Windemuller had a leg up with this project, in that we had played a role in designing it originally. Traverse City’s Nealis Engineering was hired to design the new distribution system, and Windemuller worked closely with Nealis throughout the design process. When the project went out for bid, we landed the contract. Our pre-existing knowledge of the design meant that we were able to execute the work very smoothly.
The big challenge on this project was coordinating scheduling changes when some of the equipment necessary to complete the job did not arrive on time. NMC had decided to purchase the transformers and switches for the job themselves, taking advantage of tax exemptions to save money. Unfortunately, the transformer for the project was not delivered until after Labor Day. In our initial timeline, we had intended to finish work before Labor Day, to avoid conflicts with students and classes.
Going past our initial Labor Day deadline meant we no longer had free reign over the schedule. Instead, we had to arrange power shutdowns with the college so that we could get in to install the new system. These shutdowns largely fell on Saturdays and Sundays, when classes weren’t in session. Our team members were good sports about having to do weekend work and were able to complete the project with minimal impact on NMC’s student population.
With worries about the primary power distribution system out of the way, NMC moved forward with demolition on West Hall in October. Now, the college has set its sights on bringing the new Innovation Center vision to life.