Project Photoblog: Georgia State University Library North

In 2021, our team was selected as the general contractor by Georgia State University to convert their existing grade level parking lot located beneath the Library North building into a new world class study and collaboration space for the students. Due to the uniqueness of such a space, the Albion team worked through many challenges throughout the course of construction including numerous midstream design changes, permitting challenges, and late scope additions to the project. Our team was able to not only navigate each obstacle that these challenges presented, but to also surpassed them throughout the course of construction — ultimately delivering the space to GSU over four months ahead of schedule!

The before images of the future location of the GSU Library North Commons

“I had the distinct pleasure of working with Albion on the GSU Library North Study Commons project. The project was to convert an asphalt parking lot, under the existing library, into a 19,000 SF, study space for the library. The project was challenging because it was the lower level of an occupied building, and the space had a height constraint and required relocation of underground utilities that served the building. With its own secure entrance, separate from the rest of the sprawling Library North-Library South complex, the space allows the library to respond to student requests for additional late night and weekend hours. The new Study Commons has helped to enhance the visual appeal of the library. An inefficient parking lot has now become a center for student learning and collaboration. The Project Manager, Jason Strane, and Site Superintendent Kris Mixon, with Albion, provided excellent communication and were very responsive throughout the duration of this project. Albion did an excellent job coordinating deliveries in a tight jobsite and making sure that library operations were not disrupted during construction. I would like to express my gratitude to Albion for their cooperation and collaboration with Georgia State University and the successful completion of this construction project.”

Gowri Pillai
Assistant Director, Design and Construction Services,
Georgia State University
On a site walkthrough with (from left) GSU Assistant Director, Gowri Pillai, GSU Dean of Libraries, Jeff Steely, Albion Project Executive Jason Strane, and PRAXIS3 Principal-in-Charge, David Hamilton

This unique project consisted of a renovation to the existing GSU Library North facility by transforming an existing parking garage located beneath the building into an 19,000 sq. ft. study space and collaborative environment for students and faculty to enjoy. We worked alongside the team at PRAXIS3 and GSU stakeholders throughout the design and construction phases. Our team experienced numerous challenges throughout the course of the project. We owe it to great strategic planning with the design team at PRAXIS3, great communication with GSU and the skilled hands of our subcontractors to make this project one to remember.

The Library North Commons area begins to take shape from a former parking lot!

This project required an exceptional level of innovation given its scope of work and physical location on the GSU campus. In the beginning stages of the project, we completed extensive demolition and sitework beneath an a constantly active building located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta.  At the time of construction, GSU students, staff, and faculty completely occupied all adjacent spaces. Due to this obstacle, we made it our mission that the construction tasks be efficient, yet non-invasive enough to allow progress to continue for the building’s inhabitants despite the active location. As for the demolition and excavation phase, our first goal was to coordinate so that it would begin during a break in the academic calendar. We were able to coordinate an early release of the demolition allowing us to complete much of the work before students arrived back on campus for the Fall academic semester.  Along with demolition challenges, we faced the task of removing approximately 3 ft. of soil beneath the existing Library North Building. In order to remove the soil, we utilized small equipment that allowed us to operate with the utmost precision in the very low head heights of the parking lot. Spoils were staged in such a way that the trucks that removed them from the property were able to back into the site between fence lines always keeping them out of the pathway of pedestrians.

Albion Superintendent, Kris Mixon overseeing the next steps of the
Library North project

It was part of our mission to approach this project with an extreme sense of urgency. Because of this, we were able to complete the work four months in advance of the contractual completion date all while consistently working through various challenges. The contractual completion date was projected for February 18, 2024, and the team was able to complete the work ahead of schedule receiving the Certificate of Completion on October 17, 2023.

Final touches being added to the Library North Commons area before officially welcoming in GSU students, faculty and staff

“Albion received the unique pleasure of partnering with Georgia State University and PRAXIS3 for the rewarding conversion of an existing at-grade parking space beneath the Library North Building into a dynamic open-concept collaboration and study area for the GSU students and faculty. The team experienced many interesting challenges along the way, but like all good teams were able to resolve each challenge through open dialogue and collaboration pulling from the individual strengths of each member. The group was ultimately able to deliver a beautiful and functional space to the campus for the later half of the fall 2023 academic calendar, finishing months ahead of schedule. Albion had a fantastic time working with Georgia State University and PRAXIS3, delivering on our commitment to Create Raving Fans for each and every opportunity that comes our way.”

Jason Strane
Albion Project Executive
(From left) Albion Project Executive, Jason Strane, Superintendent, Kris Mixon and Assistant Project Manager, Savannah Newsome gather at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the GSU Library North.

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