The Friends of Discovery Health Sciences Foundation engaged Palmisano as the Design-Assist contractor to lead the new construction of a 125,000-square-foot school for the Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy. The school was founded in 2013 as a Type 1 charter school, with additional levels and students joining the community each year.
As of 2018, there were nearly 1,600 students in grades Pre-K through 11th grade and 200 full-time faculty members spread throughout multiple campuses. The growing school community required an expanded campus to realize its goal to “grow a successful Early Childhood through a 12th-grade charter network with a 21st-century approach to education.”
The space includes a new three-story educational facility with 53 classrooms, library, multiple science labs, teaching kitchen, simulated hospital room, music room, digital media room, cafeteria and full kitchen more than 11,000-square-feet of administrative facilities, outdoor plaza, and concrete paved parking for 300+ vehicles.
Completed in 2020, the new campus was designed in partnership with Sizeler Thompson Brown architects.
Friends of Discovery Health Sciences Foundation
Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects
The project presented a challenging, compressed 12-month construction schedule. Palmisano utilized a Precast Concrete system in lieu of Structural Steel to accelerated the project, saving five months. The team coordinated scopes and install details with various trades ahead of onsite delivery to ensure a clean execution. Implementing Palmisano’s Zero Defects process, the team was present and hands on to mitigate potential issues that may have caused rework and warranty call-backs.
Palmisano utilized Pull Planning to proactively manage the schedule, allowing the team to quickly pivot, adapt, and reduce time lost between subcontractor hand offs. The visual schedules in the jobsite office were developed in coordination with the subcontractors and outlined four-week lookaheads and significant targets. This allowed ample lead time for the various trades to prepare for their activities and maintain sequencing. Pre-install sessions were conducted by scope instead of individual subcontractor which allowed the partners to collaborate and coordinate in real time, keeping everyone on the same page. Installs were immediately reviewed to ensure issues did not linger.
This educational facility —the first new public school constructed in Jefferson Parish since the 1980s—will unite a school community that is currently spread across four campuses. Palmisano worked hand-in-hand with the Kenner Discovery team to create an environment that fosters connections between student and teacher.