"The experience has been very positive overall and if I had to sum it up I’d say that Alita worked very hard on our behalf. It wasn’t just about fulfilling the contract but building a relationship."
Read on for the testimonial from Clients, Seth Merlo (Projects Officer) and Mark Steyn (CEO) from the Rehoboth Christian College speak about their experience building with Alita Constructions during the Design and Construct of the college located in Kenwick, Perth.
How did Alita Constructions come to be the builder of the Rehoboth Christian College 2 storey classroom addition?
Rehoboth has been in the growth and development phase over a number of years. We have been adding buildings for some time and in the last round of needing to add buildings, we went out for tender. The reason for going out for tender was that we were able to secure government grants and part of that is that the government required us to tender and Alita was the most successful company. We also have gone through a fairly rigorous process of ensuring that this wasn’t just a cost exercise, but it was making sure that it was a builder with credibility. We had gone and visited some of the buildings that Alita has done before and spoken to previous clients and made sure they had a good reputation. Alita certainly ticked all the boxes for us.
How was your experience working with Alita Constructions?
The experience has been very positive overall and if I had to sum it up I’d say that Alita worked very hard on our behalf. It wasn’t just about fulfilling the contract but building a relationship.
After you have been through your building experience with Alita Constructions what words best describe Alita Constructions and its culture?
The words we would use are; engaging. They certainly came to the party in terms of keeping us well informed of what was happening step-by-step. Project meetings were held on regular basis and they certainly ironed out a lot of the difficult parts, as we went along with the construction. The other word that I would use is that it was an ethical company. In another words, what we got was what they had agreed to and what they said they would give. We were thrilled that the company had really kept to their word and were not trying to hit us with a lot of variation orders and things that we’ve experienced in times before. The third word for us, was that it was a company that had been looking after our interests. And so for them, they were keen to hear what this school was looking for, and specifically in our model of Education, what it was that we were interested in, not only on the plans but in terms of some of the finer detail in classrooms and in office administration areas to give us what we’re looking for and we were really pleased with it.
Another word I’d add to what Mark was saying would be grounded - that there’s just no pretense in dealing with the team. They are very friendly and always approachable when we had questions and issues to resolve and that sort of thing. We always had the sense that behind the team that we were dealing with, was a strong team, Alita in a broader sense, was coming from a good place.
Did Alita Constructions meet your expectations as a commercial Builder? And if so, in what way?
If I’m honest, I have to say that Alita exceeded our expectations. In an overall sense, you’re always nervous when you start those kind of Partnerships, you know, like is it going to go according to plan and how you hoped? Are they going to deliver what you expect them to deliver and that sort of thing? Particularly in building you are always conscious of delays and budget blowouts and that sort of thing. So we were thrilled when Alita was able to deliver this project on time and on budget. Yeah, just a wonderful experience to have that happen.
How has working with Alita Constructions helped the Rehoboth Christian College and how it operates?
First thing for us, is that the building was delivered on time. We were under huge time pressure to try and get children into classrooms and for us that was a big-ticket item and we needed them to be able to deliver. Well, it was delivered slightly before projected end date and they kept us up to speed right from the very first week in terms of how it was tracking and we were really thrilled about that. The second part for us was that we wanted to be engaged in the process. We didn’t want the building to be delivered and then to start the discussion about what worked and what didn’t; and what we were happy about and what we were unhappy about. But instead we were able to do that on a weekly basis. For us there was a whole team that was working with us to try and make sure that that happened. It was a site supervisor that was constantly on the site and was engaging both with us and with trades and we were able to get our wishes and wants known. We were also dealing with the Projects Officer from behind the scenes who is dealing with contract and making sure that we were on track with what is busy happening. We were also were dealing with others if we wanted variations or changes as we made. I think for us, the flexibility was absolutely wonderful, so we requested a number of things during the project as it went and we asked for those changes to be made sometimes at fairly short notice and we found that Alita was really accommodating to try and help us to get it across the line, which we truly appreciated.
Did Alita Constructions have yours and the projects best interest at heart?
Yes, I believe that Alita did have our best interests at heart throughout the project. Everything from (particularly being a school) obviously things like student safety and that sort of thing is paramount to them, and then you’re going to everything from bell times to term dates and that sort of thing. Keeping it all ticking over, Alita we were very sensitive to all those needs and were able to accommodate and kind of manage the project in such a way to manage those expectations and safety of staff and students and accommodating the enormous number of visitors we wanted to bring through the site and all these things.
Why would you recommend Alita Constructions to someone else?
For us the thing that was really really relevant and it was important was that we had a builder that was going to be with us right through the design phase right to the handover. We wanted to make sure that this wasn’t going to be us dealing with a whole heap of Consultants, a whole heap of different Architects and designers. We didn’t want to deal with a whole heap of issues from Council. We really wanted one Builder to take care of the whole package and for us we were really thrilled that the whole way through Alita took care of every bit of the business. The second part was we wanted a builder that was going to be really interested in the design. Our experience has been that we’ve had a number of professionals that have come on board in previous projects that added costs and from the beginning of the project, we were thrilled with the people that we engaged with from Alita that helped us and showed us cost benefits; showed us ways of cutting down on the building, or expanding the building in areas that were absolutely critical so that we were able to get what we wanted at a really good price. And make sure that we stayed within budget all the way through. For us, to land a project of the size on time and within budget is no small miracle and we’re absolutely thrilled at that, that it is a woe to go or perhaps rather a beginning to end solution, which is what we were looking for.
Mark Steyn (CEO)
Seth Merlo (Projects Officer)