August 17, 2017

Busy in Hartford County

O&G’s first project in Hartford was completed in the early 1960s. Since then a diverse portfolio of projects has demonstrated O&G’s ability to work successfully across construction disciplines, from excavation, sitework and bridges to buildings large and small. In recent months, teams completed four projects that met client needs for four very different buildings….

Hartford Rail Upgrade at Hartford Union Station

The DOT’s Greater Hartford Transportation District had a pressing need. The access platform at the historic Hartford Union Station was not only deteriorating, it had always been low enough relative to the Amtrak trains servicing the station that patrons had to take a four-foot step getting into and out of the trains. Handicap access was also too limited. An O&G crew, under the direction of Project Manager Nelson Reis, spent one year – working around daily rail operations, over a busy roadway, and addressing unforeseen issues that increased the scope of the project – resolving those issues. After surveying the access staircases and the platform, steel drawings were completed and crews cut out rotting platform down to the supporting girders. A higher platform – four feet higher, almost 300 feet long and 10 feet wide – eliminated the climb on and off trains. New access staircases on either end of the platform and handicap ramps were also added, along with security upgrades, new lighting, signage and PA and passenger information display systems.Brian Orcutt is a Transportation Engineer II with ConnDOT who oversees jobs on behalf of the state as chief inspector. He was pleased with the project,  and especially how O&G responded to several unknowns that cropped up and the $200,000 in changes ConnDOT needed mid-stream. At the outset of the job, he explains, O&G had to self-perform field surveys of the entire steel structure, something that is not normally the responsibility of the contractor. “Every time something came up, [Project Superintendent] Mike Edwards responded well. Every time he was quick. He didn’t sit back and wait for answers.” He appreciated Edwards’ willingness to take on submittals, a task usually done by administrative staff, using new software developed for rail corridor projects. Seeing Edwards’ take-charge attitude inspired Orcutt, he admits. “From my perspective, our lives in the DOT are dictated by the contractor. I see someone who is interested, dedicated and pushing and I want to do the same so he can accomplish what he wants to get done.” Despite the add-ons and unknowns encountered, O&G turned the project over one month ahead of schedule this April.

Reconstruction of passenger access and installation of updated signage, security and other features.

 

St. Francis Hospital’s Comprehensive Women’s Health Center 

A 2016 Women’s Choice Award recipient as one of America’s Best Breast Centers, the facility needed to enlarge to handle its growing caseload. This expansion project, self-performed by O&G, created new exam and procedure rooms, office areas and a nurses’ station. It was the first of five phased projects and would be critical as swing space for construction slated to follow. When unexpected site conditions were uncovered and threatened to significantly delay this fast-track project, O&G was quick to add manpower to maintain schedule. “What should have been straightforward pretty quickly became complicated,” says David Wolkowicz, Construction Administrator for project architect TRO, referring to the snarl of underground utilities that were either not where drawings showed them to be, or were collapsed, or missing altogether. “O&G went what I would say was above and beyond. They brought in ground-penetrating radar and located all the utilities.” And because O&G had the capabilities in-house, Project Manager Nelson Reis and Superintendent Mike Edwards quickly began work on sawing thru the concrete without arranging with an outside subcontractor. By making up time on the back end the project finished within a week of schedule. “The client was very happy. We all loved working with Nelson and Mike,” says Wolkowicz. St. Francis’ Vice President of Facilities Design and Construction, Bob Falaguerra, appreciated the professionalism of the O&G team: “They kept the project on time and budget and followed our internal requirements for safety and infection control closely. The project was a significant success.”

2,400SF expansion including exam and procedure rooms and a nurses’ station, with new mechanicals and finishes throughout.

 

Miss Porter’s School Admissions Center  

Tucked behind the classic buildings of Miss Porter’s School that line middle Main Street in Farmington, down the hill along the banks of the Farmington River, sits what Mike Bergin, the School’s Chief Financial Officer, calls “our flagship building.” It is the prestigious boarding school’s new, 6,500SF Admissions Center. Calling it “new,” though, is a misnomer: it is a repurposed post-and-beam grist mill built in the late 1600s. Bergin boasts that it is the nicest such center of any independent school in the Northeast. Rejuvenating the mill to handle the activities that go along with a busy admissions office without losing its period charm was the job of architect Drummey Rosane Anderson and the O&G team led by Superintendent George Givens. In eight months the building was thoroughly transformed with high-end mechanicals and finishes throughout. The site was also extensively redesigned. “George was fantastic to work with,” says Katie Bradley, Miss Porter’s Director of Campus Planning and Design. “We demanded very high quality and attention to detail and George delivered.” The admissions office, she points out, is the first point of contact many prospective Porter’s families have with the School, so first impressions are hugely important. “George would help us in our decision process and anticipate issues, so that we really felt he was our advocate.” Bergin agrees: “This job was important, with limited time and budget and we knew that O&G would deliver. As CFO I have to trust people. With George on site and Greg [Oneglia] a phone call away, I knew we had the right people. I knew that whatever they said would happen, would happen.” The building was turned over on schedule in June.

Conversion of a historic 1600s grist mill, maintaining its character and incorporating antique mill devices while updating all mechanicals, finishes and telecommunications and remaking the grounds.

The Cathedral of Saint Joseph  

Were you not told it was an addition, you wouldn’t suspect it. That is precisely the beauty of the three-floor, 3,100SF addition to the Cathedral’s west side. Architect Pat Moore of Pepin Associates Architects made sure of the fit. Handsome and refined, it melds into the 1960s cathedral, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Says Moore, “For a smaller project it was complicated, requiring O&G to work off foundations made by another contractor. O&G did very well manning and running the job and the workmanship is very nice.” Its improvements include covered drop-off for parishioners, elevator access to the Cathedral and ample restroom capacity. Father James Shanley, Vicar of Pastoral Planning, knows that his parishoners who will turn out by the thousands for large events this fall “are really going to love it.”  Mark Flukinger has been the Cathedral’s Plant Manager for 20 years. He was the one, with the Diocese’s Project Manager, Ken Mucherino, who worked closely with O&G. He appreciated how everyone hustled to meet a soft opening deadline in June. “To finish the flooring, the last thing to do, they were never afraid to burn the midnight oil.” Flukinger had high praises for the team (calling it “a well-oiled machine”) and the results they achieved. “The entire team, Leo Nardi, Christina Rossi, Ron, Mike Edwards, Nelson Reis, all talked together, worked together and just got it done.” Flukinger commended O&G for selecting the right subs – the very best, he says – which had not been his experience with past projects. “The focus on safety, timeliness, the workmanship  – it was all there.

Three-story addition to better accommodate handicapped visitors and make access to the Cathedral easier and more welcoming.