building containing its own main project.

Building D at Warren Tech is a 2,373 square foot day-care facility. This building required a renovation of the fire alarm and intrusion detection system. Allstar installed the system to tie into the campus wide system, routing the main control wires to the main fire alarm panel in building A.

Building A is the largest and main building at the Warren Tech campus. The only work involved at this building was the demolition of the existing generator, and the installing a replacement 15kVA natural gas generator.

The 32,089 square foot Building C is home to the automotive programs offered by Warren Tech. The main project for Building C was the retrofit of the existing lighting system to incorporate more fixtures into the emergency and egress system. This included the re-circuiting of existing and the addition of new fixtures to allow for a complete emergency lighting system. Building C also required the complete demolition of the existing fire alarm system, and a new system to be installed. Like Building D, the system was tied back to the main fire alarm control panel at Building A.

The largest amount of work that was done on the project was located in Building B. Building B is a 36,893 square foot building that houses three separated shops; the welding shop, carpentry shop, and machine shop, as well as classrooms, storage rooms, and office space. Each of the 3 shops contained its own set of challenges and was basically a set of three separate jobs. All existing conduit and wire was demoed in the building, meaning all power and lighting circuits had to be run new. Building B required us to install a new 1200 amp service in an existing electrical room. Due to a lack of space, setting the new switchgear and pulling the necessary feeders was difficult and required creativity. This included a system of strategically located pulleys and the use of a truck wench to pull in the feeders without damaging any of the switchgear or conduit. Throughout Building B, we installed 298 new 8’ strip fixtures with high output T5 lamps at the ceiling deck. The welding shop required new power to 26 welding stations to run the welding equipment as well as power for the ventilation equipment. In addition, we worked closely with the engineer and the teachers to deliver the layout and capabilities to provide the students with the most efficient and safest use of the equipment. The carpentry shop included providing new power distribution for the use of power tools, including new panels and transformers. The most challenging area of the remodel was in the machine shop, where the remodel had to be done in an area where most of the existing equipment (80%) had to remain in their existing locations, due to their size and weight, forcing us to work around and above several dozen obstacles. Along with the lighting retrofit, the main feature of the machine shop was the installation of approximately 160’ of bus rail run at the ceiling deck with new cord drops to the existing pieces of equipment. Besides the three main areas, there were five classrooms, five offices, eight storage rooms, three restrooms, and one paint room that had to be renovated. Such as the case with Buildings C and D, the demolition of the existing, and installation of a new fire alarm system was also required throughout Building B. The installation of the fire alarm systems for all the buildings was performed by Allstar with the assistance of Firetrol Protection Systems, Inc.

The biggest challenge facing Allstar throughout this project was the timeframe in which the work needed to be done. Because of the grand scope of the project, the project had to be done while classes were out for the summer, leaving us 10 weeks to substantially finish the project before the students returned. Due to the stringent specifications of the Electrical Engineer, Ackerman Engineering, and Jefferson County Schools, along with the scope of work, this was a challenging project. At one point our crew was at 42 people ranging from Journeymen, to Apprentices, to Laborers due to the amount of work that had to be done in the allotted amount of time. This required an above average amount of supervision and management to ensure the manpower was used as effectively and possible while maintaining the standards of not only Allstar, but also Jefferson County Schools. Though the project schedule was tight, a lot of emphasis was put into the safety procedures. A majority of the work on the project, especially in Buildings B and C, had to be done on scissor lifts. This called for extra precaution, not only working at the heights necessary for installation, but for the personnel on the ground and the existing equipment in the facilities as well.

Through in depth supervision and planning combined with hard work, Allstar was able to deliver a product of large scope in a short time frame. All the while, maintaining the quality required by the district and the safety precautions to avoid injury and damage to the facilities.

For information, contact Gary Stone at 303-399-7420 or visit Allstar Electrical Services on the web at www.allstarelectrical.com.

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