July 2, 2019
August 16, 2018
Every morning for the past two weeks, patients at El Paso Children’s Hospital have looked out their windows to find some fun characters hanging around the construction site next door. Some with pink fur, some with tails of fire or lightning, and all with big, adorable eyes. Yes, Pokémon have taken over Sundt’s jobsite on the neighboring Texas Tech El Paso Medical Sciences Building II project. Early each morning, crew members place life-size cut-outs of characters in new positions around the site. The Pokémon characters can be seen mingling with workers or operating equipment (safely, of course), and kids next door can’t help but crack a smile as they search each morning for where the characters have moved.
A few months after Sundt’s spinoff of “Elf on the Shelf” in December, El Paso Children’s Hospital contacted Sundt Project Manager Larry Kurtz to brainstorm another interactive idea. “Their initial plan was ‘Where’s Waldo?’” said Larry, “but I had just seen the Detective Pikachu movie with my grandkids, and they loved it, so I suggested Pokémon instead.” In mid-June, Sundt team members including Larry paid the patients a visit, bringing Pokémon cards, coloring sheets and a Pokémon book which they read to the kids.
Sundt Project Manager Larry Kurtz and El Paso Children’s Hospital oncology patients display their freshly painted Charmander
Afterwards, life-size Pokémon cut-outs began popping up all over the project’s hospital-facing side. Each day, a new character was added, and existing ones changed locations, greeting kids with the morning sun. After a week, Sundt enlisted the kids’ help in painting and signing the new characters to go up next.
Some might wonder: why add this event to an already busy schedule? “We do this for the kids,” said Larry. “They’re tired and sick, and this gives them a reason to get up and be active. Reading, coloring, painting—it’s all a healing experience. It makes them forget about their ailments for a while.”
Both patients and staff at El Paso Children’s Hospital had a great time with the Pokémon takeover. “We’ve had the pleasure of a fruitful and rewarding relationship with Sundt for more than 18 months now,” said Taylor Moreno, Director of Institutional Development. “From donations to help with service line growth, to Elf on the Shelf and this event, we cannot be more grateful for the continued support.”
El Paso Children’s Hospital oncology patients pose with Pikachu, Jigglypuff and the Sundt team
Patients Axia and Hailee have been big fans of their colorful new neighbors. “It was fun. Every time I would wake up, I’d look out the window to see what new character popped up,” said Axia, 12 years old. Hailee, who is 10, said “I loved it, and it was very interactive. My friends and I would share pictures and compare.”
Sundt employee-owners who attended the reading or helped create the cut-outs (or did both) include Larry Kurtz, Mike Dominguez Jr., Matt Gomez, Larry Hulett, Joe Riccillo and Angie Rosales. Our subcontractor Diversified Interiors’ Justin Hernandez and his daughter also contributed.
April 10, 2018
Our Building Group’s Southwest District recently completed a 10-story high-rise academic medical and research laboratory in downtown Phoenix, the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building. Sundt captured the project in 360-degree video and images to show off the world-class research and laboratory spaces. The complexity of these spaces is difficult to put into words, as so much is happening from an architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing perspective. 360-degree imagery offers a more intuitive way to explore this environment—looking around. It reveals details that required extended coordination, such as how the building’s copper exterior mimics the walls of the Grand Canyon, or the way natural light floods into the library. Ultimately, people can see what inspires our employee-owners to exceed expectations: bringing the entire built environment to life.
Watch our 360-degree video tour of the building and drag/swipe to explore the finished project!
January 12, 2018
Dinesh Allam (left) and Tim Gattie talk with a construction management class at Arizona State University.
One of our core values was on display during the spring semester at Arizona State University. Nine of our employee-owners served the community and industry by teaching their specialties to graduate students.
“I knew professors at ASU from when I graduated in 2015,” Project Engineer Dinesh Allam said. “We stayed in contact and that led to this opportunity.”
Southwest Building Division employees Jonathan Randall, Curtis Smith and Garren Echols taught construction management students about early stage project planning and conceptual estimating using D-Profiler. Kristen Bejarano, also from Southwest Building, and Jesse McDonald from our Industrial Division presented a lecture on Project Controls, including delay analysis, cost control and schedule management. Two employees from our Concrete Division, Michael Fyffe and Jeremy Jafferis, taught estimating covering the quantity takeoff process using 3D models and developing pricing using production rates.
Tim Gattie from our Transportation Group and Dinesh, a Concrete Division employee, talked about an upcoming trend, data analytics in construction. The lesson won’t be forgotten. The department chair wants to incorporate the topic into course curriculum.
Dinesh said he and his Sundt co-workers would be returning to ASU classes. There’s still much more knowledge to pass along.
“Sundt’s ASU alumni are very involved with the program,” he said.
November 8, 2017
Sundt Heavy Machinery Operator Jesse De Haro.
Heavy Machinery Operator Jesse De Haro has been with Sundt for more than 10 years, working on projects across the Southwest.
Last year, Jesse became one of dozens of Sundt craft professionals to earn NCCER-Plus Certification. The assessment is broken into two parts. Knowledge verification is a written test that assesses the employee’s knowledge of a subject matter within an area of expertise, such as pipefitting, industrial concrete or ironworking. The second part is the performance verification, a hands-on demonstration that measures the employee’s ability to perform skills in a particular area of expertise. Craft professionals carry the certification throughout their careers.
A Tucson native, Jesse is working at home on the Banner-UMC project. Previously, he was across town on our Ina/I-10 improvements.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
My dad connected me with the company and I really got close to a lot of guys. I felt like they were family. I still feel that way.
What has been your favorite project?
I’m kind of biased on that. My first job was the Fourth Avenue underpass. It couldn’t have been a better job as a 21-year-old. I got to work at home.
What’s the best part about your job?
Besides building cool things and saying I was a part of it, I like meeting good people when I go out of town. People who see this as a career. I’m open to teaching green guys who are willing to pick it up. I like to see people prosper and become part of the Sundt culture.
What are your hobbies?
I love to spend time with my young daughter. I collect DVDs and Blu-rays and try to work out when I’m not too tired.
Where do you get your best advice?
I turn to a lot of my superintendents … people I’ve worked for over time and built relationships with. They help me with work and personal things.
If you weren’t in the construction industry, what would you be doing?
Maybe a mechanic. It’s become more of a hobby. I really like what I do.
Sundt’s joint-venture work on the University of Arizona Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building in Phoenix trimmed two years off the normal schedule.
Sundt’s work on the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building in Downtown Phoenix was one of the stars of the show at the recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Arizona State Conference.
The joint venture with DPR Construction built a 245,000-square-foot high-rise facility where collaborative work in neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and medicine is expected to lead to groundbreaking discoveries with a direct impact on public health.
The team presented during the lessons learned segment of the conference, detailing how it worked with a fast-track schedule to construct the building in just 30 months. The efforts shaved two years off the schedule for the University of Arizona.
“You told a story that was moving and meaningful to conference attendees,” AIA Board Member and 2018 President Robert Miller said.
Time constraints on design resulted in only six months from the start of programming to shovels in the ground. Construction needed to start well before the design was finished, which meant no room for waste in the design and construction process.
Collaboration between the University and the design and construction teams was essential to maximize work hours. By pricing design concepts on an ongoing basis with an integrated team rather than waiting for a complete set of documents to identify overages all but eliminated re-design. Similarly, a rapid parametric model-based estimating effort allowed the design firm to adjust its model and see the costs of those changes in real time.
To keep pace, design decisions and assumptions were made early on and with limited information, requiring trust among all partners to work through and accept associated risk. Key trade partners were brought on early to help mitigate risks and reduce over-design and re-work.
The facility earned an Engineering News-Record Southwest Best Project Award. It’s part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, a city initiative bringing bioresearch and education to downtown. At build-out, the campus is anticipated to generate an annual economic impact of $2.1 billion.