Giordano Construction Co. Inc.
Mike Giordano, president and third-generation owner of Giordano Construction Co. Inc. (GCC), isn’t joking when he says he’s been in the construction business his entire life. “I’ve been a part of this company since I could walk,” he reveals. “GCC was founded by my grandfather, Michael Giordano, who was a masonry contractor, and passed onto my father, Vincent Giordano, and since my father passed away it’s me and my brother Vin’s turn.”
From Father to Son
The Giordano family has been providing trusted construction service for 88 years. Over the years, the Connecticut-based company has completed millions of square feet of institutional, commercial and residential space throughout the state. The family-owned and-operated company entered the housing market in 1925 and performed residential work in its early years until Vincent shifted GCC’s focus from housing to commercial construction in the 1950s. GCC was officially incorporated in 1956.
Today, Mike and Vin run the firm. “My brother and I learned this business from a very young age,” recalls Mike. “We entered the company full-time in the 1970s.”
As GCC has evolved, the company has been in and out of every type and size of building model there is. “We’ve evolved through the general contracting ranks into a construction manager and we still do a fair amount of self-performed work,” he says. “But what gives me the biggest sense of pride is looking at the things we have accomplished and knowing our presence and the energy of the organization we have created.”
And GCC strives to deliver that energy on every job. “We have a great team of people here,” details Mike. “Even though we can have anywhere from 30 to 100 employees depending on the market, everyone is dedicated and here for the same reason.”
GCC remains based in Branford, Conn., and mainly serves New Haven County. “We also own a lumber supplying division named Branford Building Supplies,” reveals Mike. “We supply multiple area residential contractors and it remains in the family. My daughter, Sarah, works for this branch of GCC.”
Strength in Versatility
After 88 years in business, GCC’s portfolio is quite diverse with construction management, design-build and turnkey development, general contracting and fast track building projects, all of which are a testament to the company’s ability to address the differing needs of clients across the board.
“We are pretty good in a lot of markets,” shares Mike. “We have been involved in a fair amount of school and institutional work lately, but we also do work for municipalities and developers. We’re in and out of all kinds of different places.”
GCC is currently in the midst of a series of significant school revitalization projects in New Haven, Conn. “We have done several projects, including the recently completed Hill Central School and Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School,” reveals Mike. “It’s all a part of a district wide initiative to rebuild and renovate schools throughout the community.”
GCC entered the New Haven school spotlight on one of the most talked about projects in years. The new 150,000-square-foot Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School came in at a cool $65 million.
“In downtown New Haven, the school’s two-story brick and glass building rises to three stories as it crosses a sloping site,” recounts Mike. “The school’s arts-related components include a state-of-the-art performance and visual arts studios and labs and rehearsal lecture halls. But the highlight of this project is the 350-seat theater with orchestra and balcony seating, an orchestra pit, loading dock, scene shop, costume storage and dressing rooms.”
The theater features a sprung stage with a full fly loft, professional theater lighting and a projection and control room. The project architects at Pelli Clarke Pelli designed the school to maximize the latest technologies and to enhance overall flexibility, functionality and efficiency while incorporating sustainable materials.
GCC is also at work for Yale University providing construction management services for projects such as the indoor athletic facility, Cox Cage. “Cox Cage is a historic part of this centuries-old university,” mentions Mike. “Our work here involved extensive historic restoration and renovation.”
GCC is also in the preconstruction phases of revamping the famous Peabody Museum. “This is a very old, prestigious museum,” notes Mike. “We have been in the preconstruction phase for a couple of years because step one was to vacate all of the historic artifacts and then build a swing space to house them, followed by a complete gut restoration. We are gearing up to commence construction by the first of the year.”
Alteration and Progression
While GCC has worked on an array of high-profile, interesting projects in recent years, Mike says the economic downturn several years ago continues to present challenges. “Our versatility in markets and services has pulled us through, but it hasn’t been easy,” Mike continues. “We’ve streamlined. After decades in this business, I’ve seen a lot. I have seen great success and the lack of success, but you become accustomed to managing either way. I’d like to see this country move in a better direction in the future. It’s particularly challenging to run a business in Connecticut.”
But Mike takes the ups and downs as welcomed challenges, knowing in the end, GCC emerges as a better, stronger company. “No matter what, we’re going to hold tight to the high quality service that comes with family ownership, because that really defines us,” he shares. “My nephew Vin is running our general contracting division adeptly, and other younger members of the family are involved, as well. My brother and I still enjoy active leadership roles, but it’s good to watch the next generation build upon my grandfather’s foundation.”
As the future takes hold, Giordano Construction Co. Inc. will continue to reside as one of the area’s most trusted, versatile construction firms.
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