June 3, 2016
May 26, 2016
Project: I-10/Ina Road Traffic Interchange in Tucson
Major: Civil Engineering
School: University of Arizona
Anticipated Graduation Date: Fall 2017
Why did you decide on Sundt for your summer internship?
Sundt stood out to me from all the other companies I was interviewing with because it put an emphasis on high standards. I knew that being able to work for a company like this would be both a challenge and a reward. A challenge because I strive to better myself every day to produce the quality of work that is generated at Sundt and a reward because after this internship, I knew I would learn invaluable experience from on-site field and office work in my area of interest. This experience would truly help me become among the best in the industry upon graduation.
Another reason I chose Sundt is the impact it is making in my community. It has done several projects around and at the University of Arizona, and has donated a lot of the safety equipment I use on a daily basis for my classes. The impact that Sundt has on my life has inspired me to want to become a part of something that helps the community where I live. It has set the bar high and with the help of my mentors and Sundt team I know I will be adequately prepared to better my community for myself and future generations.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Although I have only been interning for a couple of weeks at Sundt, I already feel a part of the team. I am working on the Ina Road project which is set to begin construction in Tucson in early July. While my team and I are in the Tempe office, I am helping tie up last-minute loose ends before we make the move to Tucson. I am involved in obtaining permits, editing and finishing written documents for the owner and other general paperwork needed for completion. When I go into the field in July, I will be in charge of safety and quality control as well as assisting the Project Manager and Field Engineer.
What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Honduran food. My family is from Honduras, and even though they live in Phoenix, I don’t get to see them that often. So anytime I get the chance to visit my parents and get a home-cooked meal, my mom prepares a traditional Honduran dish. My favorite is called yucca con chicharron. It has yucca root, chayote squash, ripe plantain, carrots, cilantro and seasoning.
What is a book you have read recently?
“The Great Gatsby” By F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is a terrific author. I wanted to read this after I saw the 2013 film so I could compare the two.
What is your favorite quote or inspirational saying?
“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist. Without imperfection neither you nor I would exist.” – Stephen Hawking
What do you like to do in your free time?
Whenever I have free time I like to spend it with my family and friends. Building quality relationships is very important to me. Whenever I’m not with them I also enjoy painting/drawing with oil pastel, colored pencil and charcoal; playing the piano; and learning to golf.
May 18, 2016
One of the most significant healthcare projects in Southern Arizona history was celebrated Thursday when groundbreaking took place at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson on the University of Arizona campus.
UA President Ann Weaver Hart and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild were among the presenters at the event.
Rendering courtesy of Shepley Bulfinch.
A Sundt joint venture with DPR Construction will build the nine-story, 670,000-square-foot facility. The new tower replaces one that has been used for more than 40 years.
When the new tower opens in spring 2019, it will include:
- A main entry, cafeteria and support departments on the first floor.
- Diagnostic imaging, diagnostic cardiology, cardiac cath labs and interventional radiology on the second floor.
- Operating rooms and patient prep/recovery space on the third floor.
- 204 patient rooms in floors five through nine.
- Shelled space on the ninth floor for 24 more patient rooms.
More than $50 million in new patient care equipment and computers are being added for state-of-the-art care.
Banner-UMC Tucson plays an important role in the health of Southern Arizona residents and visitors; it’s the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region.
Updates and a webcam can be found on the project website.
April 6, 2016
For 17 years, Make Way for Books has provided early literacy programs that reach young children in some of the highest-need communities in Tucson and Southern Arizona.
Research shows that reading aloud to young children is the single most important activity for building the skills kids need for future learning. Yet, 2/3 of children in poverty do not have books and are not read to regularly.
“Literacy experiences in the early years are the building blocks of a child’s brain and impact all future learning,” said Make Way for Books Executive Director Jenny Volpe.
The Sundt Foundation’s $2,000 gift provides high-quality books for a preschool classroom collection as well as a lending library that allows children and families to check out books to share at home. As a result of the program last year, 94 percent of families said they increased the time they read together. Additionally, 96 percent of children gained pre-reading skills that ensure they will enter kindergarten ready to read and on-track for academic success.
More than half of children from low-income homes in our community enter school up to two years behind in language and pre-reading skills. With access to this program, children are able to develop the skills they need to read on level.
One father of a participating preschooler said, “I wasn’t a good reader and I’m not a good reader. We never had a program like this when I was growing up. But my daughter goes to get the books. This program taught her a lot. Now we are interacting with each other. Now we read together.”
Funding from the Sundt Foundation is being used to stock the program at El Rio Preschool and Infant-Toddler Center.
“The donation has an incredible impact,” Jenny said. “It’s another preschool we can say yes to. It’s another 100 children we can impact and start on the path to success.”
Make Way for Books’ goal is to reach 30,000 kids a year. That can only happen through private support.
“In the past four years, we have quadrupled our capacity but the need is still there,” Jenny said.
This article is part of a series of stories about the positive impacts of Sundt Foundation grants.
March 18, 2016
One of Sundt’s projects in Tucson will be a little over the top, in a good way.
Our joint venture team starts work in July reconstructing the Interstate 10 interchange at Ina Road. The most notable improvement is a bridge that will take traffic over Union Pacific Railroad tracks to break up delays on a heavily used four-lane road.
The tracks presently sit at grade, causing backups for the roughly 23,000 drivers who use that section of Ina Road every day. Having a bridge at the site will also increase safety as motorists will no longer have to deal with crossing the tracks when the project is complete in 2019.
Traffic will be partially diverted from the interstate during this complex heavy civil project, putting more cars on frontage roads that aren’t presently equipped to handle the load. The team’s first priorities include widening the frontage and relocating potable and reclaimed water lines.
“There’s a little bit of everything on this project,” said Sundt Area Manager Steve Schmitt. “Underground work, utilities, storm drains, bridges, collapsible soil conditions.”
Soil issues are adding another month or so to the work. The team needs to excavate the soil by about five extra feet in order to compact it because of the site’s proximity to the Santa Cruz River and its erosion and sediment. A new bridge will also be constructed over the Santa Cruz River on Ina Road.
The joint venture has experience working I-10 in Tucson, having completed a six-mile stretch through the downtown corridor south of the present work site. The project included many of the same components and was completed several months ahead of schedule. Many members of that team are coming back for this project.
“The team has proven its value to ADOT,” Steve said. “We’re looking forward to getting started on this project and improving mobility in the Tucson area.”
Aly Gartin, third from right, organizes all six MIke Gaines charity events Sundt puts on every year.
Today is the first Mike Gaines Charity Golf Tournament of the year, one of six events Sundt hosts in memory of a beloved former employee-owner. Mike died in 2002 from ALS complications and the company hosts five golf tournaments and a trap shooting event each year to raise money and awareness in the battle against the deadly disease.
Sundt Estimating Coordinator Aly Gartin plays a crucial role in organizing the events, which are held in Tucson, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio and San Diego. Her hard work and commitment to the cause are the result of her friendship with Mike, an employee-owner who served the company for more than two decades.
Aly, who has been with Sundt for 33 years, recently took time to talk about Mike and the importance of the events that keep his memory alive.
What kind of person was Mike?
Fun. He was very team-oriented. ‘Let’s have a happy hour, let’s have a family picnic, let’s celebrate.’ Something else that speaks to what kind of person Mike was: His original doctor from MDA is now the Executive VP and Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at MDA and still attends the Tucson tournament when she’s in town. She speaks fondly of Mike and his courage and drive to fight as long as he could.
How did you get involved in planning the events?
Mike wanted me to watch the $20,000 Hole-in-One hole. I stepped in to do the finances and paperwork at year two. (Former Sundt employee-owners) Monty Suttle, Corky Collins and I are the champions because of our longtime friendship with Mike, to keep it about his memory and raising money for ALS research.
How much have the events grown over the years?
Sundt’s been so great to let us spread to the different offices. Each office has had a connection to Mike and we’ve been able to carry his memory on to the next one. We’ve watched each tournament grow and become more popular. We want to be the charity event of choice when people can only spend ‘X’ amount of money out of their discretionary budget. They spend it on golf for ALS research.
What kind of reactions do you get from players after the events?
Everyone always has such a good time and seems to appreciate the opportunity to do a good deed. They know their money’s going to the cause. It’s a good time to network and catch up with friends; we have retirees golf, upper management comes out, our own former President and CEO J. Doug Pruitt even plays the Phoenix tournament each year.
What does it mean to you to carry Mike’s legacy forward?
Mike was a great guy, a hard worker, and a good friend. He deserves to be remembered. I’m proud to be part of that effort! I keep thinking and hoping it’ll be that next tournament’s donations that help pay to find the cure.
Mike Gaines golf tournaments are held in Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Sacramento and Tucson.