Evergreen’s Ronald E. McNair Middle School Wins CMAA

We are elated to announce our project, Ronald E. McNair Middle School, has won the Public Building – New Construction | Education under $50M category by the CMAA South Atlantic Chapter in their 2020 Project Achievement Awards. Here’s how we tackled one of our most challenging and rewarding (both figuratively and literally) projects to date:


Serving 1,200 middle school students in grades 6-8 in the DeKalb County School District, the Ronald E. McNair Middle School replacement project serves as a catalyst for an educational transformation to reimagined learning. At the heart of the 169,591 square foot school is the spirit of collaboration. The school greets students in the learning commons with a monument stair that doubles as a collaboration area as well as an open concept media center, promoting engagement through smaller labs which are situated along the main circulation area.


Construction took place while the existing school was a fully occupied and operational school site. In order to sustain the operations and safety of the students and construction workers, Evergreen developed a phasing plan that included the partial demolition of the school. Working with the District and the school leadership to reallocate classrooms throughout other areas of the school, Evergreen was able to effectively reconfigure and relocate key aspects of the infrastructure of the existing school to permit the team to demolish an entire wing. The final phase was completed over the summer allowing the students to occupy the school in August of 2019, at which point the existing facility was demolished allowing Evergreen to complete the construction of the final phase. 


On every construction site, you must find a way to work around the inevitable wet season. During the value engineering process, we were able to save costs and time by crushing the demolished concrete from the existing facility by placing it around the building to create a stable working surface for our equipment. This decision paid dividends on the project schedule as it helped us continue working through the 2nd wettest season on record while minimizing any impacts that the weather could have on the overall schedule. 


Being a public project, we understand the importance of being trusted as stewards of the taxpayer’s money and make it our goal to treat every project dollar spent as though it is coming out of our own pockets.  Our cost management processes are proven and have worked in all school districts in Metro Atlanta. With any project, change is inevitable, but the key is to manage the change, and not let the change manage you or the budget. 

As Principal Ronald B. Mitchell said, “This building is going to be a game-changer.” We are proud to say that it is! 

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