ABC chapter gives Excellence in Construction awards

Posted on September 17, 2015KCichon

Results for the 2015 ABC/WMC Excellence in Construction Awards


Wolverine received the Historic $5-10 Million award for The Gateway. Prominently located at the main intersection in the city, The Gateway senior housing project was a 57,000 SF historic and environmentally friendly renovation of the former Fremont High School into 38 affordable and market rate apartments.



The Gateway Apartment project was a historic renovation of the former Fremont High School.  The 2 story building is an Arts-and-Crafts inspired design and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was originally built in 1926, with additions constructed in 1946 and 1955, and several other renovations completed over the years that included infill of the original gymnasium and the courtyard for additional classroom space.  In 2012, Fremont completed construction of a new high school and vacated the building.  Developer Home Renewal Systems acquired the school building while 1960’s era pool and gymnasium were recently taken over by the Fremont Community Recreation Authority which operates independently from the Gateway facility.


Construction & Features

This project consisted of a substantial rehabilitation of the existing building into a 38 senior apartments featuring spacious 1 and 2 bedroom units as well as studio units.  Common areas include a community room, reading rooms, a visiting doctor’s office and tenant storage, and a courtyard that was restored to its original configuration.  Many of the school’s historic

features, including the original oak cabinets and hardware, were preserved during the renovation.  The building shell underwent restoration treatment of the masonry and stone.

Windows and doors matching the original style and scale were installed as part of the project, as was interior plaster and wood trim repair and restoration of original 12’ ceiling heights.  Corridors were designed to maintain their original feel including locker bays, stained wood trim and doors and traditional lighting fixtures.

The apartment units feature excellent views of the surrounding area and offer a tremendous amount of natural light through the large windows.  Energy efficient plumbing fixtures and lighting and durable finishes including granite countertops are just a few of the attractive amenities for the residents.

The building is extremely energy efficient, featuring a Geothermal HVAC system and LED lighting throughout.  It was designed and constructed to achieve Enterprise Green Communities criteria.

The building is located at the main highway intersection in the city of Fremont and the prominent landscaping was designed with curb appeal in mind.


 Construction Challenges

Creating a separation from the adjoining recreation center was one of the early challenges of the project.  The fire alarm system and many electrical circuits connected both of the properties.  Extra care was taken to run traces on electric lines to limit interruption to the rec center.  The service cables feeding the rec center that were planned to be reused had to be rerouted and replaced due to their deteriorated condition.

Several unknown existing conditions created additional challenges.  Deficiencies in the existing underground storm and sanitary sewer lines were identified when flushing out the building systems and a snake camera was utilized to pinpoint the problem areas.  Storm and sewer lines needed to be repaired and replaced with less than a month to go in the project.

The biggest challenge was the restoration of the courtyard.  It had been infilled with a steel structure on both levels for use as classroom space.  The condition of the original masonry was unknown, as were the structural properties of the original courtyard walls.  Demolition of the steel structure revealed that the original masonry was beyond the scope of limited brick replacement and tuckpointing.  The structure of the wall consisted of interlocked brick that needed to be reinforced with steel at all openings to be made structurally sound.  In lieu of the tuckpointing and limited replacement, all of the remaining brick veneer was replaced so that all of the courtyard walls have a uniform look.