Manchester Country Club
Eckman Construction completes $6.5 million in additions and renovations to longtime community fixture
Preston Hunter, director of business development for the Bedford-based Eckman Construction, will be the first to tell you that renovating a historic, beloved community fixture like the Manchester Country Club is a significant undertaking – complete with both anticipated and unforeseen logistical and design-related challenges. However, tackling such a project is even more challenging when parts of the facility need to remain open during the entire construction process. That’s precisely what Hunter and Eckman Construction were charged with doing when they began renovations on the Manchester Country Club in September 2012.
“It was a unique project, because it was designed to be a phased process,” Hunter explains. The owners of the country club hoped to complete portions of the renovation on one area of the facility while keeping all the other sections open as usual for use by club members. This entailed considerable advance work in regards to project planning and design by Eckman and the architectural firm of Dennis Mires, P. A. as well as a huge collaborative effort in terms of logistics and cooperation with local code inspectors, as life-safety systems in the 90-year-old building had to be maintained throughout the construction process.
As a result, Eckman and the country club were able to do some significant juggling. The golf course, for instance, remained open for member use during the first construction phase, through the construction of a brand new 10,000-square-foot golf facilities building, which includes golf cart and golf bag storage, a pro shop, and an upstairs area designed to house golf simulators for use during winter months.
After the golf season ended in November, the Eckman crew shifted gears to begin renovations in the club house. Locker rooms and shower facilities were entirely reconstructed, and other amenities, like a sauna and new lockers, were added for club members as well. These renovations in and of themselves were extensive, but Eckman’s phased approach allowed the country club to keep its ballroom open for member dining and functions until January 2nd and to have the club house completed and reopened in time for the return of golfers in Spring.
Eckman took over the rest of the Manchester Country Club during January 2013, enabling renovations to the kitchen and the new grand ballroom to begin. New underground plumbing was installed, and significant structural enhancements were made to expand the ball room seating capacity to 300 and to create a new business conference center on the second floor – and it all happened, Hunter reminds us, during the dead of an especially memorable New England winter.
The whipping winds and towering snow drifts were merely another part of the job for the team from Eckman Construction, though, and Hunter explains that he and the rest of the involved team took a significant amount of pride not only in doing the job, but also in doing it right, even if it was a difficult process.
”The success of this project was the result of a tremendous team effort by the client, the designers, and the construction team,” Hunter says. “There were probably opportunities to cut corners, but we’re not interested in that, and to their credit, neither were the owners of the country club. We were fortunate to work with a group of dedicated subcontractors who shared our desire to go the extra mile and provide a positive project outcome for the members of the Manchester Country Club.”