Construction Notes from Turks and Caicos

By Parker Young, Executive Vice President and COO at Straub Construction

Recently I got to take a trip to North and Middle Caicos Islands. North is known as “The Green Island”. Needless to say, the views are gorgeous.

There is no direct access to the island other than a daily ferry from Provo. So you feel at times that you have the entire island to yourselves. There are a few quaint establishments, but the biggest take away for us was how hard it would be to live on an island like this. Just your ability to get basic supplies, fuel, food etc. takes a lot of effort by the shop owners to get them.

We found it fascinating that for such a small island it had three distinct communities, each with it’s own market, schools and church. The infrastructure is very basic… with one main road the length of the island along with the power lines.

Straub Construction: Turks and Caicos Straub Construction: Turks and Caicos

As someone from the construction industry, I enjoyed talking with the locals on how they did work and got materials.

Most structures are block  with a stucco on the exterior and then a wood framed roof.

Straub Construction: Turks and CaicosIt took almost three years to build the house we stayed in. There is no concrete batch plant, hardware store, or lumber yard, so planning is key! There was a house under construction near the one we stayed at and every morning, seven workers on three bicycles drove by on their way to the job. (Yes, one of the bikes had three people on it.) Just a different way of life.

For those of you not in construction, a batch plant (also known as a concrete plant) is equipment that combines various ingredients to form concrete in mass quantities at a central location. Batch plants accelerate the construction process considerably… cement trucks go to a batch plant to get a full load of concrete and take it to the job site. In Turks and Caicos, the house we stayed in was constructed by mixing and using one bag of concrete at a time. That’s why a fairly simple home took three years to build.

While walking along the beach, we saw a rusted excavator. I knew it would be a perfect picture for this story. Normally you would see the husk of an old ship on the beach, not construction equipment!

It was a great trip for us and definitely reminded us how blessed we are to live where we do.

Straub Construction: Turks and Caicos Straub Construction: Turks and Caicos

Passion is the Pathway to Career

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

A Passion For Building

The construction industry is full of incredibly talented people who truly love working with their hands. Construction workers have a passion for taking raw pieces of material and turning them into something beautiful. If you ask any person in construction, most of them would say that this is the reason they work in this industry.

You can tell a lot about a person’s true passion by the way that they spend their free time. Jeff, Nolan, and Steve are a few people at Straub Construction who like to spend some of their free time woodworking. Starting with nothing but some nails, glue, and raw pieces of wood, these guys build some true works of art.

Jeff

Jeff Walters is a Superintendent who has been at Straub Construction for almost 25 years. He started woodworking when he was very young. His affinity for woodworking came from his grandfather who was a trim carpenter when Jeff was growing up. Jeff’s grandfather helped him with his first few projects for the 4-H and he fell in love with it. After 4-H he took a wood shop class in high school for a year. The majority of the projects that Jeff has done have been for friends and relatives. Over the past few years he has been building for the younger generation of his kids, nieces, and nephews.

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Nolan

Nolan Cisper is a Project Manager at Straub Construction who has been in the industry of over 10 years. He also got into woodworking rather early in his life. For his 17th birthday, Nolan told his parents that the thing he wanted most was his first Worm Drive Saw. From then on, he could be found building things out of wood. Most of the things that Nolan builds are for his friends and family. However, there are fair few of his creations scattered around his house. Two years ago, Nolan built a cutting board that was a huge hit at our White Elephant Gift Exchange. Nolan also built a wooden six-pack container for last year’s gift exchange which was also a hit.

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Steve

Steve Berko is the Director of Preconstruction at Straub and has been in the industry for over 40 years. He got into woodworking a little bit later in his life about four years ago but he has always enjoyed building things with his hands. Much like the others in this group, most of the things that Steve builds are given away to his friends and family. One of his favorite things to make for the people that matter the most in his life are thick cedar benches. Steve remarked that these cedar benches are not perfect but that is a great representation of life. Life has a lot of challenges, and like these benches, it is the knots, saw marks, spits, checks and imperfections that give it character and make it beautiful.

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S2 Project Spotlight: Maple Hill Funeral Home Renovation

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

We are so excited to show the recently completed full building renovation of the Maple Hill Funeral Home in Kansas City, KS.

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This renovation included revised layouts, new exterior windows and doors, new finishes, as well as a complete gut and remodel of existing restrooms. In addition, we also installed a new cremation machine in the building and all necessary electrical, structural, and roof modifications it required.

The meeting rooms, offices, and chapels showcase new flooring, wall coverings, ceilings, lights, doors and trim. The main chapel also features an integrative lighting and wood panel system across the center of the room’s ceiling and down the center of the front of the room.  The fully remodeled restrooms contain floor to ceiling tile, solid surface counters, and new ceilings.

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Maple-Hill-Funeral-HomeMaple-Hill-Funeral-Home

From start to finish, this project took five months to complete. Our project superintendent, Ralph Pruente, oversaw the entire process while self-performing a variety of smaller scopes. We were able to keep the staff operational throughout the process by phasing the work and even placing trailers for them to office out of for a few weeks.

Getting to be part of this beautiful transformation of Maple Hill, along with the architects at H2B, has been extremely rewarding. Families dealing with circumstances that might be the hardest of their lives have a warm inviting and peaceful venue to come together as a family. We thank Maple Hill for allowing us to be part of there mission to serve families in their time of loss.