Brice collaborated with USACE Honolulu and New York Districts to perform a FEMA disaster response project requiring the design and construction of 66 temporary school shelters in Saipan, Northern Marianas Islands. Super Typhoon Yutu’s 180 mph winds had swept the island on October 25, 2018, severely impacting Northern Marianas College and Hopwood Middle School, displacing hundreds of students. The temporary structures were 24’ by 40’ in size, made of durable metal and fabric, and came with their own instructions. Accordingly, Brice performed the design work needed to prepare the site for the structures such as soil testing for concrete foundations (a perimeter footing plus 25 interior footings was formed for each structure), structural design to stabilize the structures against future typhoons, as well as utilities (electrical and waterlines), layout, drainage, roads, and pathways.

The project had a highly compressed schedule—the 66 structures had to be completed in two and half months from the contract award, in time for Saipan students to begin classes the next semester. A typical design-build project of this size generally requires at least 2.5 months just to complete work plans, preliminary design, and mobilization logistics.

Within two weeks of contract award (six weeks after the typhoon struck the island), a six-person Brice construction management team mobilized to Saipan. However, during project execution, Brice was confronted with near-daily challenges. With so much disaster response work already in progress in Saipan, the primary sources of equipment and materials were sold out to other emergency response contractors and agencies. Additionally, the availability of the local workforce significantly dropped until after Christmas and New Year holidays. To keep things moving, Brice mobilized another 14 staff to Saipan by the second week of January when the local workforce had ramped back up. Ultimately, Brice’s ~80-person field team worked 11-hour days with almost no days off throughout the project’s period of performance, and successfully completed the project on schedule.

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