March 13, 2012
March 9, 2012
Sundt Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce that Amy Hawkins has been promoted to Area Manager for federal projects. In her new position, Amy will be responsible for the procurement and execution of new projects for the federal government. Amy has been in the construction industry since 1991, and joined Sundt in 2005. During her career, she has served as Senior Project Manager, Project Manager, and Project Engineer on projects valued at over $1 billion.
Since Sundt believes that our people are the core of what we do, we wanted to share a little more about Amy. We recently spent some time talking with her, and this is what we learned:
What is it about Sundt that has led you to make your career here?
I was initially drawn to Sundt by the high level of professionalism, entrepreneurial spirit and the concept of ownership in the company available through the Employee Stock Ownership Plan. I believe Sundt attracts some of the industry’s most motivated, experienced professionals who genuinely care about client satisfaction. I was also drawn to Sundt’s commitment to long-standing relationships with the top tier of owners, architects and subcontractors in the industry.
If you could build anything, what would it be?
I particularly enjoy working on hospitality/casino projects. I enjoy the fast pace and I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of working with owners and designers to help them create one-of-a-kind features, effects using high-end finishes, pushing the envelope of design, and meeting very challenging construction schedules.
Would you recommend a career in construction to a young person today?
I would. Construction tends to develop very well-rounded individuals. I love that on any given day I could be negotiating contracts in a boardroom, walking the site and solving constructability issues with the team, or figuring out how to get very diverse groups of people to join forces to move a project forward. There aren’t many careers that allow a person to develop so many skill sets all at once.
Where would you most like to travel?
I enjoy traveling to Europe – London, Paris, Amsterdam and Spain are a few of the spots I have been. I think my next trip will be to Costa Rica for yoga and surf lessons.
How do you like to spend our time when you’re not working?
I enjoy spending time with my family in Phoenix when I am not “on the road” traveling for work. When I get a chance to take off for a few days I enjoy working around my yard, reading, snowboarding, relaxing on the beach, doing yoga and working out at the gym. At least once a year I unplug from work and go visit the family farm in Vermont.
March 7, 2012
Sundt and a joint venture partner recently expanded the Loop 101 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in Phoenix, Ariz.
You don’t have to be a traffic engineer or city planner to know that our country’s transportation system is in desperate need of help. Consider this statement from a recent white paper produced by the Bureau of National Affairs: “As of 2006, more than half of total vehicle miles traveled on the federal highway system occurred on roads that were not in good condition. More than one quarter of the nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.”
Making the problem worse is the fact that new infrastructure projects haven’t kept up with demand. According to the same white paper, between 1980 and 2006, vehicle travel miles increased by 97 percent for automobiles and 106 percent for trucks. But in the past 30 years the total number of highway lane miles grew only 4.4 percent.
The situation – some say a crisis – is especially worrisome for businesses because the harder it is for them to transport goods and services, the costlier it becomes. A higher cost of doing business translates to lower profitability and less money for hiring employees, which inhibits the economic recovery. Simply put: deteriorating infrastructure is a danger to public safety, harmful for the environment (think of all those vehicles idling in congested traffic because there aren’t enough roads), and bad for our nation’s economy in more ways than one.
Many experts, including the leadership of Sundt, agree that now is the time for bold action to turn the situation around.
“Initially, the federal government needs to pass a long-term transportation bill that is at or above the current funding levels. A five-year plan would give the states the stability they need to move forward with construction projects,” says Jeff Williamson, senior vice president and manager of Sundt’s Civil Division. “Ultimately, broad-based public awareness and education need to occur to create the will for a major investment in our infrastructure if this nation is to remain competitive in a global economy.”
March 5, 2012
Sundt’s crews are excavating for the drainage structures that will be incorporated into the new C-130 parking apron. Grading work, also for the apron, is shown on the right.
Sundt’s current work at Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis, N.M., is a great example of why experience matters. The $23 million heavy civil project involves building a new parking apron and taxiway for the C-130 gunship aircraft – plus extensive drainage facilities – in just 365 calendar days. As if that weren’t challenging enough, the site is in close proximity to an active runway and “arm / de-arm pad” where arriving planes are armed and de-armed with live ammunition – operations that necessarily take priority over construction and can bring the team’s activities to a halt. There are also five other contractors on site to work around and coordinate with.
“One of the main reasons Sundt was selected for the job is our experience performing military airfield paving and similar work for the federal government,” explains Project Manager Dominic Mascia. “There are about 55 pages of specifications for the concrete paving alone – covering batching and placing the concrete to the quality checks which include thickness, smoothness, strength, etc. It takes a lot to get a quality end product, which not every contractor understands. Poor quality work can lead to early and unscheduled maintenance and other more serious problems that can be both expensive and dangerous. We also have a lot of experience working in high-security military environments.”
Sundt’s ability to perform more than half of the project with its own crews offers another advantage. “We’re self-performing the earthwork, the installation of the underground utilities (storm drain and water line), the box culverts and other drainage structures, and the concrete paving,” Mascia continued. “Quality is the ultimate goal. Experience, plus self-performing a large part of the work, is a proven way to reach it.”
March 2, 2012
Golfers having fun at one of the recent tournaments held in honor of longtime Sundt employee Mike Gaines
If you could send a message to a disease, ours would be this: “Look out, ALS. We’re coming after you.” Since 2001, a group of dedicated Sundt employees and the Sundt Foundation together have raised nearly $1 million to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS claimed the life of one of Sundt’s longtime employees, Mike Gaines, in 2002. Before he died, Mike and the Sundt Foundation worked together to establish the Mike Gaines Charitable Fundraising Events to help eradicate this terrible disease and preserve his memory. The annual events—a trap shoot in Tucson and golf tournaments in Tucson, Phoenix, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Antonio—raise money for the local Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) chapter in each location to be used for ALS research.
The events were a huge success in 2011, raising more money than in any of the previous years with a total of $162,387. “It helps to have so many generous subcontractors, vendors, and other golfers who come back year after year,” said Aly Gartin, a Sundt employee who helps coordinate the events. Aly worked with Mike Gaines for many years and counted him among her close friends. She added, “We have been blessed to be a beneficiary of the Powers Foundation, which has donated $25,000 to the Phoenix tournament for the past few years in honor of their employee, John Walsh, whose wife has ALS.”
We expect to cross the $1 million mark with the 2012 tournaments, which will be a great honor for Mike’s family and everyone affected by ALS. Feel free to join us for a day of fun and fundraising!
2012 Tournament Dates:
Tucson – March 23, 2012
Phoenix – April 13, 2012
Sacramento – May 4, 2012
San Diego – June 15, 2012
San Antonio – October 12, 2012
Artist's rendering of Sundt's latest criminal justice project, the Porterville Courthouse in Porterville, Calif.
When you have a specialized project to build, you need a specialist. Modern criminal justice facilities – courthouses, jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers – require extensive experience to design and construct due to their unique security requirements and other complex building systems. Over the past three decades, Sundt has designed and constructed more than 100,000 detention beds in various custody levels, making us one of the leaders in this specialized market. We don’t just know how to construct modern correctional facilities; we understand the needs that must be met for these specialized institutions.
When beginning a project, we complete a comprehensive review of the design to determine any early or special procurement items that may be required. Early procurement of long-lead items such as precast sleeping rooms, electrical gear, security hardware, and security doors is evaluated to determine the appropriate acquisition schedule. This information is incorporated into the schedule to assure that materials are onsite when needed.
Through our use of innovative technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), issues can be analyzed and evaluated during the design phase. During construction, we use full-size mock-ups of sleeping rooms and plumbing chases to assure that all items will fit appropriately. Security electronics panel mock-ups are an opportunity to work through any dimensional, location, or other potential layout issues. Our BIM capabilities enable us to review operational and sightline issues. Room interior layout review prior to construction is invaluable in identifying and correcting issues that might cause problems in the future.
Courthouse projects are all unique, but what they have in common is a focus on value – it’s critical to virtually every courthouse project because of reduced budgets. Our expertise helps reduce the original budget and establish affordable life-cycle costs for our clients, the latter of which can be very challenging because of increased costs associated with the security requirements necessary for operating and maintaining a court facility.
Whether you’re building a courthouse, jail, prison or juvenile detention center, there is no learning curve when Sundt is the contractor.