Gorski Engineering Inc.
For more than 50 years, Gorski Engineering Inc. (GEI) has been providing unique in-house design and construction services throughout eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Jerry Gorski, president of GEI, grew up in the business, as his father founded the company in 1954.
“He was a carpenter and stone mason by trade,” Jerry explains. “When he started up the company he was building custom homes. I started working for him in the mid-70s and worked my first eight-hour day when I was 14 years old. After high school I faced a big decision between college and continuing to work in the family business. I decided engineering would be a good background. I had the opportunity to go while a lot of my friends were struggling, so I thought I should give it a try.”
Jerry was never one to take the easy way out. “Fortunately, I really enjoyed college,” he continues. “When I graduated, I worked a few years with Turner Construction. It was a great experience to work outside the family business. I saw that we would have a unique opportunity to provide the total package. My dad had already moved from residential to more commercial and industrial work. I rejoined the family business in 1984, and I have been here ever since. In the mid-90s, we decided to focus 100 percent on design-build contracts. Our construction engineering work gave us the tagline we use: constructioneering. We came up with it while updating our brochure. It helps us talk about design-build and what we do.”
Offering Total-solution Services
GEI is a true design-build firm. “We do design in-house and function as a general contractor,” Jerry elaborates. “We self-perform structural concrete, carpentry, selective demo, your typical general construction items. In our area we are somewhat unique in that aspect. There are a lot of design-heavy companies and contractors who say they are design-build, but don’t do the design in-house. We do partner with design firms depending on the project, but we do, for the most, part design in-house. We utilize CAD software and we are building up our BIM capabilities.”
It is evident that Jerry takes pride in all that he and his father have put into the company, as GEI has come a long way. “We take a project from the initial concept into operation,” Jerry adds. “We will do site selection; often we actually find the lot, put it under agreement, perform the land development and utility work to make it ready. We will buy light industrial land; there are other projects we will subdivide. We are there throughout the entire process. Our company takes client from conception through the first year of operation. We want to make sure what we have designed and built works for them.”
Recently completed design-build contracts for the team include a range of unique projects. Jerry is proud to note that GEI completed a project for Speed Raceway, an indoor electric go-cart center. “We repurposed an old Wal-Mart into a recreational venue,” he recounts. “That project won an Associated Builders and Contractors [ABC] national excellence in construction award for design-build in 2012. The building was 105,000 square feet, with two quarter-mile-long, grand prix-style tracks. The Wal-Mart was a pretty well-suited building. It was a big, dark box in a suburban community mall, and we were able to design and build the track for between $600,000 and $700,000. It’s really cool to see; the carts go up to 50 miles per hour. The facility also has conference rooms and meeting rooms for team building and birthday parties. We have already completed a second one in New Jersey. The same owners want to build eight more.”
That is not all that the GEI team has under its belt. “We also did a bed-and-breakfast with a bar, restaurant and banquet hall called Woodside Lodge in Pennsylvania,” he continues. “It was a resort built in 1922 that had been abandoned. Our clients bought it and renovated it into an eight-suite bed-and-breakfast. The banquet hall seats 75 people. Overall, the structure is probably 12,000 feet. We won another award from ABC in 2012 for that project for our delivery system and the final cost compared to what it should have cost.”
Gorski’s involvement in ABC spans more than four decades and continues to be a large part of the company culture. “The educational opportunities offered by ABC, from apprenticeship and technical training to professional development, enable our team members to remain at the top of their game throughout their career,” Gorski explains. Gorski’s dedication to ABC included a one-year term as national chairman of the 25,000-member association.
A Design-build Advantage
GEI offers design-build services, because Jerry and his team believe that a single point delivery system, executed properly, offers better value and better control to customers. The business offers a faster turnaround time with less hassle and more innovation. With such strong contact and advanced owner involvement, technology plays an integral role in project success.
“All of our superintendents have computer capabilities and smart phones on their projects,” Jerry explains. “That enables them to accomplish more while on the job site. For us, being a design-builder, I can’t imagine not having the ability to produce the drawings we have. Our ability to work with owners and enable them to be involved in projects really sets us apart. To be able to make changes at the drop of a hat is essential to our business. We can communicate better and more completely. We work through the technology. We rely heavily on a team effort and we need to integrate our clients, as well as our subcontractors.”
As the recovery warms up, GEI is able to offer the value that keeps the company competitive, and Jerry remains optimistic. With a total-solution process, Gorski Engineering Inc. will continue to offer leading turnkey construction and design services to commercial, industrial and institutional clients across the region.
For more information about Gorski Engineering Inc., please visit: www.gorskiengineering.com.
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