Emerick Construction Co. – Ridgefield School District projects

Emerick Construction picEmerick Construction continues to build relationships with clients, employees and the community as it celebrates 75 years of success.
By Jim Harris, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

Emerick Construction sees its projects as being more than just one-time transactions. “When we build a project it’s not just for a paycheck, but to build a relationship with our clients,” says Samantha Jordan, director of business development and marketing for the Tualatin, Oregon-based company. “We go into each project with the mindset of creating a perpetual partnership.”

The experience of the company’s staff and its hands-on approach to projects has encouraged clients to continually return over the past several decades. These partnerships are welcomed by a familiar team and its processes. The average tenure of an Emerick employee is roughly 14 years, and the majority of its senior staff averages 24 years. 

“The service we provide our clients sets us apart from other general contractors,” Jordan continues. “We have the people that make the difference. No matter the size or complexity of the project, our team guides a client from start to finish.”

During the past 20 years, the company has specialized in building education projects for school districts in Oregon and southwest Washington. Emerick has performed 48 large school projects valued at more than $450 million for 24 school districts. The company is also highly skilled in seismic upgrade and historic rehabilitation projects and has worked on many notable projects over the years. Emerick box

Emerick is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The company was founded in 1943 as a concrete subcontractor by Paul B. Emerick, who previously worked as a teacher and built houses during his spare time on weekends. The company started working as a general contractor on commercial projects in the 1950s, when it won its first $1 million contract with the Dairy Cooperative Association. Today, the company is ranked among the top general contractors in the Pacific Northwest, having earned a reputation as the contractor of choice for challenging, team-driven projects for the last 75 years.

Ridgefield Projects

One of Emerick’s current K-12 clients is Ridgefield School District in Ridgefield, Washington. The company anticipated completing work on a new $59.6 million intermediate school for the district in August. The new school is one of three projects Emerick is performing as part of a facilities program funded by a $92 million bond issue approved by school district voters, Project Manager Ted Jeffery says. 

The two-story, 150,000-square-foot intermediate school is built on a structural steel frame and has an exterior that includes metal panels, concrete masonry units and brick. Work began on the building in May 2017.

The school features a dedicated wing for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and art programs. It boasts a radiant heating and cooling system, a black box theater, two gymnasiums with Pulastic floor systems, a synthetic turf football field and track, and a covered play area. LSW Architects designed the school to accommodate two separate wings, one for grades 5 and 6 and the other for grades 7 and 8, with common areas for both.

The school is located on a former farming field site adjacent to five acres of wetland that Emerick needed to build around. New utilities needed to be installed in the greenfield site on a tight 15-month schedule, Jeffery notes. 

With the intermediate school nearly complete, Emerick is turning its attention toward its second bond project with the Ridgefield School District: an $18.6 million addition to Ridgefield High School. The company began work on the addition, which will house science classrooms and laboratories as well as a media center, in June. Completion is anticipated next June, 2019. 

The two-story science wing features a wood frame with a brick and concrete masonry unit exterior that will match the exterior of the existing high school. The addition also includes a polished concrete interior as well as single-ply KEE roofing. Like PVC roofing, KEE roofing is rolled out in a single layer, but is more durable, Jeffery adds. 

Emerick’s third project for Ridgefield School District will involve remodeling the district’s former middle school into new offices for the district and the city. The contractor is still in the planning stages of the project, but anticipates its cost to be $6 million, LSW Architects designed all three projects for the Ridgefield district, Jeffery says.

The company is working with many of the same subcontractors on these projects. “We are working in a very supportive and collaborative manner with our subcontractors,” Jordan says. Emerick acknowledges that building and maintaining relationships are two fundamentals of a strong company. Subcontractors and vendors who work with Emerick are genuinely willing go the extra mile because they know they are part of the team.  

Client Partnerships

Combined, the Ridgefield School District projects represent the largest single contract in Emerick’s history. Emerick CEO Larry Sitz and President Corey Lohman are closely involved in these projects and regularly meet with Superintendent Dr. Nathan McCann, R and C Management, other district representatives as well as community members. 

“This bond measure was the first in a long time for the Ridgefield community, which recognized the need for a new school and improvements to existing facilities, as the population has been growing over the years,” Jordan says. “We have integrated our team into the school district’s, along with major outreach efforts that demonstrate our commitment to the project and the school district.”

The school district and contractor also worked together on a safety plan at the high school, which remains open to students during construction. Student bus routes are being routed around construction fencing. Safety is Emerick’s first priority on all projects.

A Positive Culture

Emerick believes in its people and wants them to grow with the company. Investing in the team is important, therefore, additional on-the-job instruction, certification classes and extensive safety training is continually offered.

One of Emerick’s mottos is: Live. Work. Play. This is achieved by paying it forward to communities and embracing the importance of life-work balance for its employees. Emerick sponsors and supports numerous organizations its team members are advocates for. Emerick welcomes its team members to provide input in what matters to them.

“A culture that creates a happy work place inspires an attitude of success and ultimately increases the performance of our team,” Jordan says. “Our employees love what they do and love where they work, and the results are successful projects with elated clients.”

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