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On January 5, 2003, a fire nearly destroyed the St. Mary & St. Joseph Parish in Iron Mountain, Mich. Gundlach Champion, Inc., located in Houghton, Mich,. was brought in to secure the property and provide reconstruction cost estimates. Following months of cleanup, investigation, planning and budget estimates, and without a final design, Gundlach Champion made a commitment to the parish to "give them back their church," and a little over a year later, worshipers observed Palm Sunday 2004 in their “reborn” facility.
This was one of the reasons the Gundlach Champion team was honored at a gala dinner at the 86th annual convention of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC/A), in Las Vegas. The Build America Award is given annually during the AGC/A annual conference. This award was given in the Design-Build category. Gary Kucko, AIA, of the SEH Chippewa Falls office, lead the project's design effort.
This was a difficult project. As work on the basement proceeded, the design and reconstruction of the first floor was still being completed. Maintenance that had been neglected in past years, such as the tuck-pointing of masonry walls, was folded into the work, with upgraded features replacing those damaged by the fire. The church’s steeples had been taking in water and had to be repaired and structurally stabilized. Through careful dismantling, restoration and re-assembly, the church’s stain glass windows were saved, with only a few pieces replaced. A complex scaffolding system had to be erected to allow painters access to the walls and ceiling. The church’s choir loft was enlarged using a 30' by 3' truss girder that was hand assembled on site and set in place with angle iron.
According to church pastor, Fr. Daniel S. Zaloga, “Everyone involved went beyond the call of duty for this project. Gundlach Champion helped to lead the unified front to accomplish this.”
The Build America award recognizes excellence in partnering and is based on demonstrated performance working proactively and cooperatively with all design, construction and owner representatives to meet and exceed project expectations.
The St. Mary & St. Joseph Parish project was a 2004 Build Michigan Award winning project as well. The Build Michigan award is granted by the Michigan Chapter AGC, a full-service construction trade association. The chapter has a 77-year tradition of providing the highest quality of service to Michigan's most professional commercial contractors and affiliated companies, as well as design professionals, construction users and Michigan residents.The chapter is one of 101 Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., (AGC) chapters. This chapter, with headquarters in Lansing, is made up of more than 150 member firms located in out-state Michigan.
Congratulations to our partner, Gundlach Champion, Inc., for winning this prestigious award for the excellent work done on this project.