July 11, 2019
June 20, 2019
Sundt and joint-venture partner Trinity Hughes Construction are nearing the finish of a $34.3 million project at Midwestern State University (MSU). The new 88,000-square-foot building will house several programs in the Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, with updated facilities and space for Dental Hygiene, Social Work, Radiologic Sciences, Respiratory Care and the Wilson School of Nursing. Substantial completion is slated for the end of this month, and classes start August 26. In other words, it’s crunch time. The team is kicking things into whatever-it-takes gear to complete what will be a huge addition to the university and its student body.
Skilled craft professionals work diligently to complete the the building’s complex interior.
“There are lots of moving parts and pieces to the inner workings of this building, with all of the different things it will be able to do,” said Sundt Project Executive Bob Aniol. New hospital equipment, dental equipment, and simulators will assist Midwestern State faculty in providing hands-on instruction, which is part of MSU’s larger goal to be a premier education provider for healthcare and human services fields. “The challenge is to coordinate all the consultants and installers of the different equipment, to make sure everyone’s on the same page,” said Bob.
Crews work on the exterior of the building to prepare for students arriving in late August.
Another factor behind our progress has been consistent performances from skilled craft, many of whom worked with Sundt’s Building Group in North Texas on the successful Wichita Falls Regional Airport Terminal project. “We’ve had great showings from key trades, including MEP, drywall, and masonry,” said Bob. “They’ve given us a consistent level of service and skill to drive this project forward.” Sundt worked hard to hire from the local workforce in Wichita Falls, bringing in outside work for niche scopes when absolutely necessary. According to Bob, “Sundt really maximized participation from the local workforce to the best of our ability.”
Similar architectural features seamlessly connect the building to the existing campus.
On the subject of creating jobs, the impact of this project will extend far beyond its completion. “For Midwestern State’s programs like nursing and dental, this provides a huge upgrade in how they train and equip their graduates, as well as how they attract new students,” said Bob. As the finish line approaches, the Trinity Hughes | Sundt joint venture has worked some long hours, had hard conversations and made tough decisions. Turning the vision behind this project into a reality, however, has been well worth the sacrifice. “It’s a small team, and I’m extremely proud of them,” said Bob. “Nobody has given up. Nobody has complained. We’re all bought in here—it’s whatever it takes to make it happen.”
April 25, 2019
What once housed hundreds of baseball fans will now house thousands of students as Sundt breaks ground on a new 365,000-square-foot student housing complex. The $150 million Hornet Commons Complex will consist of six four-story buildings with a total of 284 apartments, a swimming pool, café, fitness center and community room.
The ceremonial groundbreaking earlier this month marked the start of Sundt’s second project on the Sacramento State campus, with the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex finishing up within the next month. “We’re honored to be a part of this incredible project,” said Jim Larrieu, Vice President and Northern California Regional Director. “Our team is looking forward to creating a new and exciting place for students to relax and enjoy life on campus.”
This is not just another project for Sacramento State; it has been in the works for many years. Alexander Gonzalez, Sacramento State’s president for 11 years before retiring in 2015, always had a vision of turning the Dan McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks into a place to house students. Watching from the crowd as Sundt broke ground, he saw his vision come to life.
“The long-awaited Student Housing Project is transformative for the Sacramento State student community, and Sundt is thrilled to be part of the team making that happen,” said Teri Jones, Building Group President.
Sundt Preconstruction Manager Dave Downey, Sr. Project Manager Sean Falvey, Building Group President Teri Jones, Sacramento State Mascot Herky, Sundt Project Executive Mike Mielcarek, Sundt CEO Mike Hoover, and Sr. Project Superintendent Rob Petrakovitz
Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen and crowd put their “stingers up.”
Sean Falvey, project manager for the new housing development and for the Science Complex project, shared his thoughts on starting a second project on campus.
With the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex finishing soon, what about that project do you think made us the builder of choice for Hornet Commons?
We are able to think outside the box when faced with challenges. We started off on the right foot with the preconstruction phase: our precon team was able to deliver more than the campus’s RFP requirements and really give them more for their budget. Secondly, we proved that we were not only a good contractor, but an innovative one. When we had to dig a trench that would stretch in front of the campus bookstore and impede foot traffic, our team came up with a unique solution: build a “drawbridge” to keep students and pedestrians safe while walking in and out of the bookstore. Our client appreciated us going beyond what was expected of us and keeping the students’ safety and campus operations in mind during construction.
Were there any lessons learned from the Science Complex that the team can apply to the housing project? On the Science Complex, the state fire marshal required significant changes during construction due to the many rating conditions (wall terminations, pipe penetrations, etc.). On the housing project, we’ll be constructing a mockup to demonstrate all our typical conditions, which will give us the opportunity to head off any concerns and avoid scheduling conflicts. With over 30,000 students, many of them commuters, the campus is very sensitive to traffic disturbances. Going into housing, we are paying close attention to how our work may impact traffic and have already accounted for “summer work.” The purpose of the new housing development is to, hopefully, eliminate the amount of travel students currently face.
The Science Complex is an incredible building with 27 teaching labs, research labs, a planetarium, and an observatory; will there be any similarities with the housing complex? The two buildings will be like night and day: not only is the building type different (wood vs. steel), but the client and delivery method are different as well. Even though they will be different structurally, the end goal is the same: to enrich the campus community with better facilities. The CSU students are the ones who will truly benefit from each of these projects.
September 10, 2018
National Welding Month is an opportunity to highlight the impact welding has on our daily lives. Through mentorship, education, and recognition, Sundt is working to promote an industry that needs more skilled tradesmen and women and offers rewarding careers. This month, we caught up with Craft Training Instructor Josué Ponce to get his perspective on building a strong welding workforce.
Why is welding an important skill in our society? If you look around at everything you touch or see, it was either welded or made by a machine that had to be welded. Welding is used to produce the cars we drive, the bridges and roads we drive on, the buildings we work in, and the homes where we live.
What’s the demand like for welders in our current economy, both nationally and locally? The American Welding Society is projecting that the shortage of skilled welders could be as high as 450,000 welders by 2022. The state of Arizona has an estimated shortage of around 2,000 welders. So, there’s definitely a high demand.
What is Sundt doing as a company to build its welding workforce? Sundt has partnered up with Central Arizona College to help curb the skills gap and craft shortage we’re facing as a nation. The students enrolled in this program are gaining a wealth of knowledge that will help them in their career. Currently there is 100% job placement after they graduate with a certificate or associate’s degree. If they choose to work for Sundt, we offer a bonus after 30 days of employment. Within Sundt we have various training opportunities going on, as well as a new Pipefitting Apprenticeship we are planning to start this summer.
Josué teaching welding students at Central Arizona College
What’s your role within that process? I work as a Craft Training Instructor where my primary focus is teaching Pipefitting/Welding and Front-Line Supervisor classes. Last year, we had our first after-hours Pipefitter class. It was a huge success. In my afternoons, I work at Central Arizona College with the Sundt/CAC program as an Adjunct Welding Professor. I currently have a Pipefitting/Welding class with eleven awesome students who, I’m hoping, will be future employee-owners of Sundt.
What would you say to young people looking to start in this field, or to others who are looking to make a career change? My message to them would be: Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Welding can be tough at times and very challenging, but the reward is great, and you’re getting into a career that’s going to last you a lifetime. With great work ethic will come great reward.
August 28, 2018
Repeat business is the best praise a client can give, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has given Sundt Construction the ultimate compliment by bringing us back for another project. Sundt just completed its second job with the university, the Embry-Riddle Student Housing Phase 2 project, right on time for the fall semester. The new three-story, 73,000-square-foot residence building will house up to 282 students. And these are no coach-class accommodations; students will enjoy roomy, four-person semi-suites enhanced by comfortable lounging, gathering and social areas.
Embry-Riddle is the largest, fully accredited university system specializing in aviation and aerospace, and just last year Sundt finished the Prescott campus’s 52,500-square-foot STEM Education Center and Planetarium. According to Senior Project Manager Josh Anderson, Sundt was selected again for the residential building because “we keep meeting budget and schedule.” Now, this is easier said than done, as a student housing job of this magnitude in the current market is usually a 14- or 16-month job. “We got it done in 10 months, though,” said Josh, “and in the process, we performed over $1 million worth of value engineering.”
The timeline was narrow, labor was tight in a busy local market, and Prescott’s mile-high elevation meant dealing with rain and snow. But Sundt’s trademark teamwork, including some solid showings from our subcontractors, made for a successful finish. “We’re glad to help the university get closer to their goal of being able to house all students on campus,” Josh said. “Embry-Riddle has treated us really well, and we hope to continue working with them in the future.”
Sundt and California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) recently held a topping out ceremony for the new Center for Global Innovation (CGI), a 72,000-square-foot, three-story classroom and office building that will serve as the new home for the University’s College of Extended Learning (CEL). The CGI will house classrooms, training spaces, lecture halls and faculty offices, as well as open areas for retail and dining.
CSUSB staff and Sundt employee-owners sign beam to be placed atop the Center for Global Innovation
As CSUSB’s first attempted LEED Platinum-certified building, this is not just any project. It’s also unique in that Sundt and the College of Extended Learning share such similar values and goals. Project Executive Betty Lynn Senes explained: “Both the CEL and Sundt are committed to continual learning; the CEL is designed to provide opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds, from workforce development to continuing education, from international students to veterans, from high school students to mid-career professionals.” And as Sundt embraces Lean principles, “We strive to improve on what we do every single day, streamlining our processes, ensuring we’re as efficient as possible and cutting waste. When so many values align, the project is that much more meaningful to all involved.”
Sundt has completed several projects for the CSU system statewide over the past three decades. “We feel a strong responsibility as partners with CSU to deliver every project at the highest level of quality and within budget,” said Senior Project Manager Brian DeMartino. “Our team on the CSUSB CEL project is focused on exceeding expectations so we can continue our relationship on this and other campuses.” With other projects under way at Cal Poly Pomona, Sacramento State and Cal State LA, Sundt’s future with the CSU system is looking bright.