Case Studies

Turnstone Corporation

Father-daughter team credits vision of employees as success factor for local general contracting firm

As a general contracting company with the ability to complete all types of projects, Turnstone Corporation specializes in construction management, design-build and general construction. Headquartered in Milford, New Hampshire, Turnstone is the brainchild of the father-daughter team of Bill and Stacy Clark, who combined their expertise and vision to establish a construction management company that provides quality and integrity with an honest approach.

With Stacy’s background in accounting and finance and Bill’s 45 years of experience in masonry and general contracting, the two decided to join forces and founded Turnstone in 2002. “I was working as a CPA in Boston and it just seemed like the right time,” says Stacy. Although she was in accounting at the time, Stacy was no stranger to the field of construction. “I grew up surrounded by the industry. My grandfather was a carpenter by trade and my dad was a mason by trade with carpentry skills,” she adds. “I was always going to jobsites with them.”

Turnstone Corporation

Building a foundation

Working primarily in municipal, educational, commercial and industrial sectors, Turnstone has established a niche in the marketplace by completing a vast array of specialty projects, including geothermal and solar energy jobs. From renovations and historical preservation to new construction and complex municipality projects, Turnstone has built a solid reputation throughout the industry by consistently executing each project from the ground up with professionalism and attention to detail.

The integrity, ethics and honesty that Turnstone is built upon has not gone unnoticed. In 1997 Bill received the honor of being the first recipient of the New Hampshire Construction Industry Ethics Award. With Stacy as the president and her father serving as vice president of the company, Turnstone has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Women-Led Businesses in New Hampshire by Business NH Magazine.

In the past two years, Turnstone has grown significantly, enough to where the company has purchased a new space to relocate its headquarters. The company has increased annual revenue by approximately 30 percent and maintains a strong backlog of work for the coming year. “A lot of things are happening that we are really excited about,” says Stacy. This growth and success has allowed the Turnstone team to add Tony DaCosta, who has joined the company as vice president of operations. “Tony is part of our succession plan and will join us in ownership very soon,” Stacy adds.  Turnstone has also added a project accountant in the office and other skilled labor in the field.

Projects that Turnstone has recently completed include the renovation and construction of an addition to the Maude H. Trefethen Elementary School in Newcastle, New Hampshire. The scope of work beyond the addition included upgrading the school’s ventilation and fire protection systems, windows and lighting, as well as renovations to the bathrooms and kitchen.

In 2014, Turnstone worked with Opportunity Networks to upgrade their facilities in Amherst, New Hampshire. “That was a really cool job because Building on Hope was an inspiring part of the project,” recalls Stacy. “Building on Hope is a community partnership that organizes and receives donations from building trades companies and material suppliers to help not for profit organizations transform their facilities to better serve their client base.”

A notable design-build project that Turnstone recently completed was with Great Bay Community College Rochester. The general scope of the project, with a total area of 17,000 square-feet, was transforming two separate existing retail spaces into one new space to house the new educational facility in Rochester, New Hampshire including a very complex teaching composite lab

The Turnstone design-build team composed an educational space that includes a reception area, an enrollment office, classrooms, an open-study learning center, a testing room, conference rooms, offices, a student lounge, a faculty lounge and a new composite lab area. Turnstone was able to meet the college’s criteria set forth in the original solicitation and remained on target with the budget despite the extensive additional work required for the specialized composite lab.

Turnstone tends to work all over New Hampshire. The company has just completed a 64,000-square-foot warehouse and office facility for a local candle company in Milford. The newest exciting project to break ground is the Gymnasium and Teen Center Addition for the Boys & Girls Club of the Souhegan Valley. The company is also looking forward to starting a new dealership for Contemporary Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram sometime this upcoming summer.

As a construction firm competing in a large market, Turnstone has found ways to not only survive tough times such as the recession, but to thrive by setting attainable goals. Stacy credits the teamwork of all Turnstone employees as the catalyst for the company’s success. “The last five years have really been tough in this industry,” she says. “2015 was a turnaround year for us. It has been due to the dedication and hard work from our entire team. Everybody here shares a vision and remains focused on that vision even when some days are tough.”

Overcoming industry obstacles

Stacy says that one of the challenges that Turnstone faces, as many other construction firms do, is the constant search for qualified workers. With baby boomers nearing retirement and millennials entering the workforce, the construction job market has not been flooded with the younger generation.

In an effort to combat this, Turnstone is reaching out to local community and trade schools to not only recruit young workers, but to help educate students on the opportunities that a career in construction has to offer. “We’re going to be working with local community colleges and Technical Institutes to get talent in here and work on estimating for us,” Stacy explains. “With the technology changing so fast, we’re interested to see what those services will look like in the future for our clients.”

In keeping up with the latest technological trends and advancements, Turnstone has turned completely to the cloud. “All of our accounting, estimating, emails and project management software are in the cloud now,” says Stacy. “This allows us to communicate and work from anywhere.”

With advancements in technology, Turnstone is positioning itself for the future. Modern upgrades will be made to the new office location, including the addition of a fitness center for employees. As a company on the move, Turnstone is growing at the right pace, which prevents it from becoming top heavy, while still remaining competitive in the industry. From laborers to management, maintaining the quality of work, integrity and customer service that Turnstone Corporation has become known for will continue to steer the ship as the company grows.

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