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Dream big

image The $3.5 million Bennett-Rathgeber Mentoring Center for Austin’s Big Brothers Big Sisters had its grand opening on Jan. 25.

AUSTIN – It seems that almost every day we hear more good things about Austin’s efforts to turn its old Robert Mueller Municipal Airport location into a farsighted, mixed use urban village in the heart of the city. And now, a brand new facility for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has opened its doors in Rathgeber Village, part of the Robert Mueller Development that includes a vision for responsible urban growth.

    The Burt Group Inc., (TBG) headquartered in Austin, was the GC on the $3.5 million Bennett-Rathgeber Mentoring Center, which had its grand opening on Jan. 25, with several hundred people attending. The project took 12 months to complete.
    “We were pleased when we had the opportunity to propose our contractor services for the BBBS Project,” says TBG president and founder Tommy Burt. “We have always been committed to philanthropic efforts and supporting the common good in the Austin area and beyond.”
    The new mentoring center for Big Brothers Big Sisters consists of a 21,500-sf wood framed, two-story structure with masonry exterior comprised of limestone and stucco with a standing seam metal roof. The facility serves as home for administrative offices, as well as meeting rooms and an activity center for their clients.
    Primary construction materials included lumber, limestone, stucco, concrete, glass, and a standing seam metal roof.
    Project manager was Daniel Bump; superintendent was Wayne Sankey; project coordinator was Alicia Gantt; and architect was O’Connell Robertson.
    According to Gantt, some challenges that the team met and overcame during construction included weather.
    “Weather was a factor in getting this one out of the ground,” she says. “In addition, after framing starting on the project, we had to adjust to the addition on a tenant space for SAFE Alliance, which needed to be completed at the same time the Big Brothers Big Sisters would and this required some rework of framing and rough in already in place.”
    Despite these setbacks, the relationship between the teams involved in the project was positive, Gantt said.
    “We worked directly with Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS of Central Texas and Nancy Reiter, the VP of Finance and Operations,” she said. “They were absolutely fantastic to work with and were always there to make necessary decisions quickly to keep work progressing. TBG has worked with O’Connell Robertson in the past, notably on Rise School of Austin in the same Rathgaber Village development, so the expectations of the team as a whole to produce a quality building have already been set.  TBG looks forward to future projects working with them.”
    TBG has worked for several of the top non-profit organizations in Austin and has completed many successful projects with the following organizations: The Rise School of Austin, Goodwill Industries, and Emancipet. Additionally, TBG is working on kicking off three Salvation Army projects this year.
    “We have extensive experience in projects of this nature and understand the commitment it takes to successfully complete projects based on humanitarian measures,” Burt says. “Furthermore, our experience in Rathgeber Village has allowed us the opportunity to future develop and cultivate our relationships with those individuals involved in funding these non-profit organization’s construction projects.” –cw
    The Burt Group is a leading general contracting firm specializing in ground-up, new, adaptive reuse and remodel construction in healthcare, restaurant, hospitality, corporate, manufacturing, and industrial. Founded in 2002, TBG has built a reputation as an award-winning leader in construction with its resolute focus on integrity, safety and agile project completion.


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