Three monster-sized books of construction plans sit upon desks in the back offices of the Town of Collierville’s Codes Department. They hold all the details of what will be the 450,000-square-foot new Collierville High School.
Four hundred and fifty thousand square feet equals 10.3 acres. That’s a lot of school and a lot of details to be handled during the construction process.
Chris Byrd of Collierville’s Building and Codes Division is in charge of inspecting the construction, and at this point, that means receiving daily progress reports from third party inspectors.
“There are a lot of outside contractors installing their preliminary work,” said Byrd. “The building contractor has someone on site at all times to monitor what’s going on and if it is being done correctly. All schools are regulated by the state, but because the Town has a financial investment in this project, our Codes department acts as ‘third set of eyes’ to make sure the Town gets its money’s worth and to ensure safety on the project.”
Byrd said that the Codes staff consists of one primary inspector for each of the mechanical, plumbing and electrical trades. Each one of them has been performing inspections at the school in addition to their other workload.
David Stewart is a Mechanical/Building Inspector for the Town. One of his jobs at the school construction site is to inspect the heating and air conditioning units throughout the buildings as they are being installed by the HVAC contractor. He checks the fire dampers – the mechanisms that prevent fire spreading through the ductwork from one floor to another, and he points out the extensive nature of the building’s HVAC system.
“There are units bringing fresh air into the classrooms, but there are also units in the corridors that do nothing but bring conditioned fresh air into the entire building,” said Stewart.
Stewart said the double level of comfort is part of the Town’s plan for an optimal learning environment for the students who will be attending classes here.
All of Collierville’s construction code inspectors are certified in their specific trade by the International Code Council. They perform thousands of inspections each year ensuring structural integrity, fire safety, sanitation, disabled access and energy efficiency of new and existing buildings throughout the community.
(Pictured above: David Stewart, Mechanical/Building Inspector for the Town outside one of the new high school’s corridors. Pictured below: example of an extra-wide hallway at the new high school.)