April 12, 2017
January 20, 2017
The White Tanks project was once a massive area of dirt and mud.
Choosing a new project delivery method kept the Maricopa County Flood Control District from seeing its budget wash away during work on the White Tanks Flood Structure in Buckeye, Arizona.
In the past, the District constructed similar projects using Design-Bid-Build and sometimes faced change orders that nearly doubled initial bid values because of outside agency inspections during construction.
It’s now a flood control project that is coming in on time and on budget.
On White Tanks, the District decided to try Construction Manager at Risk and selected Sundt. Our Transportation Group partnered with agencies including the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the National Resources Conservation Service to write specifications exactly as the District expected, lowering the chances of costly change orders.
“It worked well,” said Preconstruction Manager Jeffrey Hamilton. “The only change order relating to additional cost was because of a flood event, and the District had a contingency to cover that.”
The joint venture with Rummel Construction consists of widening and extending an existing flood structure and adding upgrades, including an architecturally enhanced auxiliary spillway, drop inlet structures and principal outlet structures. While the initial contract value was $25.3 million, the team is looking to bring the cost down by about $1 million.
We’re delivering client value in many other ways, too, including using drone technology to provide required survey information to verify completed work for our payment purposes.
“This would be a difficult and costly task with a survey crew,” Project Manager Ryan Vlach said. “We found a drone company that was able to fly the site and provide the necessary information at a fraction of the time and cost.”
Preconstruction ended in January 2016 and construction began the next month. Even with a small change order extending the contract until August, the team intends to finish work by June.
October 28, 2016
Sundt Master Mechanic Daniel Wayne.
Daniel Wayne is a Master Mechanic who has been with Sundt for 25 years. He’s the rare Arizona native who enjoys cold weather, which is good since he’s working on an Industrial project in northern New Mexico.
How did you get into construction?
After high school, I went to a tech school in Provo, Utah, and ended up working for Empire Machinery. That’s how I got into construction, working on equipment.
What has kept you at Sundt for 25 years?
The people I work with, and the company has been good to me. There’s a lot of teamwork. The company gives you all the components to succeed no matter what your field is.
What are the most enjoyable parts of the job?
Going from place to place. I’ve had a supervisor call on a Friday and ask if I wanted to meet new people. I would ask where he wanted me to go on Monday.
How much have you seen the industry change over the years?
We’re putting more of an emphasis on safety. We’re also seeing lots of younger people coming in over the past 10 years. I tell them to come to work on time, do good work and they’ll always have a job.
How many different locations have you worked?
Mostly Arizona and California. I spent the last six years in Texas.
What has been your favorite project to work on and why?
That’s hard to say. I’ve enjoyed all the jobs. I liked working at the Page (Arizona) Airport Apron. My family came up in the summer so my kids and wife were with me.
How important is the company’s employee-ownership culture?
It’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed with the company so long. It’s good to know your family is taken care of when you retire.
September 16, 2016
Business Development Representative Kay Lumley.
After numerous promotions, Kay is excited to be part of the business development team that’s responsible for acquiring work in the transportation field.
How did you move into business development?
I started straight out of high school at 18 as a Project Secretary where I assisted several different projects. After about two years, I got promoted to Project Administrator and completed design jobs, routed contracts, processed invoices and completed project closeouts. After a short time doing that, I received an opportunity as an Administrative Assistant for Federal work. I spent five years there and was promoted to Business Development Coordinator and began assisting in proposals. From there I moved to the Marketing Department crafting proposals and working mainly with the Transportation team. After about a year and a half, I left marketing to go back to Business Development for Transportation.
What are your main duties now?
Assisting Project Directors and the Business Development Manager in pursuits, pre-win activities and proposal write-ups.
What have you learned about the business development part of the industry?
When I started at Sundt I had no idea what Business Development was. The company gives me the opportunity and tools to succeed while interacting with owners, developers and other contractors to show how good a contractor Sundt is. In BD, you get to be the face of Sundt; you get to start the whole process of winning a job. The satisfaction of getting the call notifying you of a job award makes all the hard work worth it.
What are some of your family’s favorite things to do in the Phoenix area?
My husband and I have two young daughters and live in the far North Valley. We don’t get to see each other much due to our crazy schedules, but when we do get together we enjoy camping and just relaxing outside as a family.
August 5, 2016
In her job as Project Executive for Sundt in our Irvine, California office, Betty Lynn Senes leads project pursuits, provides oversight of the design and construction process and ensures that teams have the resources they need to meet the daily demands of the project, achieve interim milestones and successfully complete their work.
With 28 years in the construction industry, Betty Lynn brings a diverse skill set in collaborative deliveries, team-building and problem-solving. As a past Vice President of Operations and former Project Director, Project Manager, Estimator and Business Developer, she understands the critical combination of technical competency and relationship skills that drive reliable commitments and outstanding performance.
Betty Lynn took some time to answer a few questions not long after starting with Sundt.
What interested you about working for Sundt?
The firm I came from and Sundt have both worked in the California State University System. I keep in touch with a few folks in the CSU Chancellor’s office, and they always spoke highly of (Regional Director) Robert Stokes and of Sundt. I also had interaction on some Cal Poly Pomona projects. Sundt was awarded the student housing project there, and a second, adjacent project came up. Sundt was not proposing and my firm was. As we’d be sharing a “party wall” and joint laydown area, I asked Robert and (Project Manager) Mary Homan to meet with us to discuss how we’d be good neighbors. They did and I was impressed with their approach to their student housing project. We also did a joint Building Information Modeling/Virtual Design and Construction program for the Chancellor’s Office with Sundt, during which time I got a chance to see (Senior Virtual Construction Engineer) Howdy Atkinson and (Director of Construction Technology) Dan Russell in their element … impressive. The other factors were Sundt’s commitment to continual learning, and the fact that I had met women from Sundt, such as (Senior Vice President and Building Group Manager) Teri Jones and Mary Homan, who were clearly making a difference in our industry.
What are the company’s priorities in Southern California?
We are very fortunate to have built many higher-education construction projects, both public and private, in Southern California. Our newly expanded Los Angeles/Orange County office is poised to grow, and expand our markets with the experience of our people. Our priorities are to be very focused in our pursuits, to take on profitable work with good owners and to exceed their expectations. With this, we’ll expand Sundt’s great name throughout LA/OC. We hope to build the same reputation in our area that Sundt has earned in Arizona: a quality firm built by trustworthy, competent people who excel in their field.
What does Sundt do to set itself apart from the competition in the Los Angeles area?
Sundt has a reputation for top-quality people working collaboratively and keeping our commitments. These factors, along with the consistent, positive experience of working with Sundt, and the tools that enhance our ability to communicate and manage, such as our conditions of success meetings and parametric estimating, are elements that set us apart.
How does the future look for success in the region?
The Southern California market is still very active. We see a number of schools and community college districts with successful bond measures that provide funding for facilities projects. The California State University and University of California systems are planning work for the future, and private institutions continue their expansion plans. The UC system has an initiative under way to expand student housing on multiple campuses. In addition, many other civic, healthcare and hospitality clients have projects in the pipeline.
The company has had a lot of success with the university housing market in Southern California. What projects do we have going on there at the moment?
We are working on four student housing projects in Southern California: one at San Diego State University, one just completing at CSU Channel Islands, one at Pepperdine University, and our fourth, in preconstruction, at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP). All are being delivered collaboratively, under CM at Risk or Design-Build. The largest one, at CPP, has grown to about $150 million. It includes a 35,000-square-foot dining commons and two eight-story student residence towers to house 980 students. Student housing is a very active market.
How exciting is it to come to work every day in such a dynamic area?
Knowing the potential we have to expand our client and subcontractor relationships, and after meeting so many professional and talented Sundt employee-owners, I’m “all in.” I look forward to contributing by developing great client partners and relentlessly executing our plan to exceed their expectations.
Dan Haag, Sundt’s Chief Administrative Officer, recently was named to the Arizona Business & Education Coalition’s Board of Directors. The coalition sustains collaboration between business and education leaders to help students by educating and building political will toward improvement and investment in K-12 with links to pre-kindergarten and higher education.
Dan recently took time to discuss the organization’s mission and the importance of public education in Arizona.
How did you get involved with the Arizona Business & Education Coalition?
Sundt has a history of being engaged as an advocate for education and I am following in those footsteps.
What does the organization hope to accomplish?
Our education system needs to be aligned with the needs of employers. This is in the best interests of the students (being employable), the school systems (being value added) and employers (having the talent needed to achieve business objectives).
How vital is a strong public education system to our state’s future?
Our economy is driven by our ability to have talented people available for our current businesses to be successful and to be attractive to new businesses we would like to have in Arizona. Our reputation for having powerful education systems which meet the needs of business is a key factor in attracting new business to Arizona. Also, strong education leads to better employment opportunities for graduates and better incomes that come along with those opportunities.
What’s the state of public education in Arizona?
While some advances are being made in education in Arizona we have a ways to go to be a leader in education in the United States. We need to set our standards high and have a strategy that delivers public education at a level that is best for all involved.
What about vocational programs?
Career and technical education will play a greater role in our future. Only around 30 percent of all jobs require a traditional four-year degree and not everyone is a fit for that. Greater emphasis in CTE will lead to having a higher qualified workforce and an employed population making higher compensation.
How much of a desire do you see among Arizona residents to improve public education?
It varies depending upon the segment. Our opportunity is to communicate and educate Arizona residents on what is needed, why it is needed and why this is great for our state and for all Arizona residents in the long-term.