JWR Construction Services
Bill Gallo and Jerry DuBois joined forces in 1985, combining decades of experience in architecture and construction to form JWR Construction Services (JWR). With a headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Florida, the company works throughout the state. Over the course of 30 years in business, JWR has built a reputation for quality construction projects in health care, higher education, food service and other commercial applications.
JWR stands apart from other project management firms with a unique, integrated approach to construction projects. Bill, executive vice president of JWR, is a licensed architect, while Jerry, president of JWR, has worked in the construction industry for over 40 years. Together, the partners have put together a team of 40 professionals dedicated to working together on complex and diverse design-build projects.
“We have terrific synergy,” Bill explains. “Our employees work together as a team and we incorporate our clients and strategic partners into each project. We are highly involved in the preconstruction phase of our projects. While our approach is within the design-build arena, we often perform construction manager at-risk contracts if this is more palatable to our clients. We provide preconstruction services during the design phase and work together through the process, guaranteeing the cost of a project and then moving forward to build it.”
A growing market
The JWR team continues to focus on specific sectors of the commercial market. Higher education is going strong and the business has seen an uptick in food service and office upgrades throughout the recovery. While the team has long been involved in health care, growing demand for assisted-living and skilled nursing facilities has been on the rise, as well.
“We have been working on several new contracts for Johnson and Wales University,” Bill notes. “We just completed their university center and all of the campus street scape improvements. This is part of a huge master project that has been an ongoing major effort for the school over the last 14 years. There is one more building to be constructed that will bring the total of these upgrades to $90 million. That was a highly rewarding and impactful assignment.”
Other recently completed work includes a dining venue for Florida Atlantic University, where the team finished the second phase of a project that has brought the capacity of the Center Marketplace dining hall to 800 students. The team also designed and built five separate food venues.
“These are more upscale food courts rather than the old cafeteria style,” Jerry explains. “These are multiple concept facilities and usually combine chain eateries with the school’s own dining services.”
JWR also has a growing presence in the solar market. The company recently installed solar panels at the office to reduce energy usage and costs. “It is working out really well,” Jerry notes. “We are seeing a very fast return on investment. We have also done a few large commercial solar heated pools. A few years back, we completed the first net zero state of Florida Park at the John U. Lloyd Park in Dania Beach. More recently, we installed a solar hot water heating system for the Nova Southeastern University’s competition pool. I believe it is the largest in the state at 1.2 million gallons.”
In the assisted-living and skilled nursing market, the opportunities grow by the day. “We are acting as the owner’s representative for John Knox Village of Florida,” says Bill. “The major project is a 144-bed skilled nursing facility being designed and constructed utilizing the Green House Model. We have also been selected as construction manager at-risk by Catholic Health Services for preconstruction and construction services on a ground-up project. We will be working on the four-story, 150,000-square-foot independent living building and three-story 30,000-square-foot assisted-living buildings at the organization’s The Inn in Miramar.”
Elsewhere on the commercial front, JWR has been hard at work building and renovating several large offices around the state. “For NSU, we ended up doing a renovation of the Horvitz Executive Building where the administration works,” Jerry elaborates. “That was challenging, but it was another great project as all work had to be accomplished while the building was occupied.”
However, that is not all the team is tackling. “We also have a very important project for Peoples Trust Insurance Company,” Jerry continues. “They formed in Florida around 2008 and went head to head with Citizens Insurance. They have a really great company and we built the new headquarters in Deerfield. They are expanding at an extremely rapid rate.”
The team’s strong portfolio and proven capabilities in the market continue to open up new windows of opportunity for JWR. The market has improved significantly over the last few years and an influx of work means that the team is busier than ever. While volume is not an issue for the company, it has proven more difficult to find qualified labor. Jerry, Bill and JWR’s senior management are seeking out new partnerships with subcontractors, as well as in-house employees to fill the gaps.
“It looks like our market will continue to boom,” Bill states. “We have a lot coming up in our standard markets, as well as the booming health care and assisted-living markets.” The team expects to nearly double annual revenue in 2015, which may mean expansion is on the way. While nothing is yet set in stone, JWR Construction Services seeks to operate in new territories in the coming years, bringing integrated design building services to new clients throughout the southeast United States.
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