When University of Alabama freshmen arrived on campus in the fall of 2018, a new, five-story, 160,000-square-foot, $40 million residence hall awaited them.
It was ready in time, but it wasn’t easy.
A tight schedule, with a move-in date as the target, meant extra shifts, 10-16 hour days and “a massive team effort,” according to Tyler Stephens, vice president of operations for Montgomery-based Caddell Construction. “The project had a very aggressive schedule to meet the move-in deadline for students the fall semester a year later.”
England Hall, named for Circuit Court Judge John H. England Jr., a member of the university’s Board of Trustees, includes 496 beds, elevators, lounges, laundry areas and a convenience store. The two-person rooms include bathrooms and kitchenette areas. In addition, the building includes a FEMA-rated storm shelter with a capacity of 1,500. The complex includes a concrete podium for the first story and four stories of load-bearing metal-stud framing.
“We have historically sought after projects that have major challenges that other contractors might take a pass on pursuing,” Stephens says. “England Hall seemed like a great opportunity that matched our experience in large, complex, multi-story housing projects.”
In addition to the tight construction schedule, Caddell and its subcontractors were working on an active college campus.
“We had to use multiple cranes on the narrow site that was surrounded by students, active buildings and roads on every side,” Stephens says. “It was truly a challenge.”
The challenges were many, but the result is a beautiful, modern new building on a campus dripping with tradition.
“We are very proud to achieve this extraordinary accomplishment and provide value to the University of Alabama,” Stephens says.