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Jay McQuillen joins Garney team

Apr 2015

APRIL 2015 — Jay McQuillen Jr., P.E., has joined Garney Construction to lead two new initiatives for the company. The first endeavor will be leading Garney Federal, a new business unit that broadens Garney’s client base in the federal market throughout the United States. In addition, Jay will be expanding Garney’s heavy civil construction operations in the Western United States and Pacific. This will complement Garney’s recent expansion into Northern California, with the opening of Garney Pacific in Livermore, California, in November 2014.

Garney Federal will add additional expertise and personnel resources in government contracting as well as resources with heavy civil capabilities in the Pacific Northwest, California, and Hawaii. Jay’s office will be based out of Scotts Valley, California.

“I am excited to join Garney Construction and begin building a team to pursue these initiatives,” said McQuillen. “The company’s excellent reputation and 100% employee ownership were strong motivators in my interest to join Garney. The success of the company in safety, vendor relationships, and customer satisfaction is impressive.”

Jay joins the Garney team after a 29-year career with Granite Construction Company. Jay’s background is primarily in government contracting and heavy civil construction. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and holds a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University. Jay is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Oregon.

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Design-Build in the nuclear world

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — The nuclear world is facing ever-evolving standards and protocols. These stringent regulations often present challenges for nuclear plants and operators. Alternate project delivery methods, particularly design-build, are becoming prevalent in the power industry. These methods combat many of the trials and tribulations that delay design and construction during critical junctures throughout the life of a project.

With the right team, the design-build process will streamline communication with all major stakeholders and foster a collaborative environment. It will generate innovative, collective design and construction methods while fast-tracking decision making. Through these processes, a cost-effective, efficient and quality project can be delivered to serve the needs of the end user without major delays in schedule or budget.

Garney is currently working in collaboration with a General Contractor on a design-build-operate nuclear power plant in the southeast. With the rigorous regulations at the forefront, Garney and the General Contractor were able to vet the best solutions to provide filtered and potable water to meet guidelines set forth for the plant. Although a conventional filter process was initially selected, Garney coordinated with the General Contractor and Owner to provide an ultrafiltration membrane system at a lower capital and operating cost.

The General Contractor was required to provide a conceptual design for the raw water intake system in order to obtain the necessary permits. Garney was able to design an alternate intake structure that was less intrusive to the environment, in addition to saving the General Contractor over $600,000 – all within the scheduled completion date.

During the pilot testing, bromide was discovered in the water. Bromide is not a natural occurring chemical and was added to the waters upstream by other industries. The chemical is not easy to remove and was not anticipated in the selection of the process equipment. This issue caused a tremendous impact to the project, but was easily mitigated through collaborations via the design-build process.

Time and time again, Garney is seeing success with projects constructed via alternate project delivery methods as projects are typically constructed ahead of schedule and below budget. Much of this success can be attributed to communication and trust built throughout the life of the project.

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Florida Design-Build Award for CSU WWTP

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — The Central Sumter Utility (CSU) Wastewater Treatment Facility serves more than 21,000 citizens and 500 commercial connections in The Villages community in Sumter County, Florida. Garney worked in collaboration with design partner, Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc. (BESH), as a design-build team to deliver upgrades to the facility in 16 short months. Through this successful design-build partnership, the Garney-BESH Team returned more than $1 million in savings to CSU. These value engineering efforts were inspired by the design-build process, an alternate delivery method that upholds teamwork and communication. On November 6, our team’s success was celebrated upon receiving a Merit Award in the Water/Wastewater Category for the Florida Design-Build Awards.

In addition to the accelerated project schedule, the Garney-BESH Team was challenged by several private residential houses surrounding the facility. These challenges were easily mitigated through the design-build process as all stakeholders were involved from the onset of the project. Over the past 15 years, the Garney-BESH Team has completed more than 60 design-build projects for The Villages totaling $100 million.

A unique feature of the 2.0 million gallon per day (MGD) plant upgrade included a process to recycle water for irrigation at the surrounding golf courses. Project coordination meetings throughout design, permitting and construction were instrumental in developing this concept in parallel with the Owner’s philosophy of conserving water and maintaining a healthy environment.

Additional components to the $12.7 million upgrade included installation of two 382,000 gallon anoxic tanks, two 737,000 gallon oxidation ditches, two 70′ diameter clarifiers, headworks, traveling bridge filters, RAS/WAS pump station, and four 150,000 gallon sludge holding tanks.

“We commend your team’s ability to complete projects on time and within budget,” said Trey Arnett, President of Arnett Environmental and CSU Owner’s Representative. “We have also been appreciative of your continued efforts to provide value engineering on our projects in an effort to reduce costs and improve operational processes.”

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Garney lands first project in California

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — Operations are full-speed ahead in California with the recent award of Garney’s first project in the Golden State. In November, Garney announced its new office location in Livermore, California, roughly 45 miles east of San Francisco.

The project for Lennar Homes of California, Inc., will provide nearly 20,000 linear feet of water and sewer lines for a 175-lot subdivision. Garney will also be responsible for the installation of 5,820 linear feet of storm drains. This project is being led by Operations Manager, Kevin Downs, who came onboard with Garney following the development of this regional office. Kevin brings 15 years of experience in the water/wastewater industry. He has worked in both the private sector with wet utilities for developers as well as with municipal entities on large diameter pipeline installations, pump stations and reservoir holding tanks.

The Livermore office is managed by Bill E. Williams, who brings three decades of experience constructing water projects in California. Bill will be pivotal in Garney’s new venture in the northern California market which is operating as Garney Pacific, Inc. Pam Littlejohn is serving as Project Coordinator for the Livermore office and brings several years of experience in the industry.

“Our goal for 2015 is to get field personnel and crews established in the market and all on a firm foot,” said Williams. “We intend to introduce the Garney goals and philosophies into a market that we hope will be eager to embrace a contractor with Garney’s history of leadership and integrity.”

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Garney provides “real time” bid day for students

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — Students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney received a hands-on experience to bid a treatment plant. On November 7, 2014, Garney employee-owners conducted a bid day for undergraduates in the Construction Management program. Students were presented with a former bid, previously bid by Garney’s Central Plant Group.

Garney provided drawings and an outline of the project requirements which were given to teams. In 20-minute intervals, teams were given packages of actual subcontractor and supplier quotes from the bid. The students were responsible for analyzing the quotes, adjudicating, and making any adjustments to the bid. All bids were deemed responsive by employee-owners Gary Bittner, Mark Miner, Brian Schultz, and Darous Allton at the predetermined time, but true to standard, only one team was crowned victorious as the low bidder.

Garney conducts student bid days on various university campuses as a way to educate students with real time circumstances employed when estimating treatment facility projects.

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Important equipment installed at Grand Island WWTP

Dec 2014

DECEMBER 2014 — Wastewater isn’t a pretty topic, but it’s crucial to every person, home, business, and to the environment. New equipment was installed Wednesday morning to help Grand Island, Nebraska, effectively dispose of wastewater. Two new bar screens, each weighing 16,000 pounds and 37 feet long, will help Grand Island properly dispose of wastewater.

“Garney lowered a mechanically cleaned bar screen into the Headworks facility,” said Marvin Strong, Plant Engineer at the Grand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The wastewater treatment plant removes at least 90% of contaminants from the water, which eventually flows into the Platte River. How does it work?

Strong said, “Almost anything and everything comes down the sanitary sewer at the sewage treatment plant. And what the bar screen does is remove the heavy material, basically to protect the pumps and the equipment in the sewage treatment plant.”

The bar screen is a big part of effectively disposing of wastewater. And Garney Construction’s Project Manager, Mark Miner, says installing equipment of this size takes a lot of preparation. “Part of the challenge is the bar screen itself slid into two slots that were built into the concrete walls,” said Miner. “Even though installing equipment like this is Garney’s bread and butter, it’s still a bit of a challenge. It’s kind of a dance of trying to lower the machine down and move it over and lower it down so it’s not easy to get that wedge shape into the concrete holes that are in the walls.”

The two new bar screens are replacing similar equipment installed when the plant was first built back in 1965. Strong says he hopes with good care and maintenance the screens will last another 50 years. The new screens are part of the Headworks Project at the plant, which is 75% complete. The project is designed to accommodate Grand Island’s hydraulic waste water needs until 2062.

*Video courtesy of NBC Nebraska

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2014 ESOP Month

Nov 2014

NOVEMBER 2014 — In honor of Employee Ownership Month in October, Garney sent out special edition newsletters to all our crews to celebrate our appreciation for our employee-owners. The newsletter featured interviews with several retired Garney employee-owners about ways in which the ESOP has impacted their life. The success stories inspire all of us to continue working hard every day to achieve our long-term goal of a secure retirement.

Baseball caps specially designed for ESOP Month were delivered to all Garney employee-owners. In addition, everyone received a miniature “cutout” of our mascot, ESOP Man, to keep on our desks or in our trucks to continuously remind us to always be mindful of the ESOP. While ESOP meetings were held back in May and June, crews and offices also had the choice to get breakfast or lunch catered in honor of ESOP Month. We are proud of all our employee-owners and the hard work they put forth every day in order to secure our retirements.

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Employee-Owners help ‘Give Kids the World’

Sep 2014

SEPTEMBER 2014 — Individuals of Garney’s Winter Garden, Florida, office recently adopted two villas in support of the Give Kids the World organization. The villas, part of the 70-acre, non-profit storybook resort, provide children with life threatening illnesses a place to stay with their families when visiting the local parks. The organization provides villas in addition to a week-long fantasy vacation free of charge, in hopes to provide a memorable experience for these families.

On September 12, Garney employee-owners traveled to Kissimmee to weed the villa yards, mulch and clean the gutters. The team will return on November 7 to decorate the villas for the holiday season. Adopting the villas requires a commitment of no less than quarterly visits for upkeep.

The Winter Garden Estimating Department was tasked with handling the mulch; although, some say our employee-owners had a tough time distinguishing the bushes from the weeds!

Special thanks to employee-owners Justin Smith, Will Gulledge, Jere Wujick, Margie Lewis, Maria Santana, Rocio Torres, Tracy Winsor, Sheamus Togher, Lee Welker, Warren Donnely, and Christina Lopez for your contributions to this worthy cause!

Learn more about how you can support Give Kids the World here.

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Essential Safety Products receives new training vault

Sep 2014

SEPTEMBER 2014 — Essential Safety Products (ESP) specializes in distributing occupational safety, health, ergonomic, environmental equipment and supplies, as well as assisting a wide variety of industries in achieving the goal of total worker safety. Their certified trainers provide courses, including simulated situations, designed to safeguard employees from the hazards they face every day. Due to their recent move to a new training facility, ESP needed a new confined space simulator. After discussions between Garney and ESP, the conclusion was made that the construction of two partially buried precast vaults and a connecting pipeline were what ESP’s classes needed to simulate confined space safety and rescue tactics. Due to the tight quarters of the new facility, each piece of the four-piece vaults had to be placed by a 200-ton crane. The pieces were able to be off-loaded next to the excavation with the largest piece of the vault coming in at 35,000 pounds. The project is now the only realistic training facility of its kind in Colorado.

The following companies provided goods and services for this project: Garney Construction provided more than 180 hours including a crew of six, Project Superintendent, and Regional Safety Manager; Duffy Crane and Hauling provided services of the second largest 350-ton hydraulic Terex crane in Colorado that required 200,000 pounds of counterweights and volunteered a crew of three; Oldcastle Precast provided one 7 x 11 vault and one 8 x 8 vault, as well as 40 feet of 48-inch diameter reinforced concrete pipe (RCP); and Hockaday Trucking provided transportation services for Garney’s excavator and crew equipment to complete this project.

ESP owner Ed Stephenson is thrilled with the outcome of this project, and believes it will tremendously help their training program with realistic confined space simulations. “We couldn’t turn down Garney’s offer to build this vault; having a real-life vault simulator that is good enough for a contractor will definitely be beneficial for training municipalities and engineers. This project exceeded all my expectations,” Stephenson said. All team members worked collaboratively together to complete a successful, and above all else, safe project, in just over three days.

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Garney tees up for annual golf tournament

Sep 2014

SEPTEMBER 2014 — The Alpharetta, Georgia, office hosted the Advancing Water Invitational at the Trophy Club of Atlanta. Nearly 90 golfers participated in the second annual tournament on September 26, complete with breakfast, lunch, door prizes, and an awards ceremony.

Scramble play was the game of the day. Each foursome battled for a chance to claim the title and their ultimate prize. Individual prizes were also given for longest putt, longest drive and closest to the pin. Among the popular prizes included Apple TVs, Bluetooth speakers, Gates headphones, and wine bottle refrigerators.

Thank you to all who participated and to our sponsors!

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