Department Of Veterans Affairs (VA) office in Huntington, West Virginia was preparing for significant renovation of their three-story building, 102k square foot space. Their project included renovating their security lobby, staff offices, the veteran areas on the first floor, the entire second floor, the training room, director’s suite, and IT department on the third floor. The contractor hired to do this work, Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, called on OMX based on their previous experiences partnering together on large, complex moves.
The original design required eight separate phases, which is significantly more than normal reno projects. The client also required that the move not impact regular activity, so most of the work was restricted to evening and weekend hours, creating a logistical challenge to OMX movers and project managers whose main office is four hours away.
One of the requirements of the RFP was to donate and/or sustainably recycle a significant portion of the excess furniture. This included free-standing office furniture and cubicles for almost 350 personnel.
With guidance from OMX, VA agreed to reduce their project down to four phases (from eight) to increase efficiency. The project spanned a total of 18 months from start to finish.
OMX first relocated all VA personnel, select furniture and office contents to a third-floor swing space and later returned all to newly renovated spaces on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors. Crews arrived on-site Friday afternoons to work until midnight, returned Saturday 8am until 5pm and then returned Sunday morning at 8am and worked until 3pm.
During some phases, construction and moving crews were working simultaneously in the same space, which created logistical challenges (especially the use of the elevators and loading dock). Timing was tightly orchestrated to allow all parties to perform their work unhindered; communication had to be constant and accurate.
The weather created its own set of challenges with 14” of snow blanketing the area. Watching the weather forecast, the OMX team got a head start to West Virginia. Crews were properly dressed, prepared with snow removal equipment, and partnered with local snow removal personnel. All work areas were kept free and clear during the entire weekend with zero negative impact.
During each of the four phases, OMX provided experienced furniture installers to dismantle, remove and recycle all designated furniture that included 105 private offices, 246 cubicles, 4 kitchens, 7 conference rooms, 8 storage areas. As part of the final fourth phase, OMX also handled the hanging of over 250 pieces of artwork, white boards, and message boards throughout the building. A total of 86 loads of excess furniture and related material was removed from the building and recycled or donated. Local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, United Way of the River Cities, the VA Hospital, and the Salvation Army (among others) were contacted. OMX delivered (at no cost) good condition, used furniture to over six different not-for-profit organizations.
While each phase was slightly different in scope, a typical crew provided by OMX consisted of the following: 1 Project Manager, 2 Working Supervisors, 14 Movers, 10 Installers, 2 Trucks and Drivers. Each phase was performed over a three/four-day weekend to allow VA personnel to perform their regular duties without negative impact.
Pre-move meetings, on-site coordination, real-time status updates and general cooperation between all parties were key elements in the success of the project. Both Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson and Department of Veteran Affairs were extremely pleased with the outcome of the project and were happy to be in their newly renovated space.