March 1, 2017
January 23, 2017
Works gets started on Sundt’s $33 million project fir the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso.
Affordable housing in West Texas is getting a helping hand from Sundt’s $33 million project for the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP).
We’ve started work on reconstruction of the Sherman Community as part of HACEP’s overall $1 billion initiative to revitalize El Paso’s affordable housing communities. The Sherman Apartments were built in 1953 and are one of the larger communities in HACEP’s portfolio.
Sherman-North will be a full reconstruction that will include demolition of 21 low-rise buildings. Once rebuilt, the project will contain 178 units. Westfall is going from nine units to 90. The week before Thanksgiving, the project team purchased and delivered turkeys to 161 families in both complexes who had to be relocated before the new work began.
The reconstruction of Sherman-North is part of HACEP’s project to revitalize all affordable housing communities in its portfolio through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program. Nearly 6,000 of HACEP’s homes in El Paso are being revitalized.
Once construction is complete by the end of the year, the community will have playgrounds, an athletics court and picnic areas.
January 11, 2017
Sundt President & CEO Mike Hoover.
Sundt President & CEO Mike Hoover was recently interviewed by National Public Radio about one of our country’s hottest topics: a proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
We have done similar work, building around 100 miles of fencing along the Arizona and California borders with Mexico in the mid-2000s. The work was tough. The story reports that in one stretch near Yuma, Arizona, the soil was so soft we had to tow equipment in with bulldozers. In some places, we had to blast through solid rock to set fence panels. Summertime work was done in conditions regularly topping 100 degrees.
Mike said the company would be interested in working on border projects if they move forward.
April 2018 Update
Sundt decided not to pursue the proposed border protection projects shortly after this blogpost was published. The company has not submitted bids or proposals for any portions of the work to date and does not have plans to do so in the future.
December 2, 2016
Our “secret city” in Los Alamos, New Mexico started construction almost 75 years ago.
Almost 75 years ago, Sundt embarked on a top-secret project that forever changed the world. It started with a handshake agreement, no formal contract and, for just about everyone working on site, no idea what the work was about.
The U.S. government contacted our company on Dec. 1, 1942 looking for a contractor that could essentially construct a community, sometimes referred to as a secret city, in northern New Mexico. The project was so confidential that it was labeled “Job 444” in company records.
We were given a year to build a lab technical area, test site, 332 apartments, 12 civilian dormitories, 12 military barracks, an administration building, warehouses, service and mess facilities, medical and veterinary hospitals and schools.
Government officials wanted 20 percent of housing ready for occupancy by the end of January 1943 and technical buildings done by the beginning of February. Working at an unimaginable pace, we had 96 percent of the project complete by April 1943.
The work was challenging, and the location was remote. Access to the site required construction of a primitive access road that wouldn’t attract curiosity from locals and travelers. The road took its toll on trucks making deliveries and was only improved when government authorities anticipated 40- to 60-ton loads traveling on it as the project progressed.
Our work was complete in 1943, including security fencing, guard towers and gates at what was formerly the Los Alamos Ranch School. The facility and surrounding land were purchased by the U.S. government in November 1942. The school awarded its final diplomas in January 1943, and the Army took control of the property the following month.
In 1945, Sundt officials learned that the site, Los Alamos, was part of the Manhattan Project, which developed science that helped end World War II.
We were invited back to Los Alamos in 2000 to build, among other things, a fast-track emergency flood control project to protect the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The work resulted in a Build America Award for our company. The honor is given by the Associated General Contractors of America to the members who build the nation’s most impressive construction projects.
October 7, 2016
Sundt California District Manager Dan Dumke.
Dan Dumke is Sundt’s new District Manager for California. He has more than 35 years of experience directing company operations, managing significant projects and leading high-performing teams in the construction industry. He brings a wealth of experience in the building and industrial markets as well as knowledge of large projects and public-private partnerships.
Dan is a member of the California Associated General Contractors Association and donates his time to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, whose mission is to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
The people. Sundt’s employee-owners have a genuine respect for the work they do and for their partners who do it. I have been fortunate over the past number of years to not only meet but work directly with many Sundt employees. It was clear from these experiences that they believe in the power of teamwork, are fully committed to do whatever it takes to get the job done and have a consistent habit of sharing credit.
What is on your immediate to-do list?
Getting to know our people is a high priority, so I will be visiting our projects and regional offices in California to do that. I am also looking forward to engaging with our safety personnel and site staff partners to make sure we continue to make every effort to remain the nation’s safest construction company.
What are our strengths in the California building market?
We will continue to leverage our strengths in the K-12, university and criminal justice markets and look for opportunities to further employ these strategically in other sectors, as well as with our transportation and industrial groups.
Where are we looking to start making in-roads?
Our successful growth is dependent upon our ability to develop and attract top talent in the market sectors where we work. The war for talent is real in construction, so our immediate focus is on finding more great employee-owners. Longer term, we will explore opportunities in new markets. If all industry and political indicators are even marginally correct, there will be tremendous need in the privatized infrastructure market – everything from transportation to water/wastewater to the expansion of alternative energy facilities. Schools, universities, hospitals, criminal justice facilities and community housing – essentially defined as social infrastructure projects – also lend themselves to alternative delivery types such as P3 and collaborative design-build.
What is Sundt known for in California?
The Sundt brand has and continues to be strong in California – on par with some of our most respected construction industry peers. We are recognized for being honest and following through on commitments.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?
“First find the solution, then analyze its impact.” The message is simple: trust your mentors (and if you don’t have one, go find one). We are all surrounded by some pretty smart people. I am certain there is no puzzle we can’t solve when we work together.
Larry Luke, Sundt’s Area Manager for its new Salt Lake City office.
Larry Luke is serving as Area Manager for the new office and is responsible for forming partnerships with clients and subcontractors in the region. It’s an important market. Sixty percent of Utah’s population live in the Salt Lake Valley and the state’s population is estimated to increase 19 percent by 2020, from 2.77 million to 3.31 million.
Larry recently spent a few minutes talking about our expanded presence in Northern Utah and our many qualifications and innovative approaches to project delivery.
What are Utah’s strengths as a market?
Utah has a growing economy and population that has created a steady need for new infrastructure in the areas in which Sundt operates (Transportation, Industrial and Building). Utah has a healthy economy, balanced state budget and the ability to either self-fund projects or obtain either federal or private-market funding. The owners are not only programming and funding new construction projects but they also have a reputation for treating contractors fairly and believe in partnering. Public market owners, such as Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Utah Transit Authority and counties and cities, and private markets have projects that are either in the planning phase, design phase or already scheduled to be advertised.
From a personnel perspective, Salt Lake City is an area where many people want to live due to the proximity to recreational opportunities, strong family atmosphere and relatively low cost of living.
Sundt participates in joint ventures on many of its projects. What kind of expertise would we bring to JVs in the Salt Lake market?
Sundt is known in our industry for being not only a long-standing reputable company with a strong balance sheet, but also one with excellent experience on a variety of different projects. Through our people, we are also known for being an innovator and leader in Construction Manager General Contractor (CMGC), and use of technology for 3D modeling, virtual design and construction, use of automated machine control, parametric estimating, and design-build value engineering. Owners like UDOT have been on the forefront of CMGC projects, design-build, accelerated bridge construction and intelligent design and construction (IDC). We believe Sundt’s strengths in these areas will make us stand out and be able to offer joint-venture partners and owners a value that is unique from other local contractors.
What are Sundt’s strategies for developing good subcontractor relationships there?
Like any other local market, it is important to have personal relationships with our subcontractors and suppliers and show them that Sundt will treat them fairly, pay timely, honor fair bidding and price-evaluation practices and include them as partners in the project planning.
What trends do you see in the Salt Lake market?
I think we will continue to see an emphasis on value-based selections such as CMGC and design-build, especially for projects greater than $75 million. UDOT is interested in developing its IDC process and evolving the design and contractors into utilizing 3D electronic design files to replace paper plan sheets as legal construction documents. I think we will also see more opportunities that involve a combination of Transportation, Industrial or Building. For example, the upcoming Salt Lake prison or Utah Transit Authority Mountain Accord project, development of ski resort expansion projects or local cities’ needs for water improvement projects.