We at Construction Dive often hear it: A major boon of working in the construction industry is the ability to point at a part of the skyline and say, ‘I built that.’
Pride is an important part of being a contractor, and we wanted to hear more about what projects you are proud of. Readers chimed in with a range of comments.
Marty Rickett, a senior project manager for JE Dunn in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said in his 40-year career, he’s proudest of a current job: The U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel rehabilitation project in Colorado Springs.
“I have worked in almost every market type from healthcare, government, advanced industries, corporate, education, cultural, entertainment and historic preservation,” wrote Rickett. “But this is the fourth project that I have worked on at the U.S. Air Force Academy and by far the one that brings the most pride.”
The project will recreate the building as it looked when it was completed 60 years ago, Rickett said. The challenge of the project has led to rewarding collaboration between stakeholders.
In terms of what he has learned from the job, Rickett said, “That details matter! From exact replications of the skin material and profiles, quality of manufacturing and installation and testing the installation, the details matter.”
Kevin Sullivan, chief estimator for Envoy in Indianapolis, Indiana, said he was proudest of his work on the Pagoda Tower at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 199-foot-tall tower was finished in 2000, according to the speedway’s website, requiring 6,100 cubic yards of concrete, 1,170 tons of steel and 19,500 square feet of glass.
“[The] project had really unique architecture and we made it work. Iconic!” said Sullivan.
Ricky Stevenson of Chicago said he recently served as solo project manager for the first time on McHugh Construction’s FanDuel Sportsbook Lounge in the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. The 13,000-square-foot, two-story sports betting venue includes 1,300 square feet of LED screens.
Building the unique infrastructure of audio, video and security was a major challenge, Stevenson said.
“The major lesson I learned was how incredibly important it is to coordinate major trades early on, especially when complex technology is involved,” he said.
Across the country in San Francisco, Tapiwa Chirairo, scheduler for a large commercial construction company, said during his nine-year career, he was proudest of the city’s MIRA tower, a 400-foot-tall residential development with an exterior that appears to spiral as it rises upward. He was connected to the project at a previous job.
Chirairo said the project was a “mental and physical challenge,” requiring each of the 39 floors to rotate 27 degrees as it rose, so there were three full floor rotations by the time the project topped out. Layout points for the concrete edge form never repeated week to week, he said.
Chirairo’s response to what he learned was simple: “Resilience and patience.”
It’s not just skyline-altering marvels that fill readers with pride. Cole Shandera, a University of Nebraska student and project management intern at Hausmann Construction, said he is working on LPS Standing Bear High School in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. The project finishes work in one month.
The reason he’s proud of it? Not the challenging work, but rather the impact for the end users.
“I enjoyed it because I get to see students come here and play sports, excel in school and overall create a community that will be here for a lifetime,” Shandera wrote
Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect Chirairo's employer at the time of MIRA tower project.