December 30, 2015
November 13, 2015
A Sundt joint venture team keeps going back to school in San Antonio.
Our team completed improvements at Lanier High in time for the school year in August and is finishing renovations and additions at Burbank High in January. The joint venture with Guido Brothers Construction also worked at Brackenridge High, where a project was completed in August 2014. All three are part of the San Antonio Independent School District.
The Burbank and Lanier K-12 construction projects include new gymnasiums and locker rooms, dance studios, JROTC classrooms and training facilities, culinary arts facilities, computer labs, college preparation centers, STEM and business labs and softball fields.
“These projects are important because the new facilities provide much-needed space and state-of-the-art equipment for career training during high school,” said Sundt Project Manager Ben Martin. “The schools now have adequate space and equipment to properly train high school students in a variety of careers to prepare them upon graduation.”
At Lanier, good budget and cost control allowed the team to upgrade the exterior from stucco to metal panels and buy culinary and auto equipment for the school district within the construction budget. Burbank’s scope of work included six different design packages.
Working on active campuses added to the challenge. In addition to student traffic management, the team was providing solutions to keep campuses open while connecting to new utility services and dealing with often unmarked existing buried lines.
October 23, 2015
Larry Luke is an Area Manager in Texas. He has more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry, primarily working on large highway and bridge construction projects. He also has served as a Project Engineer, Paving Superintendent, Estimator, Project Manager and Large Project Executive/Area Manager.
His career has taken him to California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Colorado and Utah. His recent experience as a Large Project Executive/Area Manager has him pursuing alternative delivery design-build and CMGC projects and overseeing those projects through construction. He graduated with a Civil Engineering Degree from Colorado School of Mines.
Larry recently took a little time to answer questions for our “Getting to Know …” series.
What was it about Sundt that attracted you to work here?
Sundt has a long rich history and an excellent reputation in our industry. I think all employees, like myself, want to work for a healthy company, a company that honors their people, is growing but financially stable, competitive winning new work, and is a leader in the industry. Aside from the basic fundamentals of a strong company, I was attracted by the leadership, employee-ownership model, and plans to grow the heavy civil business.
What has been your impression of the company so far?
Very positive. I have seen a company focused on growth, a clear strategy for moving forward, and employee-owners who are engaged in making every project successful. I’ve met a lot of long-term Sundt employees who help pass on Sundt’s culture and history. I have also met a lot of new employees who are bringing new ideas and energy. I see great opportunities for the company and employee-owners, which is great for everyone.
What does your job entail?
My job as an Area Manager involves identifying good projects to pursue, working to obtain new work, building high-performing project teams and overseeing the management of projects through execution.
Which project are you most involved in right now?
I am currently involved in the $158 million I-10 project in El Paso. My initial focus is to ensure the project start-up and construction are on track. My role is to ensure the project is staffed correctly, establish good relationships with the bonding company and Texas Department of Transportation, and ensure our project management team has all the resources and assistance it needs to be successful. In the future, I will be helping grow the Heavy Civil Division, strengthening our presence in Salt Lake City and pursuing work in Utah and Colorado.
What’s the most exciting thing about the I-10 project?
The start-up of all large heavy civil projects is exciting in that you are facing many new challenges and success is very dependent on the efforts and decisions made early in the project. The excitement for me comes from putting together a team from diverse backgrounds and experience, and drawing from their individual strengths to accomplish building a complex project. While the scope of work has unique attributes, the real challenge and reward is seeing a team of people working together as a unit, and being part of building a lasting infrastructure.
What do you do for fun away from work?
I live in the mountains of Park City, Utah, and love all the many things to do in the outdoors. I particularly enjoy hiking, skiing, mountain biking and hunting. I am an avid road cyclist, racing in the Masters Category 3 criterium and road races. Lately, I’ve also gotten into competitive shooting events with my son.
Cat person or dog person?
Definitely a dog person. Our family includes two border collies, Coco and Raisin. They were born from working cattle dogs on my parents’ family ranch. Although, where we currently live, we have to keep them busy hiking and playing fetch.
Where do you like to travel?
After living in the mountains with winter six months a year, I enjoy a spring getaway to any beach with sun, sand and a lounge chair.
Read any good books lately?
I’m reading “The Heart of Everything That Is,” which is the story of Red Cloud, a Sioux warrior-statesman. The depiction of his brutal life, but also his cunning strategy and political awareness in the mid-1800s is interesting. I’m also a fan of Jon Krakauer, and his books “Into Thin Air” and “Where Men Win Glory.”
March 5, 2014
Brought on board to manage our new North Texas Office in Fort Worth, Hal Hardister has more than 20 years of construction and development management experience. He has completed developments exceeding 5 million square feet, directly managed more than 2 million square feet of shell construction and completed more than $10.4 million of tenant improvements. Prior to rejoining Sundt, Hal managed the project controls teams on multiple projects at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as part of the Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program.
He recently sat down to answer a few questions about himself and the North Texas Office’s potential.
Why is North Texas such a key region for the company’s growth?
North Texas is the home to 54 of the Fortune 500 companies, second only to New York, and has recently been ranked as the top area for commercial property investment according to a report by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers. This area is benefiting from a growing economy that has diversified away from energy into finance, medicine, technology and education. These are key markets that align well with our experience.
What are some potential projects coming up there?
With the relocation of several additional Fortune 500 companies to the region, the need for expanded municipal services has been on the rise. We are tracking more than 10 recreation centers, libraries, city halls and public services projects in the region, most notably Frisco’s City Hall/Library/Court Expansion, Arlington’s Hugh Smith Recreation Center/East Library and Denton County’s Sheriff’s Office Operations Center and Crime Lab.
What does staff hope to accomplish in the first year of having an office in Fort Worth?
It probably goes without saying, but our number one goal for the year is to get some incoming revenue. A close second and primary goal is name/brand recognition. We want to get our brand in front of as many decision makers as possible. We have such a long Texas history, 45 years, yet we are still considered new to the market.
Most everyone has a mentor who has meant something to them in their lives. Who is yours?
I met one of my mentors, Jerry Allen, after graduating from college and beginning my career in construction. We worked together on my first project and then reconnected at Sundt in 2001. Jerry’s always been a great sounding board for me and has helped me solve all the world’s problems on many occasions. He is one of the best builders I have ever met.
Away from work, what’s the best part about living there?
The food! Whether you’re looking for a rack of ribs to eat with your hands or want a five-star white-napkin experience, there are multiple choices within a 30-minute radius. New places to eat are constantly opening.
Seen any good movies lately?
I’m not much of a movie goer, but I do like to read. I’ve recently finished “Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century” by Dennis Showalter. Although the two never met in combat, the book chronicles each man’s rise through the ranks and compares and contrasts their parallel lives. It was really interesting to see how each man was so different, but achieved very similar results.
Do you have a favorite saying that sums up your approach to life?
There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.
February 26, 2014
An aerial view of the project’s direct connector bridges from Loop 375 west to I-10 east and I-10 west to Loop 375 east.
Sundt is beginning the final stages of a $68 million project to improve a segment of Loop 375 Transmountain Road near El Paso, Texas. The team is finalizing the grooving of the bridge decks and putting the final finishes on the stamped concrete under the new bridges. Overhead sign structures are in place and landscaping is about 70 percent complete. What’s left before the project is complete in mid-May? Traffic signalization, electrical work below some of the bridges, and asphalt paving.
The heavy civil construction project includes widening the 3.5-mile stretch of roadway from two to four lanes (with frontage roads), building four grade-separated intersections, hiking and biking trails, and exit and entrance ramps. The project also includes direct connectors from Loop 375 west to Interstate 10 east and I-10 west to Loop 375 east.
Sundt created a 3D model of the new sewer line to identify potential conflicts with other utilities.
Don’t like conflict? If it’s utilities you’re talking about, 3D modeling might be the answer. That’s how Sundt identified potential problems – and showed our client how to solve them – on a roadway reconstruction project in El Paso, Texas.
“After evaluating the planned sewer line corridor and comparing it to the existing utilities, we found several potential conflicts,” said Rob Manning, Sundt Project Manager for the $14 million Country Club Road widening project. “We collected data by uncovering the actual utilities through potholing, then took GPS survey shots of each utility and created a 3D model that includes the planned sewer line placement. We presented our findings and suggestions to the city and its engineer, and they used the information to redesign that portion of the project.”
Two CAT 345 machines installing the 18-foot-deep, 18-inch sewer line along Country Club Road
The heavy civil construction project involves reconstructing two miles of Country Club Road in a well-established area of the city. Lined with prominent, high-value homes and many businesses, the roadway is badly congested and sits atop several aging utilities that need to be replaced (and whose exact location wasn’t known until Sundt began investigating). Sundt’s scope includes widening and reconstructing the roadway with continuously reinforced concrete paving, replacing the water and sanitary sewer lines, and installing sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and a traffic roundabout.