St. Leo University


Corporate Office


Savannah, GA


15,000 sqft


St. Leo University and Joe Corona have completed multiple tenant improvement projects together and have established a solid construction management partnership. During St. Leo University’s search for a new location with additional square footage and availability for future expansion, Cornerstone provided preliminary budget pricing at multiple site locations. The client chose an abandoned building that originally had been used as a VA Ambulatory Center with high power imaging equipment, backup generator service, check-in/waiting area, pharmacy, observation rooms, surgical rooms, and corporate offices.

Cornerstone was contracted to provide design and general contracting services for the design-build project. After property selection, Cornerstone provided preliminary budget pricing based on discussions with the University and a hand-sketched layout proposed by Cornerstone. During leasing negotiations, Cornerstone conducted multiple site visits to evaluate constructability and the ability to meet the University’s standard of design. We also assessed possible redesign of existing conditions, use of existing utilities, and pedestrian routing for students, and interviewed the Building Engineer about previous modifications and original design documents. We determined the rooftop HVAC units (RTUs) needed to be replaced due to their age, and submetering would be possible with minimal utility modifications. Cost savings were available using existing walls, with minor changes to wall layout design, and using subcontractors from both Savannah and Atlanta. Cornerstone selected new subcontractors after a stringent review of their project history, project team resumes, references and company financials to ensure their quality of construction and ability to meet the construction schedule.

Cornerstone established the construction schedule to meet the start of the fall semester. Leasing negotiations and finalization delayed the project three weeks. We were able to meet the construction schedule and provide a Certificate of Occupancy for St. Leo to begin the semester on time by providing equivalent alternate brand equipment and finishes with reduced lead times and stacking multiple trades in strategic areas. Notable project features included submetering of utilities, architectural security fencing at outdoor area, modular wall systems for all adjacent classrooms, and replacement of all RTUs servicing the new build-out. Our emphasis on customer service and promoting collaborative working relationships cultivated additional opportunities in the building on behalf of the building owner.