Lancaster Bible College Frey Center

The Lancaster Bible College Frey Academic Building is special because it adds another beautiful building to the rapidly expanding campus. Smucker Company has been fortunate to be a part of this expansion on other projects as well as the Frey Academic Building. To help create a space for faculty to teach and students to learn is rewarding.

From the beginning of this project, Smucker personnel worked with our engineers to design and engineer our work for the exterior walls and the metal roof trusses. There was a barrel ceiling and some rounded windows that were being framed with cold-formed metal studs that were going to take some extra pre-planning. In addition, we were informed by Horst Construction that the windows were going to be delayed to the point that they would not be installed until after the exterior brick. This meant that our window measurements needed to be very precise because we would not have the ability to adjust the framing while the windows were being installed.

  • Client: Lancaster Bible College Frey Center
  • Location: Lancaster, PA
  • Project Type: Education

For the round-top windows, our field installer made a template of the exact window measurement and used that as a guide to get the precision that was needed. For the square windows, extra effort was taken to make sure the rough opening was perfect. While we strive to always install our framing correctly, this required an additional level of detail and planning from our field installer. I am happy to say that every window was installed after the brick and they all fit perfectly!

The barrel ceiling was unusual because it was framed with cold-formed metal studs. We were required to bend the heavy gauge track and then install the heavy gauge studs at 8” on center in order to create the tight radius that the design required. Again, we built a template before we did the actual installation to make sure that we were being accurate and precise. After the studs and track were in place, we then installed 2” heavy gauge metal strapping to strengthen the barrel ceiling to meet the wind load requirements.

Smucker field workers also installed the metal stud roof trusses. On this job, there were some unique aspects to the roof structure. There were flat spots in the roof that required us to tie together flat roof trusses and pitched roof trusses. This created the need for some stick framing where the elevator shaft penetrated up through the roof. The valleys in this area ended being “trial and error” till we got all the different pitches and angles to match perfectly. Also, at the gable ends, we needed to hand frame the outriggers because of the large eave overhang.

Safety was a daily challenge as we were working on the roof, working off of 60’ boom lifts and getting in tight spots using scaffold setups that had to be pre-planned by our Foreman, George Green and our Safety Director, Amos Dienner. They did a great job with the safety planning because our work was completed incident-free.

As I reflect on this project, I am proud of our team and the great job they did with planning. We talk a lot about how pre-job planning and planning in general can eliminate rework and headaches. Our team was able to execute flawlessly the level of planning that was needed on this project with the window openings, barrel ceiling and safety. In the construction industry, we talk a lot about the benefits of planning. So when we see it done well, I think that deserves recognition by winning an award.

And in the end, as is always the case, the real benefactor is the end-user of the building. Which in this case is Lancaster Bible College and all the ripple effect that learning in this building will have on our community and society in general.