Few construction companies can look back 95 years at their business trajectory and know that they are still honoring their founders’ principles. P. Agnes, a construction manager and building contractor founded in 1918 by Pellegrino Agnes in Philadelphia, still holds true to its founder’s focus on applying pragmatic solutions and technical expertise to overcome any construction challenge.
The company, named construction manager of the year in 2012 by the Subcontractors Association of Delaware Valley, continues to be managed by descendants of Pellegrino Agnes, who maintain its family focus and core values almost a century after it was founded.
Louis Agnes, son of the founder, has been leading P. Agnes for the past 30 years with the help of his son, Jay Agnes, and Patrick Pasquariello, grandsons of the founder, and both vice presidents at the company. Jay Agnes leads the developments owned and operated by affiliated companies, and Pasquariello oversees every phase of the construction operations, according to the company.
Pasquariello says the family culture is a key differentiator for P. Agnes. “In spite of our growth, we still act in a traditional manner, we still hold on to our core values and maintain our attention to schedules, quality and budget,” he explains.
At P. Agnes, those principles are non-negotiable. “Being under budget is a foregone conclusion,” Pasquariello says. “We never consider being over budget; it is not an option for us.” The quality of P. Agnes’ work and its timely delivery of projects make customers come back when it’s time to improve, update or re-build facilities.
Two well-represented industries in P. Agnes’ portfolio are healthcare and higher education. Lankenau Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Virtua Hospital, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Kennedy Memorial Hospital and Bryn Mawr Hospital are some of the health institutions that have hired P. Agnes. In the higher education realm, the company has worked with the University of Pennsylvania, LaSalle University, East Stroudsburg State University, Temple University, Drexel University and West Chester University, to name a few.
When Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pa., decided to add a new patient tower with 96 beds and a state-of-the-art Heart & Vascular Pavilion, the company went to P. Agnes. “We had done several projects with Lankenau hospital in the past, but this is our largest to date with a budget of $325 million,” Pasquariello says.
The Lankenau project started in June 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in July. The seven-story patient tower will have 96 private rooms, individual air controls, flat-screen TVs and large windows to allow in natural light. The project also includes a 1,200-car parking garage along with a 7,000-ton central utility plant.
The project is seeking LEED silver certification and is installing a green rooftop and energy-saving windows. The site will be planted with more than 1,000 trees and shrubs.
P. Agnes’ experience enables the work to proceed without affecting the high quality of care the hospital offers to its patients. The construction company was even able to remodel the kitchen and cafeteria area without disrupting the meal services provided to patients, families and hospital personal.
“We set up a temporary kitchen in a trailer while we worked on the renovation so the hospital would be able to keep providing meals,” Pasquariello explains. Lankenau Hospital intends to offer inpatients a hotel-style meal experience with its new kitchen and cafeteria.
Partnered with Penn
The University of Pennsylvania hired P. Agnes to renovate its Palestra and Hutchinson Gymnasium, originally built in 1923. The $22 million project will feature 51,500 square feet of renovated space with a new lobby, basketball practice court, multi-use spaces, offices, conference rooms and corridors. P. Agnes also will upgrade the locker room and training spaces as well as the gymnastics and fencing areas, located on the second floor.
The Palestra and Hutchinson Gymnasium project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2013. The university is seeking LEED silver certification for the facility.
P. Agnes’ longstanding position in the community extends beyond the construction arena. The company participates in a number of community outreach programs and charity events.
“Most of our healthcare clients are non-for-profit organizations, so we make sure we participate in any events that might help them in their fundraising efforts,” Pasquariello says. As a company, P. Agnes participates in events organized by the American Heart Association, and Pasquariello is personally involved in Project H.O.M.E (Housing, Opportunities for employment, Medical care, Education). The nonprofit provides housing and services to the homeless in the Philadelphia area.
Pasquariello expects the company to expand its reach into the state of Delaware, where he says it will maintain its core values, family culture and community involvement.