WMJ Project Manager Joe Menard has been around construction for most of his life. Growing up in Virginia Beach, Joe’s father worked for Tidewater Crane & Rigging, where Joe also ended up working part time in high school.
Menard’s original background was as a business major at James Madison University. However, Joe knew he always liked being outside, and spent his summers working for a framing company. Soon after graduating from JMU, Joe had a job as an Assistant Superintendent with a local contractor.
A career change for Joe’s wife took him to South Carolina, where he went back to school and received his Master’s in Building Construction from Clemson University.
Joe and his wife returned to her hometown of Richmond, VA, where he eventually found his way to W. M. Jordan.
The challenge of construction is what keeps Joe excited about coming to work.
“I love that you are challenged every day and there is always something you are learning,” said Menard.
When he isn’t working, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and working on projects around the house.
Menard is currently finishing up renovations to the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museum. A unique project that had several historic architecture and design aspects that required significant planning to preserve. Additionally the existing museum remained open to the public during construction.
“The museum has really not been a typical jobsite at all,” said Menard. “Keeping it running has involved working with museum security and keeping the mechanical systems functional, while limiting disturbances from the construction operations at the existing exhibits.”
The project features a 64,000-sf expansion plus a 35,000-sf renovation of the of the Art Museums, composed of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. A key feature of the project is a new street-level pavilion with four brick arcades and cupola above, creating an engaging new entrance for museum visitors.
Upgrades also include new galleries, a café, dining and event space in the upper level, along with support and staging areas for staff who create and curate the exbibits.
Additionally, the project includes a new mechanical plant that conditions the facility with specialized environmental controls required for historic exhibits and artifacts.
We are very excited to put the finishing touches on this project and have visitors see the new and improved museum! Congrats to Joe and his team on their success and Relentless Pursuit of Excellence.