2013 has been a very good year for Dale Partners Architects, one of the state’s largest full-service architectural firms with offices in Jackson and Biloxi. Dale Partners is heading at least three of the largest projects in the works across Mississippi: The Grammy Museum in Cleveland, the Jackson Convention Complex Hotel and a minor league baseball park in Biloxi.
“We create all this excitement with the renderings and the models. When the building opens, we need to deliver that same exciting design,” said T. Doug Dale, principal in charge.
While each project has its own timetable, momentum and inevitable challenges, the process generally remains the same. “From concept to turning dirt, it’s typically eight to nine months of developing design and details for design to providing final plans and specifics to be formally advertised for general contractors to submit bids for construction,” said Dale.
The design team will then assist the owner in analyzing the contractor to be selected based on their bid.
“The basis of design is to interpret the clients’ desires, organize them into a conceptual design and get it completed on schedule and within budget,” said Russ Blount, senior associate with the firm.
Dale Partners is providing design services for the Grammy Museum in a joint venture with Eley Barkley, PA in Cleveland.
The firm first responded to the formal request for qualifications in 2012 and made it to the short list for personal interviews.
The firm was one of two key firms selected for the museum.
The exhibit designer, Gallagher and Associates, was chosen through another selection process.
Once they were chosen, Dale, Eley/Barkley and Gallagher began working together to create a concept.
“For the Grammy Museum, because of its significance of being the only museum outside of Los Angeles, our joint venture architects chose a process of several designers creating several design options for the committee’s consideration” Dale said. The collaborative design process is known as a charette. The final concept design was presented in April.
“From concept to turning dirt, it’s eight to nine months of developing design and details for design to providing final plans and specifics to be formally advertised for general contractors to submit bids for construction,” said Dale.
The design team will assist the owner in analyzing the contractor to be selected based on their bid, he said.
“During the construction phase, the architect and engineer design team continue to observe the construction until the project is complete and turned over to the owner,” said Dale.
Final construction documents should be ready in early 2014. The museum is scheduled to open in 2015.
The Biloxi Caillavet Park project began several years ago with feasibility studies on site location and funding from public and private sources for the AA minor league franchise.
“We began this journey in the early feasibility stage to determine the appropriate site location and facility cost with a group of finance feasibility team, baseball team owner and cities,” Dale said. “The current site selected is centrally located and meets the expectations of providing good economic development in the city of Biloxi.”
The design process involved multiple concepts to meet varying requirements of the team, city and the land owner. Dale Partners have completed the schematic design and are working to finalize agreement with all parties.
Dale said in addition to architects, all projects require various professions, including civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and interior designers and larger projects such as the ball park include additional specialties such as audio visual experts, field designers and food service teams.
“All of our consultants fall under the architectural umbrella. Communication between all team members, consultants and owners, is important. We talk on the phone daily and have weekly or monthly meetings,” Blount said.
From the time Dale Partners started the design process to the day the team will play its first game in the park will be at least five years.
The Jackson Convention Complex Hotel also is a private investment that has some public contributions. Of all buildings in the past four years, getting private financing for hotels has been difficult, Dale said.
Dale officials say all three projects will have far reaching impact. The baseball park is expected to encourage economic development, the hotel to promote downtown revitalization and the museum to bring new opportunities to Delta State University students and the surrounding area.
“We want to see our client excited about our design, and then see the same excitement when the project is built,” said Dale. “The easy part of our jobs is creating the design. The hard part is helping produce the finished product.”
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