Seacoast Scaffold & Equipment Corporation
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Eric Colby
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Seacoast Scaffold & Equipment Corp. (Seacoast Scaffold) has been in business since 1988. William and Becki Thomas founded the business together with the goal of providing reliable supply and setup of scaffolding equipment to contractors in Maine. Now with three locations, a headquarters in South Portland, Maine and satellite offices in Brewer, Maine and Concord, New Hampshire, the business serves customers throughout New England, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont.
The company is still family-owned and operated, with two generations in management. William and Becki are mostly retired, serving on Seacoast Scaffold’s executive committee. Their son, Zack Thomas, is the company’s vice president of branch operations and company secretary. Also on staff is the couple’s son-in-law, Brice Greenleaf, vice president of labor operations. Between all three locations, Seacoast Scaffold employs around 35 people.
Over the years, the business has filled a distinct niche in the industry. “We rent, sell, set up and dismantle scaffolding and access products,” says Zack. “We also provide crane services with two company-owned boom trucks. Over the years, we have set this company apart from competitors through our service. We maintain a family business atmosphere and we strive to build relationships with our customers by delivering projects on time and on budget. Our team takes pride in providing a quality product and our goal is to make sure every customer is happy at the end of the day.”
Serving several markets
Seacoast Scaffold provides engineered scaffolding solutions for a wide range of construction industry applications. The company’s target market consists primarily of commercial and industrial contractors. “We have everything from smaller scale scaffolding that a homeowner could use for painting up to major engineered solutions for large commercial and industrial projects,” says Zack. “We offer the service and guidance to provide our customers what they need for the project at hand. We have materials hoists and swing stage scaffold for access as well as specialty products such as winter enclosure options used to wrap the scaffolding that help maintain heat for workers.”
Recent projects include putting up scaffolding around Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine, for a large renovation project. “We are currently on this project,” Zack notes. Our task is building scaffolding around the entire exterior of this expansion. We have enclosed it in a flame retardant tarp system, allowing the contractor to maintain a small level of heating. The entire project is quite high, with all kinds of different obstacles. There was a lot of engineering involved in the scaffolding itself on this project.”
While commercial and industrial projects are the main focus of the business, the Seacoast Scaffolding crew has also provided services for a number of large, custom home projects, particularly on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Down East Maine. “We did a house in 2009 that time I believe was the largest new construction home on Mount Desert Island,” Zack recounts. “The entire house was built out of granite. We built a scaffolding system around the perimeter of home with a materials hoist system to move large granite blocks and set them in place instead of having workers carry them around. That addition likely cut the project time in half.”
Zack and his team have also had opportunities to work on some more unusual projects. One of his personal favorites has been the company’s work at the Naval Communications Facility in Cutler, Maine, which at one point handled all communications with the military’s North Atlantic submarine fleet. The crew has also performed projects at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Naval Shipyard, working in highly restricted areas.
“We have also done quite a few smaller, more creative projects,” Zack adds. “In Monument square in Portland, Maine, we built the ramps for the Downtown Showdown, a winter ski and snowboard event. We built a similar setup for the Today Show in Rockefeller Center, when they were ramping up to the Sochi Winter Games.”
While the business has maintained stability over recent years, Seacoast Scaffold struggles like many other contractors through the recession. “We got used to tightly managing labor and cutting costs,” Zack says. “We are certainly seeing a comeback in our market. There is a lot more private work opening up and 2014 has been our best year on record. We are hoping to maintain the upward momentum into 2015.”
As the business grows, Zack and his team maintain focus on the more important aspects of the operation. Safety is a major priority on every site and the company has won multiple awards for this diligence. “Typically, we are the first people on the job site,” Zack notes. “We have a foreman who runs each site and performs a safety assessment prior to the job to outline any issues we might run into. Throughout the project, we do continuous checkups to ensure that the integrity of our structures has been maintained.”
With a record for safety, quality and service, the business continues to build strong relationships throughout New England. Moving into 2015, Zack sees sustained growth for the company and continues to seek out new opportunities and partnerships within the construction industry. As the company grows, customers continue to count on Seacoast Scaffold & Equipment Corp. for high-quality, safe scaffolding and related products in the Northeast.
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