Crofton firm honored for prison project ANNE ARUNDEL BUSINESS

November 26, 1992|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer

A Crofton general contractor hired to expand the Calvert County Detention Center had its work cut out for it: remodel the prison and build 40 new maximum-security cells -- with 100 prisoners living inside.

Somehow, Gardiner & Gardiner Inc. managed it without losing a tool or a prisoner. The firm won praise from Calvert County officials and honors as Project of the Year from the Anne Arundel-Southern Maryland Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.

Daniel J. Werner, vice president of a Millersville engineering firm and one of the ABC judges, said the quality of Gardiner's work was "one of the prime considerations" in choosing the detention center project.

Judges, who reviewed projects from Baltimore to Delaware and south to Virginia for the first Excellence in Construction awards, also considered whether the work was finished on time and within budget.

Gardiner & Gardiner completed the $7.5 million job in eight months. The builders added a 17,800-square-foot maximum-security wing and a separate, 30,000-square-foot drug and alcohol treatment center. They expanded the administrative offices, built a new kitchen, added eight new holding cells for temporary inmates and updated the control room.

"They were attentive to our needs and concerned that our operation ran smoothly," said Robert Lusby, detention center administrator. "We have better rapport with the inmates, better security and a better working environment for our personnel."

The project "was a tricky job," said Francis E. Gardiner Jr., president of a firm owned and run by three generations of Gardiners. Even working with plumbing and windows built so they can't be torn out proved a new experience for the workers, he said.

Besides the usual job of coordinating dozens of electricians, masons and plumbers, the contractor had to keep clear of security, electronic and alarm equipment and take pains not to misplace tools or materials.

Mr. Lusby was forced constantly to relocate prisoners, as workers knocked out exterior walls and renovated maximum- and minimum-security wings, a booking area, the control room and the kitchen.

The ABC awards are designed not only to recognize the "creme de la creme" of local projects, but also "to try to keep the image of a contractor on a professional level," said Linda Wiley, ABC membership director.

The chapter also recognized the work of six other firms, including five based in Anne Arundel County. They included:

* Ferguson Trenching Co. Inc., for an erosion-control project near Rock Creek that became a model solution to similar problems.

* The Asphalt Service Co. Inc., for finishing the last link of Route 10, between Interstate 695 and Ritchie Highway, three months ahead, despite heavy traffic.

* Chaney Enterprises, for environmentally safe sand and gravel and concrete block plants with state-of-the art equipment and accident- prevention programs.

* Reliable Contracting Co. Inc., of Millersville, for finishing the interchange at routes 32 and 175 only 10 days past schedule, even though work was slowed to remove asbestos from old barracks at Fort Meade that were in the path of the road.

* Hopkins & Wayson Inc. of Lothian for a "Rock 'n' Roll" McDonalds in St. Charles Town Center. The 1950s theme was a first for McDonalds.

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