Preparing students with academic skills, character traits and intellectual discipline are just rudimentary elements of Endeavor College Preparatory Charter School in East Los Angeles. The school’s mission is to produce students who excel as leaders in high school, college and their communities.
Endeavor originally opened in 2009. It expanded in 2010 and then again in 2013. Up until 2017, Endeavor was operating in three separate buildings near Boyle and Lincoln Heights in subunits adjacent to other Los Angeles Unified School District schools. After the school’s continued success and recognition, Endeavor was given the opportunity to merge the three separate bodies into one campus. The merger was spearheaded by Pacific Charter School Development, a development organization that oversees the acquisition of properties which are then developed into functioning schools for urban youth.
A commercial property, the Plaza del Sol Shopping Center, would become the future home of Endeavor. The property would be redesigned to include 20 classrooms, resource rooms, administrative office spaces, a playground and have a capacity of 650 students. By consolidating the three sites, it enables staff to work more closely across different grade levels. The consolidation also helps foster a more uniform school culture.
The project required a budget of more than $20 million, but the first half of the project was budgeted at $6.5 million. The first half was due to finish at the end of summer, allowing the school’s primary areas to open in fall 2017.
Enter VectorUSA. The engineering and bidding process spanned more than a year. Multiple companies were brought on board to build different pieces. VectorUSA was contracted to implement various vertical components, including Access Control, IP Surveillance, Audio/Video, Structured Cabling and IP Paging. The client confirmed July 28 as the desired completion date. However, VectorUSA was unable to participate onsite while other companies worked on their respective projects. It was not until July 5, 23 days before the completion date, that VectorUSA received the go ahead to start work on the project.
Dan Chandler, the onsite supervisor, used his experience and decision-making skills to set the tone. Dan and Project Manager Jeff Bussard attended weekly construction meetings and immediately formed relationships with school management and others. Everyone was relieved when our crew hit the ground running and began developing their assigned components.
With the project well in motion, difficulties arose. The site had no doors, windows or security, which meant robberies and theft were daily occurrences. Despite the difficulties, VectorUSA proved so proficient in their development that the client asked us to take over the work of another contractor who was behind schedule. VectorUSA was able to help them pull cable and terminate in order to pass a mandatory inspection.
Even though VectorUSA worked double-time to make up for the late start date, Nick Gasparo and the Sales Engineering team assisted both Dan and Jeff to get the work done quickly. Ray Magana also played a critical role in assisting with the project, procuring materials and handling all the daily requests as the field conditions changed.
By the end of July, VectorUSA crossed the finish line. The work completed was only the first half of the project, and the client was adamant that VectorUSA return for future phases. Project Manager Jeff Bussard, Superintendent Dan Chandler and Primary Foreman Kris Ruelas built valuable relationships with the school, charter development organization, electrical contractor, and general construction company.