The Weitz Company recently completed its second project with Universal Technical Institute in Avondale, Ariz., serving as the general contractor to renovate and convert UTI’s existing auto lab into a new welding lab. Weitz built the original building in 2003, and its success on that project left an impression 15 years later.
Work in the 5,168-square-foot space included 48 individual welding booths; a virtual welding instructional lab; CNC pipe cutter and saw tables; plasma cutting stations; grinding stations; a large fume extraction system serving the whole space; electrical; plumbing; new partitions; doors and frames; and minor structural work.
Originally anticipated to take 90 calendar days to complete, the project lost 30 calendar days at the beginning of its schedule due to permitting and contract award issues. However, Weitz was able to meet the original completion date through creative buyout and strong contractor coordination. Weitz and Lincoln Electric, another prime contractor and equipment supplier that had worked with Universal Technical Institute on a trial project in California, used the same subcontractors for mechanical and electrical work, which minimized the overall number of contractors and scope overlaps in a very tight space. This Lean approach led to a much faster delivery and guaranteed the first welding classes would start on time in January.