This week, our interns gathered in Tidewater for several jobsite tours and a chance to spend time with WMJ’s leadership team.
The tours were in Norfolk and began at WMJ’s CHKD Medical Tower II project, where interns Libby Darden, Scott Ferguson and Robbie Nye are assisting Senior Project Superintendent Chuck Arthur and Assistant Project Superintendent Zach Sprinkle.
The tour started off with a presentation from Chuck, detailing the history of the project. Chuck went into detail on how the tower was planned and WMJ’s involvement through that process. He talked about how WMJ manages the schedule and workflow of different trade partners working on the job. Lean construction plays a big role in this project and Chuck made sure to discuss the process and benefits of the Lean system.
Interns then got to see the result of the planning and preparation that goes into a project, as Sprinkle took the group on a tour through the partially constructed tower. Zach went into detail about several unique aspects of the job, as well as some general best practices such as waterproofing foundation, the pros and cons of a steel framed building vs a concrete framed building and even what type of substrate is best for the foundation of the building.
Next, interns had a quick walk across the street to WMJ’s River Tower project at Harbor’s Edge Retirement Community where interns Jack Lawson, Thomas Phillips and Christopher Murdock are currently working with Project Manager Mike Depp and Senior Project Superintendent Gary Franks.
Depp and Franks took our interns throughout the tower, explaining the unique nature of the exterior curtain-wall, as well was the challenges of building such a large, concrete framed building, including the importance of Building Information Modeling when working with many levels of concrete slabs. This building is also an addition to the existing Harbors Edge complex, which creates another set of challenges that Depp and Franks explained to the group.
Visiting two similar, yet different tower jobsites gave the interns perspective on the various paths a project can take. From specific client requests to the material of the building’s frame and exterior, these jobs were great examples of the different avenues to success for a project.
The next day, the intern group gathered at W. M. Jordan’s Community Garden, where Wellness Director Julie Dixon talked with them about the importance of maintaining their health as they get older. A solid dose of a balanced diet and regular exercise can make all the difference!
Executive Vice President Ken Taylor spoke to the interns next. Ken talked about the value of getting on the job experience while still in college and commended the interns on persevering through what has been a very unusual summer.
WMJ President Ron Lauster also met with the interns, thanking them for their hard work, while also talking to them about the benefits of a career in construction and the different avenues available to them in a field containing so many different opportunities.
Finally, many other members of WMJ’s Senior Leadership joined the Interns for a BBQ picnic lunch, talking with them about their goals and getting to know the next generation of construction professionals.
Many of our interns have just a few more weeks with WMJ before they return to school. We have had a fantastic group this year and thank them for all their hard work and eagerness to learn! W. M. Jordan would also like to thank Chuck Arthur, Zachary Sprinkle, Gary Franks and Mike Depp for taking time out of their busy schedules to help educate and mentor our interns.