W.M. Jordan Company

Employee Spotlight: John Darden

July 9, 2014

John Darden, WMJ Project Superintendent

John Darden, WMJ Project Superintendent

At W. M. Jordan Company, we believe that our employees are our biggest resource, contributing to the success and advancement of our company. In honor of their accomplishments and talents we will feature our employees in our monthly blog series.

Today, we feature Project Superintendent John Darden. John has worked for W.M. Jordan as a member of our Newport News field team for 26 years. In John’s 26 years, he has built a wide variety of projects in numerous market segments such as Higher Education, Commercial, Healthcare, Federal and Hospitality. Having completed over 35 projects throughout his time at W. M. Jordan, John recalls that the most memorable moment of his W.M. Jordan career came from his work at the NAS Oceana P-141 Aircraft Maintenance Hanger project. During this project, his team was required to do some heavy lifting that included raising two 200 ft. long trusses created from 18 in. pipe tube. According to John, these trusses each weighed over 100,000 lbs. and required a dual crane lift to set the trusses in place at the P-141 Aircraft Hangar. It was an impressive endeavor.

While his work at NAS Oceana was memorable, John’s favorite project will always be the David Student Union at Christopher Newport University. John has completed five projects for CNU but this one was unique. The exquisite high-end interior finishes made the job one of his favorites and also one of his most challenging. Intensive scheduling, coordination and pre-planning with the entire project team was required due to the level of detail and different finishes required to create the building. The atrium and the grand stairwell were the center of the building and had the most intricate finish work, including railings, cornice, millwork, interior pre-cast, flooring and curtain wall. Today, the David Student Union serves as a central hub for all CNU students and John is proud of have been a part of such a unique project.

John is currently the Lead Project Superintendent on one of W. M. Jordan Company’s biggest projects, the Tech Center at Oyster Point. This premier, mixed-use lifestyle center located in the heart of Newport News includes 250+ new apartment homes, 50,000 square feet of specialty office space and 260,000 square feet of shopping and restaurants.

Read our full interview with John below:

Interview Transcript:

  1. Name: John Darden
  2. Position: Project Superintendent (Newport News)
  3. How long have you been with W.M. Jordan?  26 years
  4. What is your most memorable moment from working at W.M. Jordan? Having to use a dual crane lift to set the 105,000 lbs. truss at the P-141 Aircraft Hangar at NAS Oceana. The truss was 200 ft. long and was built on the ground using 18 in. pipe tube. Actually, on this job there were two trusses of this size that had to be placed.
  5. What was your favorite W.M. Jordan project? My most memorable project is the David Student Union at Christopher Newport University.
  6. …and why? Mainly because of the level of finishes in the building.  It has a very impressive main atrium that incorporates a terrazzo floor and grand staircase and match cherry panels throughout the building.
  7. What was your most challenging project? I would have to say that the David Student Union at CNU would also be my most challenging project. It was so challenging because of the level of finishes that were required   for the building. The amount of finishes desired for the project required a lot of planning beforehand to make sure everything came out right. For example, before we could pour the concrete we had to make sure the Terrazzo joints would line up properly so to place the concrete joints we had to use the Terrazzo plans – just a lot of coordination. It is a stunning building.
  8. If you weren’t in construction, you would be… Coaching football at the high school or college level.