Gillett Construction LLC – Vegas Golden Knights Practice Facility

GillettGillett is meeting tight deadlines for the Vegas Golden Knights’ practice facility.

By Alan Dorich

Not many builders can say they have the organization to turnaround a sports facility in only nine months, but Gillett Construction LLC can. This August, the general contractor will finish its work on the new practice facility for the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team.

President Darren Gillett adds that his company has stayed on schedule while self-performing certain aspects. “We self-perform all of our concrete framing, drywall and all the miscellaneous carpentry that has to happen as well,” he says.Gillett info box

This gives the company more control over the project. “We prefer to drive the bus rather than sit behind the bus driver and tell him where to turn,” Gillett explains. “When you’re in the driver’s seat, you’re driving the schedule.”

Gillett Construction started construction on the Golden Knights facility in December 2016. When finished, the $28 million structure will stand two stories and cover 146,000 square feet with two NHL-size rinks, the Golden Knights’ corporate offices, a gym, a therapy area and a dressing room.

The facility also will have a restaurant where guests can relax and watch the team practice. “The fact that we’re able to complete the project with that size and that many intricate details that quickly is something to be proud of,” Gillett declares.

Ice Experts

This marks Gillett Construction’s first project for the Golden Knights, but it is not the first time it has built one involving ice. “We’re the only one here in Las Vegas that has ever done an ice floor,” Gillett says. “It just made sense for [the client] to come to us.”

Gillett Construction has kept safe during the project. “We run an impeccable, clean project,” he says, noting that the company strives to keep its site spotless, which helps workers stay productive. “When you work in a clean environment, they give you better, finished results.”

Not only has the company employed a safety associate to monitor conditions, but it also requires employees undergo safety training. “Before somebody starts, he has to go through orientation and is badged,” Gillett adds.

An Incredible Team

Based in Las Vegas, Gillett Construction specializes in commercial buildings. Darren Gillett co-founded the company 14 years ago. “Prior to that, I was working for a large general contractor and felt it was best to give it a go on my own,” he recalls.

Since then, the company has grown a portfolio that includes arenas and athletic facilities, restaurants, professional office buildings and tenant improvements, and multi-story, hospitality and casino projects. Today, “We’re a little better than a lot of our competitors,” Gillett says, noting that its ability to self-perform work sets it apart.

He also praises his team. “We’ve got a really tight core group of people that get along incredibly well,” Gillett asserts. “Everyone appears perfectly content to be here.”

There is a sense of teamwork at Gillett Construction. “Everyone is willing to jump and get things done,” he says. “The employees take a tremendous amount of pride in the projects we do.”

Its key members include General Superintendent Ernie Raczniak, who has worked alongside Gillett since 2000. “Without him, none of this really works,” Gillett declares.

Gillett Construction recently experienced changes in the Las Vegas market. When the contractor started the Golden Knights project, “Things were slow and sluggish, but things are picking up,” he reports.

The increased activity has impacted the availability of subcontractors, but the company is coping well. “We’re fine,” Gillett asserts. “[There has been] nothing terrible to overcome.”

He predicts more success for Gillett Construction. “We’re going to have a little bit of growth,” he notes, explaining that the company plans to increase its administrative staff. “We’re looking for qualified people that would fit into our mold.” 

Problem Solvers

Gillett Construction LLC’s employees carry extensive experience, which comes in handy when clients ask it to solve construction challenges on projects. “Gillett has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of commercial construction, with particular expertise with life safety systems,” the company says.

These include code compliance with framing, drywall, doors and hardware, as well as the integration of fire alarm and suppression systems, and HVAC smoke control systems. “Gillett excels in directing design/build projects with extensive experience managing the design team to achieve the client’s objectives while controlling costs,” it says.

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