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This piece is presented by Journey Group.
It’s like doing a major construction project in someone’s living room.
That’s how the team at Journey Group describes working on a more than 88,000-square-foot addition at Dow Rummel Village, a project that started in May and will wrap up in the fall of 2019.
“We’re working in their homes,” general superintendent Bill Lienke said. “But once they start seeing progress being made, they get really excited.”
Residents see the progress as it unfolds in some areas thanks to viewing windows that crews cut into temporary walls.
“They can sit and watch us work,” project manager Craig Holmen said. “They’ve enjoyed it, and they’ve been fun to work around.”
There has been plenty to see already. This fall, Dow Rummel’s new Rose Room was completed, offering a space for concerts and other events.
“Residents love it,” Dow Rummel CEO Darla Van Rosendale said. “It’s getting used a lot more and has a fresh new look and feel like a bigger space. It’s also more accessible to residents, so it’s not uncommon to walk by and see residents having coffee and chatting. I think it will get used a lot more.”
In seven months, $8 million in work has been completed with as many as 100 workers on-site at a time.
TSP is the architect on the project.
“Since it is such a large project and will be under construction for a number of years, it has been really fun to see the early phases of construction get completed,” TSP principal and senior architect Michelle Klobassa said. “I believe it continues to generate excitement for the residents to already be able to enjoy spaces like the Rose Room, and it’s great for the design and construction team to hear their positive feedback about it.”
A 7,000-square-foot addition to the chapel also is done. It will serve as a fellowship hall that can accommodate 120 people for a sit-down event.
“We have a lot of memorial services and celebrations of life, about 45 to 50 each year, and often they want to have a gathering before or after, and it’s hard to find a space for larger groups,” Van Rosendale said. “Having this events center is going to be a wonderful space.”
Both projects were done ahead of schedule.
That’s in part because of a new approach Journey is using at Dow Rummel, combining lean practices with intentional planning.
“All our subcontractors come to our planning meeting and plan out one week ahead of work taking place,” Holmen explained.
“They discuss around the table and prompt each other on what they want accomplished in the next week, so others around the table can say, ‘Before you take care of that, I’ve got to take care of this piece.’ The communication between subcontractors has been huge compared to standard operating procedures we’ve had in place in construction for years.”
The owners at Dow Rummel also have participated, “so they know what’s going on and can red flag things,” Holmen continued. “If there’s something they don’t want happening, they ask if we can wait, and we get a work-around. That communication has been paramount to getting more done.”
The design team also is involved.
“I appreciate the fact that Journey as the construction manager has been on our team from the early design phase and will be through the duration of the project,” Klobassa said. “They communicate with our team daily to ensure that what gets built matches up with the vision the designers have for the building.”
On the job site, Lienke and his superintendent team of Seregy Strizhius and Phil Tinklenberg take turns presiding over a daily huddle and other tasks to keep the project running smoothly.
The team discusses what was done the day before and what’s ahead for the day.
“We run through schedules and any issues or changes by the contractors, owners or design team, and it’s working really well,” Lienke said. “It seems to be taking hold very well, and the subcontractors really enjoy it.”
For the holiday season, Journey also made accommodations for residents and their visitors. Large deliveries or shutdowns were scheduled around holidays, and crews postponed moving mailboxes “because residents are receiving Christmas cards, and we’re waiting until the first of the year to make sure their mail isn’t interrupted at all,” he said.
Right now, about 50 workers are at Dow Rummel each day. That will increase when the 30-room memory care addition is enclosed in January. Wrapped around an inner courtyard, it will include a town square with a diner, library, laundromat, hobby shop, general store and sensory room.
That’s scheduled to be done in the spring of 2019. Then, Journey will remodel the existing Dow Rummel Main Street area to include a movie theater, art studio and craft room, golf shop with golf simulator and outdoor putting green, computer lab, expanded salon and a pub designed like a sports bar. It’s scheduled to be done in October 2019.
“We will continue to keep the owners and residents informed throughout the process,” Lienke said. “I have almost daily conversations with Darla, just updates on what we’re doing and what might affect them. Keeping an open line of communication is key throughout any project, but especially this one because we’re working so close to residents and it’s a complex one.”
Van Rosendale raves about how the project is coming together.
“We have a long relationship with Journey, over 20 years, and they really understand that Dow Rummel is our residents’ home. They’re so respectful and considerate of that. They’ve done a wonderful job being friendly with the residents, keeping things clean, saying hello to residents, and the residents are so excited about the project and want to hear what’s going on.”
It’s like doing a major construction project in someone’s living room. That’s how the team at Journey Group describes working on a more than 88,000-square-foot addition at Dow Rummel Village, a project that started in May and is ahead of schedule.