For Senior Project Superintendent Glen Farlow, every day comes down to scheduling and safety. It’s how he delivers successful construction projects for Sundt’s Building Group, California District.
With more than 45 years of construction experience, Farlow joined Sundt in 2015 after a friend told him Sundt was hiring. Farlow immigrated from England
40 years ago and was proud to become a U.S. citizen last year. He began his career at Harrod’s London, building backdrops for windows, and then moved to building stage sets for Glyndebourne Opera House. Today, he’s applying his theater background to Sundt’s project at Morse High School for San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). Sundt is constructing a new performing arts center and administration building and completed building upgrades for the school. We asked Glen to share his thoughts about building a career in the construction industry.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the work we’re doing at SDUSD’s Morse High School.
A: Construction has started on a new 24,500-square-foot performing arts building. It’ll be a state-of-the-art, 500-seat theater with orchestra pit, stage and support facilities. We’re also building a new 12,000- square-foot, two-story administration building for the school. The project has a tight timeframe, and theaters are technically complex projects to build. When we’re finished, the high school will have a state-of-the-art theater to serve the students and community.
Q: What does a person need to do in order to be a successful superintendent?
A: To be a successful superintendent, it’s about three things—scheduling, safety, and good open communication with trade contractors. Schedule and safety are paramount. As a superintendent, you have to look months down the road. I focus on day-to-day operations, weekly work plans, and I just keep going back to the project calendar.
Safety goes hand in hand with my master schedule. I believe a clean, safe jobsite increases production. My team knows I’m strict on safety. At the blink of an eye accidents can happen at any time on a jobsite. Pre-planning is critical during all phases of the work so we can recognize potential hazards and plan for them, creating a safer working environment.
Q: How has the industry changed, and what advice would you give to someone just starting out in construction?
The days of construction workers all being big, beefy, brawny guys – those days have been gone a long time. With the advancement of technology, whether it’s in the office or in the field, the industry is evolving all the time. You need to be open to learning new equipment, learning new programs. I remember the days I had just a pager. Those days are gone.
You must be focused. Look at your end goal. Make sure you’re on top of the schedule and get yourself out in the field. If you don’t walk the field, you’re asking for trouble.
Q: What do you love most about your work?
A: Every project is different. Each one has different challenges. You could build one school today and build almost the identical school to follow and I guarantee you, they won’t be the same. If I can’t wake up in the mornings without a challenge, it’s time to give it up, but that’s not even close yet. This business has been good to me, good to my family. No matter what project you do, every day is different.
Here at Sundt, they really do care about your welfare. They care about giving you the right tools to do your job more efficiently and to be a successful employee-owner. I just love coming to work every day, and I still have that zest for work in my belly.
Ready to love your job as much as Glen loves his? Sundt Construction is hiring for multiple positions across the country. Visit our Experienced Professionals page to learn more about a career with Sundt.