The Draper Approach
In 1993, the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) formed the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT) to provide a joint development center for voice, data, and video technology within the Southeast. The GRA created an alliance with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to design and construct a facility to house GCATT and related commercial entities. In 1994, the Governor's office placed the project in a fast-track posture. To insure timely and efficient development of the center, the Board of Regents hired Draper & Associates to provide program management services.
The project was to be funded by a combination of state funds and private donations. However, funding efforts were hampered by donor requirements that the project be available by the 1996 Olympic Games, putting pressure on the schedule. In late 1994, the project faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles - site selection and budget definition were still unresolved.
The Draper Approach
As program manager, Draper & Associates rapidly assembled a program management team to oversee and coordinate programming, design, budgeting, scheduling, governmental review, and fast-track construction of the $33 million project. The project consisted of 153,000 gross square feet of office space and research laboratories, a 710-car parking deck, a modern multi-media auditorium, and data communications with the neighboring Georgia Tech campus.
Draper & Associates systematically addressed funding, site selection, program and budget issues. By early 1995, these issues were resolved. The original agreement called for a series of component change orders leading to a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP). Draper & Associates managed the development, staffing, approval and integration of each component change order into the overall project. Draper & Associates also reviewed each component change order to ensure the component met program requirements and the budget. Finally, Draper & Associates provided an independent cost estimate for each component to verify and validate proposed costs.
Through Draper & Associates' managed efforts, and using a design-build process, the project was completed ahead of schedule and within budget. Most notable was the total life-cycle of the project, from site selection to move-in within only 19 months, accomplished without any claims or disputes.