When most people think about their career choices, they visualize movie studios, hospitals, or maybe even the White House.
But when Sharon Maxwell thinks about her present career, she visualizes an entire neighborhood – especially the blocks around Portland Community College's Cascade Campus.
Maxwell's company, Boanerges Group, this spring won a coveted contract managing construction of new buildings and renovation of PCC Cascade, funded by a huge voter-approved bond. Maxwell's mammoth new job is valued between $40 and $60 million, and is a partnership between Boanerges Group, Hoffman Construction, and Pacific Mark Construction.
The Skanner News spoke with Maxwell earlier this year about her firm's new contract and how it will impact the community, and the industry.
The Skanner News: What will you be doing?
Sharon Maxwell: Our company will be doing the Margaret Carter Skill Center renovations as well as others and new construction — as far as the scope, we haven't determined all of that yet. But the overall project management is what the gist of it is, as the CM—Construction Manager.
TSN: Why is this such a critical contract right now?
Maxwell: It's important because as a small business, and in the time that we're in economically, this would give our company a huge boost through our revenues as well as the skill base to be able to pursue larger projects as the company is growing. It will build our infrastructure, and we'll be able to hire more people in the area.
TSN: How many jobs will come from it?
Maxwell: We haven't determined the total impact but as far as our company, we're going to be able to hire in our office at least 5-6 personnel — as far as project managers, project engineers, and all the administrative office support side — to help us with the overall management of the work we'll be performing. As we're on this project we'll still be getting other work so we'll need to be able to handle that work as well. So as far as how many jobs we'll be able to provide, I would say at least 20 at a minimum.
TSN: What do you think is the most important aspect about this contract that people in the community – who don't know all the ins and outs of construction contracting and general contracting – should know?
Maxwell: I think one of the most important things is the fact that this is going to be a team effort between the PCC bond procurement office as well as the team– Hoffman, Boanerges Group, Pacific Mark – and the stakeholders, which are the community businesses and the local residents that have felt impacted by the changes here at this specific campus. And that we're going to be able to interact with the community as well as bringing a great impact to this campus and the surrounding neighborhood.
We are getting a lot closer. What we look to gain out of this is that we will be up and close as a small General Contractor, learning the process, best practices, how to make a profit – because it's one thing to get a contract but if you're not making a profit then what does that do for you?
So we're going to be up and close, not only making money but making a profit.