Project Spotlight –
Campus-Wide Project Management at Montgomery County Community College
Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) recently celebrated the grand reopening of the Science Center at the Blue Bell, PA, campus. Renovated and modernized over a period of four years, the 118,689-square-foot building houses MCCC’s science, engineering, and mathematics programs, as well as a state-of-the-art, 563-seat theater.
The theater is the centerpiece of the recently launched Montco Cultural Center, which encompasses all MCCC’s arts and culture programming on the Blue Bell Campus. Designed by Spillman-Farmer Architects and outfitted with industry-leading acoustic, audio, rigging, lighting and video systems by the internationally renowned Walters-Storyk Design Group, the theater’s immersive technology allows audiences to see and feel the arts in a whole new way.
Watchdog was first engaged by MCCC in 2018 to manage the renovation of their Science Center. Because of the Watchdog team’s successful performance, MCCC then engaged Watchdog to support them on the renovation of their theater space concurrent with the Science Center renovation. The theater upgrades included changes to make the facility ADA-compliant. The estimates for the theater improvements were higher than the College expected and exceeded their budget. The team reviewed options for alternate materials, equipment, and construction methods to lower the project cost. Watchdog also reviewed pay applications and managed the designers to successfully complete this project within MCCC’s budget.
Today, Watchdog provides extensive program and project management services to MCCC and supports the establishment of oversight and approval systems to ensure transparency and stakeholder involvement. Watchdog has also helped create a facilities document protocol and hard copy and electronic filing structure to support the maintenance team, and to aid in existing documentation for future capital projects.
Throughout our relationship with MCCC, Watchdog has been fortunate enough to support a multitude of projects including the athletic fields and amphitheater, the Hanover Building, North Hall, Tourism/ Hospitality, Dental Clinic, College Hall upgrades, Pottstown trail planning, North Hall green, and South Hall renovations. Additional past projects include the Challenger Learning Center on the MCCC’s Pottstown Campus and ventilation upgrades on both campuses.
The Challenger Learning Center of MCCC engaged Watchdog to manage the transformation of their Sustainability and Innovation Hub. The Challenger Learning Center simulates a two-hour immersive space mission, where students in kindergarten through grade 12 can get a sense of what it would be like to be an astronaut or work in a space mission control center. Watchdog served as the Owner’s Representative for MCCC and provided a full scope of project management services, from conception through completion. Watchdog coordinated with Challenger directly on MCCC’s behalf in all aspects of the project. To prepare for the Challenger Learning Center, our team had to manage an extensive demolition of the first and second floors of the College’s Sustainability and Innovation Hub. This entailed removing all existing furniture, repainting the walls, rewiring the electrical systems, and refinishing the flooring. Our team provided an on-site presence to oversee construction administration, installation, and closeout.
Another past project, spanning all buildings on both campuses, was in support of MCCC’s ventilation improvements. The addition of bipolar ionization devices, increased outside air flow rates and air flow monitoring. Bala Consulting Engineers was engaged by the College, and they made recommendations for designs based on ventilation needs in each building. The Watchdog project management team supported MCCC in coordinating with Bala, finalizing the architectural/engineering design, the selection of contractors, award of a construction contract, provided construction administration services, and managed the post-construction and project close out procedures.
The entire Watchdog team is proud to be a part of the contributions to education and community that the Montgomery County Community College provides the area.
MCCC boasts a nationally recognized, award-winning faculty committed to working closely together with students in the learning process. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 degree and certificate programs, and specialized workforce development and continuing education programs, all of which leverage the College’s nationally ranked use of innovative technology. The College is recognized nationally for its work in sustainability and student success and is one of only 73 institutions in the country to be designated as an Achieving the Dream Leader College.