Landmark Construction Starts Natomas Charter School Early

Landmark Construction is building the first commercial structure after a seven-year building moratorium in Natomas, near Sacramento, CA. The Natomas Unified School District selected Landmark Construction to build the $21 million charter school project after the moratorium was lifted.

The official ground breaking for the Natomas Charter School’s STAR Academy was held on Oct. 5, 2015. The new 62,000 sq. ft. charter school will accommodate 500 elementary school students according to Paul Anderson, Director, Planning and Construction, Natomas Unified School District.

“This is the first new campus construction since 2008,” said Anderson. “STAR Academy is expected to be completed in September 2016.”

Project Timeline

  • June 2014 — Board of Trustees adopted the Natomas Unified School District Facilities Master Plan.
  • November 2014 — The project is being funded through Measure J school bonds that voters approved.
  • March 31, 2015 — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lifted the seven-year building moratorium in Natomas.
  • August 2015 – Landmark Construction wins low bid to build on Star Academy Charter School.
  • September 2015 – Grading completed and pads built
  • October 5, 2015 — Natomas Unified School District hosts ground breaking ceremony
Landmark Construction is ahead of schedule on the Natomas STAR Academy.

Landmark Construction is ahead of schedule on the Natomas STAR Academy.

Landmark Construction Works Quickly

Landmark Construction was selected to build the new STAR Academy campus at the end of August 2015, according to Cody Carpino, Associate Principal, William + Paddon Architects and project manager. “Once Landmark Construction was awarded the bid, they moved with amazing speed,” said Carpino.

“Within the first month, they completed the rough grading, built pads and installed utilities.  Because of their experience and excellent relationships with subcontractors, Landmark Construction was prepared to start work immediately.”

Project Ahead of Schedule

Although California is currently in a drought, the prospect of rain created a sense of urgency, explained Joe Bittaker, President, Landmark Construction.

“Once it was determined that Landmark Construction was the low bid, we worked collaboratively with the Natomas Unified School District to award the contract 10 days early,” said Bittaker. “That gave us more time to prepare the ground and build the pads. Within days of signing the contract, Teichart Construction was at the site to remove dirt, condition the soil, layer it back, add lime for structural strength and build the pads. This was all accomplished in just nine days.”

“In early October, we are three weeks ahead of schedule. If we get the El Nino we anticipate, construction will not be delayed because essential groundwork on the nine acre site got a strong start in September.”

In the next several weeks, Bittaker indicated that Teichart Construction will install underground utilities and storm drains. Next, the foundation will be poured and slab work will be done by RE Maher Concrete.

 Collaborative Approach to Building Schools

Carpino noted that Landmark Construction has a reputation for establishing a spirit of cooperation on projects. “Landmark staff is on-site to address challenges immediately,” said Carpino. “They are known for being innovative and talking through issues to find the most streamlined approach.”

According to Bittaker, Landmark Construction projects move efficiently because of the company’s emphasis on communication, transparent management and collaborative mindset. “Since 1998, Landmark Construction has delivered 100 percent of our projects on time,” said Bittaker.

Landmark Construction employees work collaboratively to push project schedule.

Landmark Construction employees work collaboratively to push project schedule.

Sustainable Building Design

Williams + Paddon Architects has incorporated many sustainable features into the design that will save energy, increase comfort and make the best use of space, explained Carpino. “Classrooms will have day lighting as a result of skylights with shades that can control glare,” said Carpino. “Students and faculty will be more comfortable because of the unusually large fans to circulate air in each room and displacement ventilation which is healthier than forced air.”

To meet the budget requirements and the tight timeline to complete the project next year, Williams + Paddon developed architectural plans that will make construction more efficient. “The Landmark Construction mindset is also geared toward sustainability and less waste,” said Carpino. “That’s a good fit for this project.”

Efficient Construction Practices

“The design takes into account the standard size of materials which is beneficial from a construction perspective,” said Bittaker. “If lumber is already the correct length called for in the plans, it doesn’t need to be cut. That reduces errors, saves time and eliminates waste.”

“As a company, Landmark Construction is committed to recycling, saving energy and sustainability,” said Bittaker.  “So we delighted to be building William + Paddon’s thoughtful and efficient design for the STAR Academy.” Bittaker uses his bike to commute to work, the firm has a fleet of hybrid electric vehicles and construction sites follow sustainable practices.

 Ready for Fall 2016

“With our amazing group of subcontractors, we anticipate working collaboratively with Natomas Unified School District and Williams + Paddon Architects to build a wonderful new campus for STAR Academy,” said Bittaker. “Students, faculty and staff will be occupying this innovative learning environment in less than a year.”

About Landmark Construction

Since 1998, Landmark Construction has successfully managed renovation, site-improvement and new construction projects for public agencies, universities and K12 schools in California. Through collaborative project management, Landmark Construction has achieved a track record of 100% on-time project delivery within budget and without problems. Learn more at