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Eight ways we use tech to keep your design-build project on time, under budget

Construction management software adds vast efficiencies

Modern construction sites are home to ever-evolving technology to keep projects on time and under budget.

Construction-technology-Leon-Williams-Contractors

There are drones, heads-up displays and smartphones that can be used to record progress or problems. At LWC, we use various types of technology to make sure our design-build projects proceed smoothly for you, be it a church, restaurant or retail project.

One of the most effective pieces of technology used at Leon Williams Contractors to ensure your design-build project proceeds with ease is construction management software. Such software can help owners, project managers and superintendents track and monitor construction progress on any site.

Here are ways we put the software to use for you to ensure your East Tennessee design-build project is well managed and delivered on time:

  1. Superintendents can save time with automated reporting features. This replaces old-fashioned paperwork, and means our clients and customers save money.
  2. Photos and videos can be directly uploaded to a project report, detailing any safety issues, weather delays or inventory issues.
  3. Site workers can be warned in real-time about approaching hazardous weather that may delay the project or pose a safety threat.
  4. Subcontractor activity and obligations can be tracked via a daily reporting feature.
  5. Safety protocols can be closely tracked to ensure adherence.
  6. Superintendents, owners and contractors can view job site progress remotely.
  7. Daily reports can be professionally collated and shared with all necessary parties.
  8. Requests for information and submittals can be tracked and send out automatic reminders to prevent missing answers and falling behind schedule.

Construction field management software is just one way we deliver the most economical, effective and flawless design-build projects in East Tennessee and beyond. Contact Leon Williams Contractors today for all your design-build needs.

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Leon Williams Contractors to Renovate Cafeteria for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Maryville, Tennessee-based commercial design-build firm to overhaul Crossroads Dining Hall

MARYVILLE, Tennessee. – April 24, 2018 – Leon Williams Contractors, a Maryville-based commercial design-build firm, has been hired to renovate the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s (UTC) main student cafeteria, UTC Crossroads Dining Hall.

Everything, except the restrooms, in the roughly 13,000-square-foot dining hall will undergo a complete renovation. All the furniture, food stations and fixtures will be replaced, and new features will be added to the dining experience, including a Mongolian grill concept and a sushi machine.

“Crossroads is the main dining hall on campus, so it’s important for our student-life experience to have a place where students enjoy eating,” said Tyler Forrest, associate vice chancellor for budget and finance. “This renovation will help us expand what Crossroads offers while also providing a pleasant setting for students and teachers alike.”

Leon Williams Contractors, which has worked with UTC Dining on 13 previous projects, will begin work on Crossroads Dining Hall in May.

“We are grateful to be asked to renovate this space, which we were asked to build in 2011,” said Jimmy Hawkins, president of Leon Williams Contractors. “We’re blessed that UTC Dining believed in our work so much that they want us to undertake another project for this dining hall.”

The company expects to complete the renovation in August, before the fall 2018 semester begins.

“In addition to the new dining options and interior makeover, there will be a new kitchen exhaust system and we’ll be adding more windows to bring more natural light into the dining room area,” Hawkins said. “Students who are attending UTC in fall 2018 will be able to dine at what will essentially be a completely new Crossroads Dining Hall.”

About Leon Williams Contractors

An experienced commercial design-build firm, Leon Williams Contractors simplifies the building process by effectively managing costs, adhering to deadlines and reducing complications to provide a seamless building experience. As a value-engineering expert, Leon Williams Contractors offers a complete range of services including pre-construction consultation, site assessment, design-build expertise and construction management in the greater Knoxville, Tenn. area.

For more information, visit www.lwcontractorstn.com or call 865-982-1734.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Heather Ripley
Ripley PR
865-977-1973
hripley@ripleypr.com

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UT and UTC contracts a tasty testament to Leon Williams’ understanding of the college dining scene

The college lunch lady is long gone, but students are eating better than ever

Long-gone are the days of the college-level lunch lady, passing out portions on a cafeteria plate.
Forget the meat-and-threes and fish Fridays on college campuses. College students today want choices, choices and more choices. And they love their tried-and-true brands like Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels. We have built those and more – Subway, Pizza Hut, and Dunkin’ Donuts among them – on the University of Tennessee at Knoxville campus.

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Our design-build firm has also built numerous restaurants on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus and are commencing a project that will bring a Dippers, Einstein Bros. Bagels and a Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) convenience store to a new dormitory complex.

We know what Vols and Mocs want, and we know how to build their favorite franchises. We also keep on top of campus dining trends to make sure we are ready to roll with any new concepts or opportunities that might come our way.

Here are five things to consider about college campus dining these days:

1. Options. Prospective students will take available food and dining options into account when deciding on a college. Thus the drive to transform and improve campus food options across the country.

2. Customization. Food allergies are on the rise and college kids want to customize their orders because of health or dietary concerns, explaining the lure of pizza places and sandwich shops with customizable options.

3. Demand. Food services directors take feedback seriously, and their restaurant selections will reflect demand. That may explain the meteoric rise of franchises like Starbucks and fast-food restaurants.

4. Grab and go. College life can be demanding and hectic, and students avoiding fast food still want to pop in and out of a place with a banana and juice or a coffee and muffin. Premade food options are in demand, and explain the prevalence of convenience-type stores like Provisions on Demand.

5. Cost. Traditional meal plans at colleges cost thousands of dollars a year, offering limited hours and heavy and hearty choices. College students these days want to set their own budgets and want access to lighter fare. Why wade through a cafeteria line when all you want is a bagel or simple sandwich?

Of course, trends come and go, but it’s likely the dining options we provide on campuses will be in demand for quite some time. We’ll be listening and keeping up with the food trends, and likely won’t rue the loss of the lunch line, and lunch lady, anytime soon.

See a sampling of our college dining work here, and contact us for more information on our campus design-build solutions.

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Leon Williams Contractors Helps Bring New Foothills Church to Life in Time for Easter

Foothills Church built by Leon Williams Contractors

Maryville, Tennessee-based commercial design-build firm finishes brand new 33,000 square foot Foothills Church building

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – March 27, 2018 – Leon Williams Contractors, a Maryville-based commercial design-build firm, has completed construction of the new 33,000 square foot Foothills Church building in Maryville.

Foothills Church (FC) started in 2009 in a local school before moving into a former arcade and entertainment center in 2011. The new space, which will be, by attendance, Blount County’s largest church, will serve as an auditorium and creative space for the congregation’s Sunday services.

“It’s amazing to see what God has done at FC,” said Dr. Trent Stewart, pastor at Foothills Church. “We want people to know that FC is a place they can find hope and purpose. Our message to this city is simple: You Belong Here.”

Leon Williams Contractors has been involved with Foothills Church since it purchased a building formerly known as Thunderworld, helping FC transform the facility into an elegant space for children, families, and worship. Constructing a church with such a large capacity and with advanced technology meant that special considerations had to be made.

“There are a lot of moving parts on such a large project, and several teams have to work together to make it a reality,” said Jimmy Hawkins, president of Leon Williams Contractors. “The entire audio, video and lighting setup is state of the art, and we had to work with Foothill’s Church’s audio/video consultant to ensure that the piping and conduit placement were considered during every step of the building process. We also had to ensure the sound equipment had clean power via isolation transformers so no interfering frequencies would disrupt the technology or those involved in a service. The final product of that teamwork really speaks for itself. When you walk into the auditorium, it’s impressive.”

To help with the flow of traffic, and since the church was limited to one point of ingress and egress, Leon Williams Contractors also included a traffic circle in the parking lot.

“One of the things you have to keep in mind when building a church with a large congregation is the flood of people that come in and out every Sunday,” Hawkins said. “It’s not like a restaurant where there is steady traffic in and out. Instead, you’ve got a couple hundred cars moving in and out almost all at once. The roundabout will help traffic flow with as little congestion as possible and gives them flexibility with traffic patterns.”

The building that was previously used for services will be turned into space for students, children, and the church’s preschool ministry called Launchpad.

Foothills Church will have their open house on April 1, Easter Sunday. Those interested in attending Foothills Church’s Easter service can attend the 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. service. More information can be found on the church’s website, foothillschurch.com.

“We’ve been blessed to see people find meaning in life and connect to God in a deeper way,” Stewart said. “We wanted to accommodate our growth, but also open up empty seats for people who aren’t here yet. This new building is really for them and our city, and we look forward to its completion this Sunday.”

About Leon Williams Contractors

An experienced commercial design-build firm, Leon Williams Contractors simplifies the building process by effectively managing costs, adhering to deadlines and reducing complications to provide a seamless building experience. As a value-engineering expert, Leon Williams Contractors offers a complete range of services including pre-construction consultation, site assessment, design-build expertise and construction management in the greater Knoxville, Tenn. area.

For more information, visit www.lwcontractorstn.com or call 865-982-1734.

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Leon Williams Contractors will help answer the call to expand your church

We are putting the final touches on what will be, by seat count, Blount County’s largest church. The planned grand opening of the new 33,000-square foot facility at Foothills Church is set, appropriately, for the Easter season. The previous location will serve as classrooms and a learning center for children.

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The church has had a number of rebirths, and we’ve been there along the way. It started in a school, then moved into a former arcade and entertainment center. Each time, church leaders felt the call to expand. The need for a larger facility was obvious and quantifiable; three services occur every Sunday.

While church leaders often feel called to expand to accommodate their flock, there are some very down-to-earth principles to follow before embarking on a major renovation or expansion.

As part of our process, we guide congregations throughout preconstruction planning and the design-build phase, but here are some things to consider before proceeding with a new church:

  • Develop a master plan. Don’t just think about the next step, but consider the next 30 years. Articulate a vision. Do you want to offer a family-life center? Have a commercial kitchen? Open a school? What are your anticipated square-footage needs? Having a vision for the future can justify the first step toward expansion or a whole new church.
  • Conduct a car and head count. It might seem as if you have good turnout, but numbers don’t lie. You are going to need this information when it comes time to plan a new sanctuary or auditorium. From these numbers you can project how many people are attending and how your congregation travels to your building. This can also help justify any variances or approvals needed from municipalities to allow the project to proceed.
  • Identify a feasible site. You probably don’t want to move across town, but does the proposed site accommodate the new structure or expansion, have adequate parking and landscaping and provide good egress or ingress? We designed a traffic circle for the Foothills parking lot because of one sole entry and exit point.
  • Keep infrastructure demands in mind. Many churches use a lot more power these days because of auditorium-style services, audio-visual equipment, musical performances and the sheer size of the facility. Make sure you have access to an adequate power supply. The same goes for sewage needs. Don’t plan on too many bells and whistles if you want to open a large church in the country.

We have built and renovated churches throughout East Tennessee. If you feel the calling to expand, contact us and we can help every step of the way.

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