White-Spunner Construction, Inc. recently completed the beautiful new Gulfport Municipal Complex. The general contracting, design build and construction management firm – with branch offices in Austin, Texas and Gulfport, Miss – broke ground on the $21.829 million Robert J. Curry Public Safety Center in May 2009 and completed the structure just 17 months later on October 29, 2010. The 78,690-square foot, three-story public safety building features a structural steel frame with architectural pre-cast exterior walls and a large missile impact window system. The building houses municipal courtrooms, the police headquarters and processing center for the City of Gulfport, MS. “The men and women of the Gulfport Police Department are proud of the modern new Public Safety Center, which is one of the finest in the Southeast. We are pleased to name the facility in honor of Lt. Rob Curry. We could not be more satisfied with White-Spunner Construction and their willingness to work as a team to ensure that the facility will meet the city’s needs now and in the future,” said Chief Alan Weatherford of the Gulfport Police Department. The structure, which also includes the Gulfport Police Department’s Dispatch/Communications Center, is designed to: 1. Meet stringent 200-mph wind requirements, 2. Comply with FEMA 361 requirements, and 3. Serve as a first responder’s shelter for emergency support during hurricane or emergency events. The innovative complex is self-supporting in the event of power failure. During an electrical outage, the building’s sewer service, climate control system and electrical system will continue to function independently for up to 36 hours. “Having such a great team and excellent owners to work with made for a very successful project,” said White-Spunner Construction Project Manager Rodney Glessner. “White-Spunner Construction is honored to work with the City of Gulfport and appreciates the opportunity to continue to assist them in their growth.” Special features of the building include an attractive exterior that showcases white architectural pre-cast panels with ornate details. Two municipal courtrooms as well as the lobby feature elaborate wood paneling and wood trim. Several rooms and offices in the police headquarters are named in memory of former police officers. White-Spunner faced several challenges while working on the project. “With this project, we’ve continued to expand our skills as a contractor who can find innovative solutions on the spot,” Glessner said. “We’d already begun construction when it was determined the specified windows needed to be upgraded to the current FEMA 361 standards for exterior windows. The window opening was re-designed and tested to meet the current standards for impact resistance, air and water intrusion. We were able to complete and implement the design with minimal impact to the project schedule.” Glessner highlights constant communication as key in overcoming the challenge. “White-Spunner Construction’s policy to hold bi-weekly meetings among the architect, owner and contractor to review project issues was pivotal,” he said. “One of the most impressive or innovative things that I thought WSC did was to provide live video feed via the web of the construction of the complex. We were able to observe the construction progress live shortly after the ground breaking ceremony up until the pre-cast exterior walls were in place. As the Court Administrator and Court Clerk, I was able to share this construction experience with my other colleagues around the state”, said Odell Thompson, Court Administrator. “There was never a time that I called the WSC project manager or spoke with a member of his team that I did not get my questions answered or concerns resolved. The professionalism shown throughout this project with all of the issues and concerns was exceptional. The WSC team did a number of things that really makes this Municipal Court complex stand out from others. For example, chair railing was installed throughout the complex to match the wood interior. It is amazing what that one little detail did to further accent the interior of the facility.” Crews also managed tight construction restraints for lay-down and staging areas, due to the project’s location on one city block with adjacent congested thoroughfares and nearby railroad tracks. “I’ve been very pleased with White-Spunner’s commitment to this project. They’re always available when I have a question, and they treat each challenge as an opportunity to make the project better,” said Gulfport Program Manager, Robyn Eastman, of Broaddus & Associates. “In my 33 years of managing construction projects, I have never met a more responsive contractor. I sincerely hope to work with them again.”