Maxwell alumna Phaedra Stewart ’91 finds it difficult to look at the world without seeing opportunities to connect with people, raise their spirits and empower them to make their lives better. A self-described serial entrepreneur (some might say a serial…
Technology Center project utilized the talents of minority and women business enterprises
Kelly Homan Rodoski
The renovation this year of two floors of Syracuse University’s Lyman Hall for the JPMorgan Chase Technology Center at SU provided the University a unique community engagement opportunity.
About 70 percent of the $1.4 million construction value of the project was awarded to minority and women business enterprise construction firms and vendors. An additional 10 percent of the construction value was awarded to minority and women business enterprise vendors in the construction industry.
“With the leadership of the Minority Contractors Association (MCA) involved in the decision, the University chose this project as a showpiece for the minority- and women-owned business contractors to display their skills in their trades,” says Chuck Bucci, assistant director of the University’s Office of Campus Planning, Design, and Construction. “The leadership of Pike Construction, with their disciplined approach to the structure of a construction project, was a great learning experience for these groups and proved that they were up to the task. It was a very successful project for all involved.”
The Technology Center project is the most recent example of how the University has worked to provide education and opportunity for minority- and women-owned businesses. The University launched its Project Build commitment, an effort to build working relationships between SU and minority and women business enterprises in the Syracuse area, in 2004.
“What began as an idea focused on increasing the percentage of minority- and women-owned construction firms utilized on Syracuse University construction projects turned into a partnership on this project between SU, Pike Construction and the Minority Contractors Association of CNY,” says Steven Coker, past president of the MCA.
“The Lyman Hall building renovation for JPMorgan Chase was a huge success,” says Coker. “The project was completed on time and on budget, and was a real example of creativity and commitment.”
Additionally, the project was used as a launching pad for educational opportunities focused on small minority- and women-owned firms through specific training sessions conducted by Pike Construction and CPDC.
Through the Technology Center project, minority- and women-owned firms that had not previously had the opportunity to work on the SU campus were identified and provided an opportunity to work on a multi-discipline project requiring rigorous coordination and cooperation, under the management of a construction manager.