What’s Behind L.A.’s First New Container-Based Community School for HOLA?

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May 11, 2018

By Dennis Kaiser

SG Blocks, a designer, innovator and fabricator of container-based structures, is collaborating on an innovative new school in Los Angeles for HOLA at 625 S. Lafayette Park Pl. Paul Galvin, Chairman and CEO of the company, shared how the team came together and is assembling what will be Los Angeles’ largest container-based community school in Connect Media’s latest 3 CRE Q&A.

Q: Can you share a bit about your collaboration with the Heart of Los Angeles on this new facility?

A: SG Blocks is collaborating with the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) on a new 23,715 square-foot three-story community arts and recreation center. Founded nearly 30 years ago, HOLA offers underserved children outstanding programs in arts, academics and athletics in a supportive environment. SG blocks designed and is in the process of building the facility, utilizing 46 modified shipping containers and four steel-frame modular units. The immense new container-based community center will be the first of its kind in Los Angeles. HOLA currently serves more than 2,300 children and families, and this facility will expand its capacity by 74%. The 300 families presently on the waiting list will all be serviced once the center opens in summer 2018.

Q: Why did HOLA choose to partner with SG Blocks?

A: SG Blocks partners with developers, architects, builders and owners in achieving environmentally friendly construction, safer buildings and quicker execution, much more efficiently than firms utilizing traditional construction. The firm has worked with some of the most prominent organizations in the world, including Starbucks, Puma, Lacoste, Marriott and the U.S. military. The building system is ideal for community centers and educational institutions that are looking to quickly build facilities, and have a focus on student safety and affordability. SG Blocks also has an exclusive ESR number, granted by the International Code Council solely to the firm in 2017, which ensures its ability to meet and exceed all international building codes.

Q: What is the process behind designing and fabricating the new community center?

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A: SG Blocks and HOLA began their collaboration in June 2017. Working closely with HOLA executives, SG Blocks’ leadership designed the facility, providing renderings and building plans. Beginning in October 2017, it worked with ConGlobal Industries in Houston to prefabricate the 46 shipping containers offsite. Once prefabrication was finished, SG Blocks shipped the containers from Houston, and on March 26th they began arriving at the HOLA site with full delivery taking approximately four weeks. The team is now in the final stages of assembling the center. The facility will be completed by August 2018, at which time the center will be open and welcoming new children and families.