Case Studies

Paige Industrial Services Inc.

From cleaning to construction, the company that embraces change

As the general contracting company’s history shows, Paige Industrial Services Inc. is not afraid to try something new.

When President Devroux Paige founded the company in 1990, it was a residential cleaning services company called Paige Cleaning Services. After a few years, the Washington D.C.-based company evolved into a commercial and industrial janitorial services provider.

Even though Devroux had made a name for Paige in this field, he says he wanted to diversify the company’s customer base and take advantage of the varied work a city like Washington D.C. had to offer.

Paige Industrial Services Inc.

In 2001, he transformed Paige Cleaning Services into Paige Industrial Services, a general contracting company that specializes in design-build, general construction and construction management for municipalities and commercial clients in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. A jack-of-all-trades, the company also provides in-house electrical services, insulation, flooring and carpentry, as well as a large fleet of construction equipment.

Today, the minority-owned business (MBE) has more than 50 employees, two satellite offices in Landover and Baltimore, Maryland, and a loyal customer base, says Office Manager Vivian Walker. “We form tightknit relationships with all our clients to make sure that they are satisfied, and we always make sure we get the job done to their standards,” she says.

True to its history, the company also never shies away from an opportunity to try something new.

A historical first

For the first ten years, Paige focused on design-build and general construction renovation projects for public school systems and commercial buildings across the tri-state area.

In 2013, one of Paige’s project managers approached the company with its first historical renovation project. The Montgomery County Parks and Planning Commission of Maryland needed a general contractor to renovate the Brainard Warner Manor, the former home of developer Brainard H. Warner.

Built in 1891 in Kensington, Maryland, the mansion was acquired by the Montgomery Parks Department in 2005, and needed some serious upgrades before it could be opened for public viewing.

Paige Industrial Services Inc.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Paige decided to bid on the project. The bid was successful and construction began in May 2013.

Over the next year, Paige learned the ins and outs of historical renovation, as well as the headaches.

“With normal renovation the client knows what they want, and they know exactly what’s available for them to use,” Walker says. “With historic renovation, it’s putting the wheel back in time. Everything needs to be original, you can’t modernize it, so the challenge was often finding the proper vendor to produce what we needed.”

“We form tightknit relationships with all our clients to make sure that they are satisfied, and we always make sure we get the job done to their standards.”

Paige scoured the country to find replacements for the intricate millwork that bordered the mansion’s many rooms, as well as the right materials for the antique doors and windows.

Another challenge was keeping the existing roof stable while Paige’s team got to work repairing the building’s wraparound porch.

Paige finished the project in May of 2014, and that same month the Montgomery County Parks Department held a celebration for its newly rehabilitated historical landmark.

What’s more, after proving itself with the Brainard Warner Manor, Paige was asked to take on more historical preservation projects for the county’s parks department, including the renovation of a 100-year old tobacco barn in Capital Heights, Maryland.

The challenges starting from ‘zero’

The Brainard Warner Manor restoration also led to another first for Paige.

After the project wrapped in May, the general contracting company bid on an $8 million ground-up construction project in Rockville, Maryland, for the Maryland Park and Planning Commission, the division responsible for the regional park system and land use planning for both Montgomery and Prince George counties.

Although Paige had never before tackled a project from the ground up, the Commission was impressed with its work on the Brainard Warner Manor in Kensington. Paige won the bid in December 2014.

The project involved demolishing the existing administration buildings at Rock Creek and then building eight new facilities, including a new administrative building, a vehicle maintenance shop, equipment storage building, a material storage building as well as staff and vehicle parking and a fuel island.

Paige Industrial Services Inc.

Walker says the project also required Paige to build a new potable water source connection to the town’s public sewer and follow the county’s guidelines for stormwater management to minimize the environmental impact of construction on the existing site.

Over the next three years, Paige experienced the pressure of managing a construction site “starting from zero,” Walker says.

“We were responsible for so many more things than we were used to, getting together with utility companies, making sure we were in compliance with the permit office, as well as just making sure we went through the timeline,” she says.

To make matters more complicated, the construction started in the middle of winter, meaning the schedule had to be changed every time a storm or blizzard blew through.

Even with all these complications, by April 2017, the project was 97 percent complete, and Walker says that Paige is ready to take on more large, ground-up construction projects.

Walker, who has been with the company for ten years, is also confident that there will be more exciting firsts in Paige’s future. After all, she says, for a company that’s evolved from a cleaning services provider to a historical preservation and construction contractor, there’s no telling where Paige will go next.

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