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Oxford Park Commission

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By John Davis
Community Relations Director

Sometimes a longer wait ends up producing the best outcome. The new Oxford Park Commission activity center has been desired since 1998 and discussed in earnest for almost two handful of years. Thanks to the hard work put in by the members of Innovative Construction Management, work on the new activity center is about to begin.

Ever since April of 2016, Casey Rogers, the president of ICM, and his team have been working with city and community leaders on a plan to make talk turn into action. What started out as a discussion between the city and the university regarding a facility that would house indoor tennis, ICM worked with everyone involved to navigate the waters of development and actually get a project together that was truly suitable for everyone in the community.

The new $11.5 million project is efficient and stunning all at the same time. Pryor Morrow Architects joined forces with Ernest Joyner of Sink Combs to design the project. Joyner’s vast resume includes several Olympic projects around the world. The combined efforts produced a design that was stunning and efficient at the same time.

“The project team have maximized your program with the available funds. The building is extremely efficient and at the same time, it looks really good,” Rogers said. “We spent a lot of time pushing back and forth with the design team during the design phase on material selection, construction methods, layout, etc. in order to maximize the project scope. In every project the dynamics of scope, quality, and budget dictate the end product. By asking questions, such as: substituting materials here and there to gain more space for gymnastics without sacrificing quality, the team was able to produce the most efficient building. It’s about working with the architect to get everything just right. The amount of work that has been put into the project to get us to the point of pushing dirt, is amazing. Very few projects in the state of Mississippi have had this amount of planning involved. We do that with every job, but it’s rare and I think we’re unique in the amount of planning we do.”

A systematic approach to construction is what ICM offers clients. The activity center is the second project that ICM is working on with the city. The other is the new parking garage that will be placed off the Square. Rogers said the goal is to work really hard during design phase in order to improve the design documents to therefore reduce or eliminate costly change orders during the construction phase that plague most construction projects.

“We have a plan and that plan should not only be what the building looks like but also incorporate schedule milestones, production rates, quality control procedures, etc” Rogers said. “What happens on projects is on bid day, when they think they have a good deal and are on budget, as they go through construction process, change orders keep happening and they’re suddenly over budget halfway or three quarters of the way through.”

“What we say is let’s be proactive verses reactive. Let’s bring our construction knowledge into the design phase,” Rogers continued. “We have over $1 billion worth of construction knowledge in house. We bring all those experiences of being out in the cold and in the mud and putting things together. We know how to build buildings and so let’s bring that knowledge into the design phase to work with the architect who knows how to make things look pretty and design spaces.”

The new activity center will take a year to complete. It’s expected to be open to the public in December of 2018. On top of the new basketball courts and courts that can be used for pickle ball, the community will have a walking track above the court as well as new lounging space that can be utilized in between athletic events.


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Oxford Park Commission

310 South 15th St. 
Oxford, Mississippi 38655

John Davis, Community Relations Director.

Phone : 662-232-2380
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