GilbaneGilbane is in the final stages of a two-decade-long program to renovate and upgrade all of the city of New Haven’s public schools in Connecticut.

By Tim O’Connor

The best day on any project is the last day, but for Carolina Cudemus it’s especially sentimental. Since 2000, Cudemus, a Project executive for Gilbane, has overseen modernization of facilities for New Haven Public Schools in Connecticut. “One of the most satisfying days is when all of the staff and students go to their school [for the first time],” she says. “Just to see the faces of the people walking in and seeing where they are going to be working and going to school gives all of us a sense of satisfaction and purpose for the work we do.”

JP CullenRock Valley College’s newest facility – built by JP Cullen – will teach students to heal the body, but the design also incorporates environmental wellness.

By Tim O’Connor

Safety is paramount at any job site, but even more so when it’s in the middle of an active area – like say, a college campus. “We have a lot of student traffic in the area so careful attention was made to site management and delivery of materials,” says Neal Day, project manager at JP Cullen, the firm building the new Health Sciences Center at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill.

The Health Sciences Center is a partnership between Rock Valley College and OSF HealthCare, a nonprofit Catholic healthcare system that operates 11 acute-care facilities and two nursing colleges. The building will host the college’s nursing and medical programs. JP Cullen is the general contractor for the project.

The finished facility will have 117,000 square feet spread between four stories and a partial lower level. The design features a glass and metal panel enclosure with granite at the base and a large set of steps and patio on the south end of building where the topography slopes downward.


Facility Support Services picFSS is at work on projects for high-profile clients including NASA and the University of Pittsburgh.
By Alan Dorich

After only eight years, Facility Support Services (FSS) LLC has a strong position in its market. “We’re growing at a nice pace,” Vice President of Operations Michael McCormack says. “We have a lot of talented people that help us be successful.”

Based in Gibsonia, Pa., FSS is a subsidiary of Goldbelt Inc., which offers general contracting, facility operations and maintenance programs to clients across the country. McCormack notes that Goldbelt, Inc. founded the company when it saw its clients had a need for construction services. Goldbelt, Inc. is an Alaskan Native Corporation headquartered in Juneau, Alaska, with approximately 3,300 native shareholders.

FSS first focused on serving clients such as the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Navy. When McCormack joined the firm in 2013 as a project manager, FSS had only a handful of employees. “I saw an opportunity for growth,” he recalls, noting that he became part of the company’s team focused on expanding its reach to the commercial market.

“We hired a full-time business development manager and got on every bid list we could,” he says, noting that FSS’s clients now include local universities, state agencies and “many of the major developers in Pittsburgh.”

LeaseLease Crutcher Lewis’s work revitalizes the heart of the University of Oregon’s campus.

By Chris Petersen

Students returning to the campus of the University of Oregon this fall will benefit from an extensive renovation project being completed by leading general contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis. The company is putting the finishing touches on a $95 million expansion of the university’s Erb Memorial Union, which will provide students with expanded space to meet and collaborate as well as provide expanded space for conferences and other events.

Barton MalowBarton Malow has an environmental focus at the University of Maryland.

By Tim O’Connor

On the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) campus, just a few feet away from the footprint of the school’s new event center, is a massive pile of dirt crews affectionately call “Mt. Charles,” named for the 72-year-old excavator who put it there earlier this year. “When you start naming them, you know the dirt’s been around too long,” says Steve Herckner, senior project manager for Barton Malow, the construction manager-at-risk on the project.

Big D pic

Big-D Construction delivers a standout arts center project for Southern Utah University.

By Chris Petersen

As the new home of the Southern Utah Museum of Art and the Utah Shakespeare Festival on the campus of Southern Utah University, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts will be home to some very impressive productions. Perhaps fittingly, the new facility has been a very impressive production in its own right, and the expertise of Big-D Construction has been instrumental in ensuring that the curtain goes up without a hitch. Vice President and Project Director Jim Allison says the project is a unique addition to the company’s portfolio, and should stand as a testament to the power of public-private partnerships for decades to come.

Weitz CompanyThe Weitz Company delivered a unique project on the University of Denver campus.

By Chris Petersen

When The Weitz Company acquired Al Cohen Construction in 1986, it brought a wealth of experience in the Colorado market under its umbrella. Already a consistent fixture in the Midwest construction market since 1855, The Weitz Company entered the Colorado market shortly before the acquisition and has been there ever since.

Today, The Weitz Company is one of the largest and most respected builders in Colorado, and the company continues to burnish its reputation with high-profile projects like the one it recently completed on the campus of the University of Denver. Executive Vice President Troy Garrett says the company’s work on the Anna and John J. Sie International Relations Complex is another example of the company’s dedication to the finest possible construction.

Portzen picPortzen Construction prides itself on its ability to self-perform most aspects of a project.

By Tim O’Connor

Mike Portzen’s first job was at a supermarket, where he learned two facts about running a business that have stuck with him throughout his life: The client is always right and always greet the customer with a smile on your face. Portzen has instilled those lessons in his general contractor business, Dubuque, Iowa-based Portzen Construction Inc. “We always get comments about how our employees treat the customer and affiliates,” Portzen says, adding that respect drives respect. “I think if you treat your employees that way they will treat their people that way.”

Portzen founded the construction firm in 1983 with a few employees and incorporated six years later. The company began its life doing housing rehabilitation projects, but has since morphed into a general contractor capable of a wide range of jobs, from high school football stadiums to swimming pools, streetscapes and waste-water treatment facilities.

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