Tulare County Office of Education

One of many things we are grateful for at our company is that our different teams, departments and locations are regularly willing to make the necessary sacrifices it takes to work together—and we all do teamwork exceedingly well.

In past situations, we’ve had some of our journeymen glaziers relocate for over a year in order to complete a substantial, long-lasting project. We’ve had apprentices spontaneously take time out of their weekend to, in the middle of the night, drive materials five and a half hours to our Nevada Operations facility. We have countless examples of team unity and togetherness built over the years; including during the TCOE (Tulare County Office of Education) project.

Our work on TCOE began in January 2015 after the estimation of Chris Bonnet. Architects at Mangini Associates, Inc. (Tellian Parish McLain) designed the building to be a new and improved, three-story office administration building and conference center, located in Visalia, CA. The TCOE building will house administrators who serve, support, encourage, develop and consistently improve upon hundreds of programs and services that benefit over 100,000 students in 43 school districts across Tulare County. (1)

Bush Construction, in our first venture together, subcontracted us to furnish approximately 9,000 sqft of the building with glass storefront and curtain wall. The remainder of our scope included the installation of entry doors, interior glass, fire-rated glazing, mirrors and skylights.

At the time we received the letter of intent, we did not have a project manager in Fresno to run the project; so it was assigned to me, even though I’m based in Los Angeles, as it required immediate attention. My assignment to this project was especially urgent, considering it was given just a one-year duration from the time of the contract award, beginning January 2015.

The geographical distances of running the project from Los Angeles presented a few challenges, such as:

  1. Maintaining adequate project management presence onsite;
  2. Managing minimal efficient material deliveries to keep costs down;
  3. Managing quality assurance and quality control;
  4. Ensuring our new customers’ needs were met.

In an ideal world or as the local project manager of TCOE, I would have spent more time onsite with our customers and field crew. Our goal of staying within budget, however, did not allow for the frequent travel that would have required. I enjoyed meeting and working with our glaziers in the Fresno area—and relied heavily on these guys who were often my eyes, ears and even voice on the field.

Ray Valdez, our full-time onsite foreman, did an excellent job managing his field crew as well as coordinating and communicating with our GC, which ultimately helped minimize my time required onsite. (2)

As a team, we were able to handle most challenges without impacting the schedule or our relationship with our customers. Through constant communication and accountability of all team members, we were able to manage challenges as they arose. (3)

Communication and team synergy all around made this project a success (as it tends to!), including communications with our suppliers. (4) A special thank you to Oldcastle, whose glass deliveries were packaged well, complete and on schedule, and Kawneer, who also performed well and had minimal issues with material quality.

by Matt Lamb, Project Manager at Giroux Glass, Inc.

Matt Lamb first began his work at Giroux Glass in 2006 as a valuable asset to our Commercial Contracts team. He would appreciate your comments and feedback, sent to him directly at [email protected].

(1) “Our Commitment.” tcoe.org.

(2) Giroux Glass union crew: Kelly Edwards (superintendent), Ray Valdez (full-time foreman), Juan Martinez (part-time foreman), Brandon Valdez, Tony Antuna, Brady Haggard, George Heradura, Tracy Ferreria, Fred Malahy, John Ramirez, and Frank Salinas

(3) Other Giroux Glass team members: Mark Barragan, Michelle Fainberg, Chris Bonnet, Amanda Torigiani, and Lydia Arevalo

(4) CB Doors & Hardware: door hardware; Collier Building Specialties: Kalwall skylights; Kawneer: curtain wall, storefront and doors; Oldcastle: glass; Pacific Industrial Contractors: welding subcontractor; and Vetrotech: fire-rated glass.