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We have been selected as the Construction Manager Agent for a new four-story, 76 room Fairfield Inn in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Our team will be supporting the Oskaloosa Gateway Hotel, LLC (Owner) and working closely with their representatives and trade contractors on schedule, coordination, purchasing and site control in order to run the project smoothly. We will also be self-performing the installation of all doors, frames and hardware; restroom accessories and guestroom millwork. This will allow for additional control over the schedule and quality to keep the project on pace.

This project presents unique challenges that we are excited to tackle – one of them being creating this hotel using wood framing. “Neumann Brothers does not typically do a lot of wood framed buildings” said Project Engineer Gavin Scroggin. “There will be connection points on many different structural members that are not typically seen in the metal framing world which will make this project more interesting – it’s not part of our normal routine per se.” Gavin feels right at home on this project after spending summers working with wood framed structures where he developed his passion for the industry that lead him to Neumann Brothers. “I’m really excited to be going back to my roots, so to speak, as we build this hotel.”

The project also has a fast paced schedule that will require a lot of coordination between trades to stay on track. The team will be utilizing pull planning and the enhanced coordination abilities of ProCore – a cloud-based, construction management software that will allow the field and office to be connected in real time. “This is a tight schedule and we are working to control as much as we can to cover the things we can’t control, like the weather” said Project Superintendent Lance Howard. “There are several phases of work that have to be completed in sequence in order to keep all the different trades on schedule – so we are trying to stay two steps ahead by holding regular coordination meetings that use pull planning and two- or even three-week look aheads.”

Safety concerns take priority on this and all Neumann projects. “Workers safety is number one” said Lance. “Even if the job is on schedule, accidents can happen.” As this project is on a tight schedule and workers are putting in long hours, it could be easy to ignore small risks like uncovered holes, missing edge protection, damaged power cords or forgotten PPE (personal protective equipment). In addition to the site specific safety manual that is put in place before the project starts, the project team is making a conscious effort to keep safety at the top of everyone’s mind. “We have a pre-task plan and discussion about the work that needs to be done each day, plus, we all keep an eye out for one another so that everyone goes home safe” noted Lance.

Finally, the project is over an hour away from our office in Des Moines. Which means that we have to have a great team in place that communicates well. Fortunately, between Senior Vice President and Project Executive Chad Bunner, Gavin, Lance and Foreman Chad Rinehart – we’ve got the best ready to get the job done.

“This is a great project to be a part of” said Gavin. “Hotels are not something that Neumann Brothers builds a lot of which makes it unique just within our office.” The project is also being built in a prime location just off of Highway 92 and Highway 163 where it cannot be missed as you head into Oskaloosa. “I look forward to working with the client and our team to bring the City of Oskaloosa and Mahaska County a new hotel so more people can discover what they have to offer.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the project on Thursday, May 16. The project is officially under construction!