Project: Bertrand H. Snell Hall
Clarkson University
Potsdam, New York (2001)
Owner: Clarkson University
Contract Amount: $9,366,442
Length of Construction: 16 Months

For over 70 years, Clarkson University has wanted to consolidate all academic and student life on the “Hill Campus” in Potsdam. This dream has finally become a reality with the opening of Bertrand H. Snell Hall.

Pre-bid, Murnane Building Contractors and its team worked closely with the owner and architect to clarify the project scope. They investigated the use of an assembled millwork lecture table system in lieu of the specified manufactured product, providing significant savings. Value engineering saved the owner still more money. Murnane’s willingness to coordinate the entire project, including separate contracts let by the University, led to a project completed on time, with some areas completed ahead of schedule.

Before the contract was even awarded, Mumane and its team began confronting the various challenges facing them. They knew about the problems facing other projects — shortages of sheetrock, bricks, and skilled workers. They immediately set to work, ordering truckloads of sheetrock well in advance, finding a supplier of bricks in Canada, and planning to self-perform major portions of the work. This self-performance not only avoided problems, but also helped to drive the schedule and ensure quality.

Murnane's founder, current President and several engineers with the firm are Clarkson alumni. They understood the importance of this high-profile project to the University, and were more than willing to provide a number of tours of the project, especially for the AGC Student Chapter on campus. The University even set up a web camera so all interested parties could monitor
the daily progress of the project.

During the project, Murnane was awarded an additional contract for a pedestrian bridge from Snell Hall to the Science Center. Despite this additional responsibility, not to mention some 80 change orders to the original project, the team was able to adjust its schedule and flawlessly tie the work together.

The Snell Hall project earned a 2001
Build New York Award for Murnane
Building Contractors.

Clarkson now proudly uses a photo of
Snell Hall on its website as the representative building of the University.