First State Montessori Academy is a Delaware Charter School, educating children grades kindergarten through 8th grade, located in downtown Wilmington. The school embarked on a capital campaign to expand and renovate over 12,625 SF of classroom space located on the building’s 3rd floor.

The demolition phase of the project began while the school was operating, requiring many safety precautions to be taken for the safety of students and staff. Subcontractors entered through a designated entrance, stairwells were restricted from students, staff, and subcontractors, and construction tape was used on both the interior and exterior.

Once underway, the extensive demolition entailed removing all lights, ceiling grid and tile, and some walls. All carpeting and tiling was removed and the floors were then grinned and sanded. During the reconstruction of some walls, fire sprinkler heads were relocated, while HVAC units were relocated and replaced. In order to meet code requirements, the GGA team coordinated the patching and spraying of additional fireproofing material that was not originally a part of the project schedule.

To maintain consistency with the interior elements of the building, GGA reused the school’s original crown molding and window frames, resulting in a significant cost saving for First State Montessori Academy. Existing doors were removed and donated to Habitat ReStore, a non-profit whose profits benefit Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.

The project was completed two weeks earlier than scheduled and was under budget.