Case Studies

Architectural Paving & Stone Inc.

Diverse masonry and surface solutions for New England

Jim McEttrick and Bill McConnell founded Massachusetts-based Architectural Paving & Stone Inc. (APS), a masonry and paving business, in 1986. For more than 25 years, the business has grown, implementing unique and successful projects around the northeast United States. McConnell has since retired and McEttrick operates the business as president alongside Jim Schmidlein, vice president of APS. Schmidlein has been with the business since 1990, when he started as a project estimator. The experienced leadership team works with an office staff of four people and between 10 and 40 employees working in the field at any given time.

APS is signatory to several bricklayer and laborer union agreements in the region. These relationships allow the company to remain competitive, combining the technical expertise, manpower and capability for time-sensitive application to complete large, challenging projects throughout New England. “We have a reputation in our field for challenging and unique site projects,” Schmidlein explains.

Brick by brick

The team operates from a single location in Weymouth, Mass. APS has performed horizontal paving, stone, masonry and hardscaping work all over New England with work centralized in Massachusetts within the I-495 corridor. The result is a portfolio filled with unique hardscape projects, many in high-visibility areas.

In spring 2013, the business completed the Harvard Commons Project, which involved 50,000 square feet of precast concrete and brick paving. “Our team performed challenging work there,” Schmidlein recounts. “We installed massive precast concrete, end walls. These walls served a dual purpose as a vehicular barrier and being a unique architectural feature to the overall design. The plaza is located in a prominent high traffic area of Harvard University. The largest concrete pieces weighed 22,000 pounds and were set from an adjacent roadway with oversized cranes.”

One of the more memorable projects for Schmidlein is a few years old, but well represents the enormous scale of which APS is capable of performing. “We did a project connected to the Central Artery Tunnel in Boston, better known as the Big Dig,” Schmidlein elaborates. “They took down the elevated highway through the city and we did all of the sidewalks and surface work related to the new alignments. This was a very prominent project for us. We did paving and granite work on a large scale, including 500,000 square feet of brick paving, as well as granite work. In addition, we did the Wharf District Park, which are four parcels in Boston that are the Center Piece to Big Dig – these parcels encompass fountains and pedestrian friendly areas with a varying and unique hardscape.”

Keeping it together

APS is able to take on jobs of all sizes, a quality that has kept the business stable even through tough economic times. Throughout the recession, Schmidlein says his team picked up significantly more public work, including projects large and small. The company’s reputation for quality is reinforced by high-profile projects that are visible in the community.

On top of the company’s adaptive nature, APS is more or less self-sufficient. The business self-performs a vast majority of its projects completely in-house, subbing out only a few specialty trades. The team has built strategic partnerships with suppliers and a handful of regional subcontractors. Aside from rare occasions, the company’s expenses are all related to its own performance.

With overhead tightly managed and a growing backlog, Schmidlein and the rest of the APS team are looking ahead to growth over the next few years. “The market seems to be on an upward swing,” he notes. “We have some great opportunities coming up and we may be looking at another large, high-visibility project in the near future.”

In 2016, the business will celebrate 30 years in business; time in which APS has proven itself through longevity. APS works closely with owners, architects, engineers, contractors and project managers to build schedules and budgets that meet the needs of end users. Therefore, clients have come to expect a high level of performance and a quality end product from the team, which the company frequently surpasses. APS has high involvement with each project from start to finish, guaranteeing proper coordination and execution every time.

The management team of APS takes great pride in the company’s successes. Highly trained and professional employees push through projects with grace and precision. On the office end of things, the business is financially viable for the long run. McEttrick and Schmidlein continue to build upon a strong foundation, brick by brick, to make Architectural Paving & Stone Inc. a leader in New England masonry.

Published on: November 7, 2014

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