McCarthy Begins Construction of Allied Health Building

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. (, one of the nation’s leading higher education builders, has construction underway for the new 49,000-square-foot Allied Health building at San Diego Mesa College, located at 7250 Mesa College Dr., in the Clairemont area of San Diego, Calif.

            McCarthy is providing full construction services for the $20 million project for the San Diego Community College District. The project is funded by Proposition S Construction Bond, which was approved by San Diego voters in 2002. It is the first teaching facility to be built at Mesa College, one of the largest community colleges in California and the nation, since the college opened in 1964.

San Diego-based Architects | Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker is the project architect. Construction manager Richard Burkhart is providing oversight on behalf of the San Diego Community College District.

            The three-story Allied Health building will include a computer lab, classrooms, a clinical dental lab, physical therapy lab, medical lab, plus faculty and staff offices. Situated at the College’s main campus entry off Mesa College Drive, the building will serve as a prominent landmark for the college. A groundbreaking ceremony will be conducted on Wednesday, May 21. Completion is slated for August 2009.

            Because the building site is significantly compact, a three-story building layout was necessary to accommodate all of the uses required by the faculty, staff and students. This made it paramount in the exterior design to reduce the vertical emphasis of the tall building by incorporating multiple horizontal design elements such as a continuous ribbon window curtain wall system with integral horizontal window eyebrows that also play a significant role in shading the glass and reducing the amount of internal solar gain inside the building.

            Another important design element is the introduction of stone cladding on the more powerful vertical elements such as stairs and entry areas. This will be the first building on the campus to use stone elements on the exterior.

Part of the project scope involves extensive realignment of an existing roadway, which posed the challenge of deciphering how to perform the majority of the work without interrupting the access/egress requirements of the campus. The McCarthy project team worked with the District to save several months on the District’s original schedule and sequencing plan. Collectively they came up with a shorter phasing plan that will significantly reduce the campus disruption and ultimately save the District a considerable amount of money.   

            Paul Schroeder AIA is serving as principal-in-charge for Architects | Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker, with Doug Paterson, AIA, as project architect and Kerry Ringle, Associate AIA, Alison Morita, Associate AIA, and Javier Nava serving as the technical staff.

            The project team consultants include Hope Engineering for structural engineering, RBF Consulting for civil engineering and TKG Consulting Engineers, Inc. for mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering. Wimmer Yamada & Caughey is the project team’s landscape architect, and Churchill Engineering, Inc. is the code consultant. URS Corp is serving as the construction manager for the owner.

            McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the nation’s 10th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2007) and among the top 10 education builders (Engineering News-Record, October 2006). The firm has been building in the education market for the last 50 years. Committed to the construction of high performance buildings, the company has managed construction or built more than 400 K-12 school projects nationwide, totaling more than $2 billion in construction value, and more than 200 higher education projects on more than 40 campuses. In addition to San Diego, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Dallas and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at