Orange County Plastering Company Inc.
- Written by: Camila Osorno
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Orange County plastering Company Inc. (OCP) is one of Southern California’s oldest interior wall contractors, with over 50 years of experience and capabilities running the gamut of traditional and modern applications. The company got its feet wet as a union contractor specializing in lath and plaster, but today the OCP team can tackle drywall, fireproofing, waterproofing and metal stud framings.
OCP President Robert Smith’s father founded the company in 1961 and the company is now based out of Costa Mesa, California. With roughly 200 skilled professionals on average and long-standing ties to the local union halls, the OCP team can handle projects of greatly varying sizes at once and the company generally focuses on projects within a 100-mile radius of its head offices.
Over the years, OCP has helped finish the interiors of many hi-rise condominiums, but the company also has experience completing work for federal, state and municipal agencies as well as for commercial retailers and educational institutions.
While many construction companies have fallen prey to the economic downturn, the OCP team has been able to maintain its foothold across market sectors by focusing on meeting the needs of its long-term repeat client base. “We self-perform everything from drywall and lathe plaster to waterproofing and fire proofing,” says John Autry, project manager. Autry joined the company a little over eight years ago, but he has been in the construction industry for more than 42 years.
In turn, Autry and the OCP team have relied upon the strong partnerships with suppliers and general contractors to push through the economic downturn. “We know that our general contracting partners are only and competitive as we are and our suppliers understand that as well,” says Autry.
With the help of those partners, OCP strikes a careful balance between cost, service and quality. As a union contractor, there is only so much wiggle room in terms of wages, the company makes the difference by bringing on the most skilled and experienced professionals from the local union halls, who continue to perform at the OCP stand for both quality and productivity.
“The economy is definitely a challenge because profit margins are tight, but we also have been careful only to pursue projects we know we will excel on,” adds Autry. And the effort seems to be paying off as OCP has been able to maintain a steady volume of work over the past three years.
In 2011 the company completed a number of projects for the Los Angeles Unified School District, which Autry believes has been one of the most competitive markets of late.
At the same time the company has been able to contribute to some of Los Angeles’ most anticipated developments. In early 2012, OCP crews were hard at work finishing the interior of two new student housing towers for the University of California Los Angeles as well as at the university’s Pauley Pavilion.
Pauley Pavilion was originally built in 1965 and hosts a mix of student programs and events from NCAA basketball and volleyball, the 1988 presidential debates, the 1984 Olympic gymnastic events and the universities various graduation ceremonies. By the time the pavilion’s fortieth anniversary came around however, the university saw a pressing need to modernize the structure and officially broke ground in May 2010.
“It’s basically a gut and reconstruct project,” laughs Autry. The stadium is set to open in fall 2012 OCP will bring its expertise to outfit the $136 million state-of-the-art stadium with drywall. When completed, the student athlete lounge and locker room will be housed in a new subterranean building and visitors will have access to more concessions, restrooms and an improved seating bowl with cushioned chairs and better line-of-sight. The stadium also provides a much needed-film room and luxury boxes.
Proven, Reliable, Knowledgeable
OCP also has crews working on the massive expansion to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The dual-concourse terminal was originally built to accommodate the influx of tourists for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, but increasing air traffic and age have caught up with the structure and the terminal is now in the midst of a $1.545 billion expansion.
In total, the expansion will add 1.25 million square feet of space with new Customs and Border Patrol screening areas, retail shopping and dining and 36 departure gates, which will open in phases beginning in early 2012 through completion in 2014.
In the coming years, Autry hopes to see an increase in available work as competition has been especially fierce of late. So far, Autry has seen a few glimmers of improvement, but nothing major and until the construction economy improves, the OCP team will forge ahead as always, doing its best to work with its suppliers and help general contractors stay competitive.
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