General Contractor: Juneau Construction
Location: University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Russell Hall began housing University of Georgia, Athens (UGA) students in 1967. By 2015, the 10-story building was tired and unable to attract aspiring students who wanted to live in more modern accommodations. UGA was facing one of its largest freshmen classes on record and something had to be done, so they went to work to provide an inviting living environment.
Juneau Construction teamed up with American Direct to provide doors, frames, and hardware. The direction from the owner was to reuse locks, doors, and frames where possible. The cost savings with salvageable product was significant, however, the coordination necessary on the front end was critical and there was no room for error. One challenge the renovation team faced was on the unit entry door frames. After the existing hollow metal frame was removed, American Direct had to have special knockdown drywall frames manufactured with a special 4 in. face dimension in order to maintain the existing door size, but cover the damage to the walls left from the demo of the existing opening. This nonstandard frame required coordination between American Direct and CECO to ensure that these frames could be fire rated. Good communication between the order entry department and the factory was crucial to ensure the frames were ordered and manufactured correctly. In addition to product provided by American Direct, the project owner requested to use some hardware from a specialty company.
American Direct developed creative solutions and used special ordering techniques with their manufacturers to fit the owners’ needs. This included special sizing and fabricating special anchors on the frame which allowed them to install a frame on an existing wall condition.
American Direct took all of this into consideration so that all doors, frames, and hardware would be compatible and at the same time provide the functionality, look, and feel that was the owner’s goal. American Direct faced the challenges of this renovation head on and is poised to continue assisting renovation and new construction in the student housing industry and beyond.