Crooker breaks ground on new Edward Little High School

Crooker Construction recently broke ground on our largest project to date ($22,000,000) with the sitework associated with the new Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine. Working for Arthur Dudley Contractor/Builder, Crooker is currently moving dirt in phase one in preparation for the foundations for the new building. Phase One (initial building construction) includes large cuts of unsuitable soil material, large fills to bring the building to sub-grade, retaining wall construction, utilities, and foundation/building preparation.

Overall, this project involves large amounts of site demolition, heavy earthwork (including 100,000 CY of ledge removal, 115,000 CY of cut, over 200,000 CY of site fills), utilities, large retaining walls, over 10,000 feet of storm drain piping, large amounts of precast structures, multiple sub-surface drainage systems, geothermal system construction, parking lot construction/curbing, existing building demolition and site finishes. Crooker is also contracted for the construction of multiple athletic fields, including both natural grass surface fields and artificial turf.

When complete, this school will be a state-of-the-art facility for the Auburn Community to enjoy for years to come. More information on the project can be found on the school’s building construction website: https://newelhs.auburnschl.edu/

Crooker Wins 2021 Build Maine Award for Morse High School

Crooker received the 2021 Build Maine Award in the Municipal division for the Morse High School and Bath Regional Career and Technical Center in RSU 1. (Bath, Maine). Presented by the Associated General Contractors of Maine, this award is presented to applicants whose projects show a contribution to the community, innovation in construction techniques or materials, meeting the challenge of a difficult job, shows responsiveness to clients/customer needs and has a clean safety record. This project, among other accomplishments, passed those requirements with flying colors.

AGC Build Maine Awards Presentation:

CROOKER CONSTRUCTION – MUNICIPAL DIVISION

Successful teamwork was the key to Crooker Construction’s completion of Morse High School and Bath Regional Career and Technical Center in RSU 1, in Bath. From design to engineering to quarrying to construction, Crooker built a team of professionals who seamlessly coordinated with each other and with the community, earning Crooker the Building Maine Municipal Division Award.

The new three-story, 186,000-sq.ft. high school and technical center accommodates 650 students, and the site includes a new artificial turf athletic field, parking for 285 cars, a new pedestrian and bicycle path, and a new span bridge.

Working with and because of COVID-19 restrictions, Crooker provided opportunities for community input and site visits, and early student use of the athletic field. This cooperative spirit earned praise from RSU 1, the architects, and other stakeholders.

CHALLENGING SITE

A big challenge was the need to remove 500,000 cubic yards of rock. As part of the project team, Maine Drilling and Blasting developed an innovative plan to make ledge cuts of up to 80 feet deep in a single pass, allowing for 10,000 to 15,000 CY shots, two or three times per week. This meant relocating three crushing spreads and heavy equipment every other day. Existing bedrock materials were crushed and produced on site, limiting congestion and wear and tear on public roadways, and reducing off-site decibel levels. In addition to 70- to 80-foot cuts and 70-foot fills, Crooker also dealt with a 40-foot-deep pocket of soft marine clay in the middle of the building pad, adjacent to 40-foot ledge cuts, and another area under the abutment near a bridge approach ramp. Because the building and sitework were separate contracts, groundwork could begin before the design was complete, accelerating the project.

During the two-and-a-half- year project, Crooker had to control erosion, sedimentation, and dust for the 1,000,0000 SF of exposed soil, and contain sediment in Mill Pond, which bisected a large portion of the site.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT

As a high school, technical center, and athletic facility, this structure is a center of community life, so involving stakeholders was a priority.

Crooker involved the community from the beginning of the project, with information sessions about the process and timeline. RSU 1 staff, building committee members, school board members, educators, students, and the public attended a groundbreaking ceremony. Crooker held guided tours during the construction, including to First Responders, and provided PPE and education about developing the large, complex site. When COVID-19 restrictions meant that student athletes needed outdoor practice space, Crooker made the new artificial turf field safely available prior to final site completion. After completion, Crooker donated a scoreboard for the new field.

SAFETY

With the amount and frequency of blasting, especially on a steep slope, safety was an even bigger priority than usual and necessitated elaborate coordination with subcontractors through project- specific planning and strategic scheduling. Crooker is proud to have achieved zero lost time injuries in 105,000 total work hours, thanks to experienced and skilled employees and subcontractors.

PROJECT TEAM

OWNER – REGIONAL SCHOOL UNIT 1, BATH

  • Patrick Manuel, Superintendent of Schools

MAINE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

  • Jim Harford, Project Manager
  • David Lewis, DOE Representative
  • Architect: Lavallee Brensinger Architects
  • Ron Lamarre, Design Principal
  • Cuyler Feagles, Clerk of The Works

SITE CIVIL ENGINEER: SEBAGO TECHNICS

  • Kylie Mason, Project Manager
  • Craig Burgess, PE

GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER: SW COLE ENGINEERING

  • Tim Boyce, PE, Project Manager

BRIDGE ENGINEER: CALDERWOOD ENGINEERING

  • Eric Calderwood, PE

PRIME CONTRACTOR: CROOKER CONSTRUCTION, LLC

  • Thomas C Sturgeon, PE, President & CEO
  • Rick Powers, Senior Project Manager
  • Dale Spratt, Site Superintendent
  • Craig Kroot, General Superintendent
  • Shoshanna Starks, Project Engineer
  • Richard Morgan, Crushing Superintendent
  • Ian Pinette, Project Manager/Drone
  • Aaron Sayler, QC Manager

SPECIAL CONSULTANTS:

  • John Paradis (Nortrax)
  • David Wentworth (Whitney & Sons)

KEY SUBCONTRACTORS:

Maine Drilling & Blasting

  • Todd Beaulieu, General Superintendent
  • Jim Purington, Site Superintendent

Goodwin Well & Water Inc.

  • Scott Abbotts, President
  • Jesse Goodwin, Superintendent

Wyman & Simpson, Inc.

  • Paul Berube, Project Manager
  • Don Pratt, Superintendent Dirigo Slipform
  • Jay Shorette, President
  • Kevin Wright, Project Manager

Main Line Fence Co

  • Ray Clark, Guardrail Install Foreman
  • Chuck Maselli, Fence Install Foreman

Thirsty Turf Irrigation, Inc

  • Josh Doucette, President
  • Andy Cary, Superintendent NET Sports Group
  • Wendy Dawson, Project Manager

Helical Drilling

  • Derek Simpson, PE, Project Manager
  • Craig Harris, Superintendent Bark Brothers
  • George & Kevin Janosco, Owners

KEY SUPPLIERS:

Precast Concrete Products of Maine

  • Branielle Bergeron, General Manager
  • Doug Moore, Project Manager

Everett J Prescott, Inc.

  • Jason Chadwick, Project Manager

Revitalizing Downtown Waterville

In November 2020, Crooker Construction was awarded a $9.3M project to revitalize the downtown area in Waterville.  The project is funded largely with a Federal BUILD grant, with additional funding from Colby College, Maine DOT and the City of Waterville.  The project will reverse “urban renewal” and return Main Street to a two-way, pedestrian friendly street that will spur economic development in the downtown area.  Starting March 2021, and over the next 20 months, the Crooker Team will work to reconstruct roads, improve and re-align intersections, and landscape Main street with new granite curb, lighting, concrete and brick sidewalks, brick crosswalks and street trees.  We will use our in-house expertise, local talent and a dedicated team of subcontractors to deliver Maine’s largest Locally Administered Project (LAP) to date!

Winter Construction Update

Along with our usual winter time maintenance and snow removal, Crooker has been staying busy this winter on a variety of projects.

EJP Laydown Area

The Crooker Construction team is hard at work in Gardiner building a laydown area for Everett J. Prescott, a water, sewer, drain and gas material supplier. Crooker has been working with the design team and General Contractor over the past year to budget and value engineer the project to help bring the owner’s thoughts for a facility expansion to reality. Over the next two months 60,000 cubic yards of earth will be moved to level the site and make way for five acres of new paved area. Large excavators are digging material and loading trucks one after the other to move the clay and large cobbles that are on site. Dump trucks are hauling subbase gravel from our stockpiles in both Topsham and Brunswick to keep up with demand. The project is slated for pavement once the plant opens this Spring and should be completed by early/mid-summer. The Crooker team is overcoming adversity by constantly battling cold temperatures, snow and everything else that comes with the harsh Maine winter. Hats off to our crew for their hard work and dedication!

Underwood Road Drainage Improvements

Crooker wrapped up the majority of the work associated with the Underwood Drainage Improvements in Falmouth during December and January. A challenging project to say the least, Crooker had to battle limited access and close quarters to reshape the existing slopes, install a stone revetment mattress for scour protection and stabilize the drainage outfall that leads into Casco Bay. By use of our GPS equipped excavator, the work was able to be completed without the use of any stakes to achieve grades. Once complete, Crooker was able to move on to the second phase of the project, which included installing 48” storm drainage, manholes and catch basins, over 20’ deep! This was all completed adjacent to existing houses, garages and trees, so Crooker utilized a slide rail system to shore the excavation and install the infrastructure. Great job by all to complete a difficult task in harsh conditions.

Mt. Ararat High School

Crooker has been busy this winter working on phase III of the Mt. Ararat High School project in Topsham. Now that the existing school is complete (Crooker started this project in 2018), the initial high school has been demolished. Crooker was tasked with removing the foundations and slabs of the old school to make way for the new track and field facility. Large amounts of asbestos material was found on the initial foundation, so careful work had to be completed to separate this material from the clean concrete we removed and crushed for future gravel production. Now that the slab demo is complete, Crooker is moving onto sub-grading (over 10,000 CY of material to be moved) and installing utilities associated with the future track and field facility to be opened this summer.

L.L. Bean Corporate Headquarters

Crooker has been steady with continuation on the L.L. Bean Corporate Headquarters project located in Freeport. This project involves remodeling/repurposing existing warehouse space into future office space for L.L. Bean employees. We have been busy working on foundation demo, water line relocation, storm drainage, site electrical and prepping for a future Fitness Terrace that will provide employees with an outdoor space to exercise. Crooker is now moving onto the interior courtyard, which will be a nature center for all employees to look at throughout the workday, even from the inside.

All this on top of continued work at Bath Iron Works, water main breaks, and miscellaneous repairs, has made for a very busy winter!

 

Make-A-Wish Playground Project

In June of 2020 Crooker was contacted by AGC Maine’s Emerging Contractors Group about a Make-A-Wish project they were trying to help complete.  A four-year-old boy who was battling an illness wanted a playground of his own!  Crooker did not hesitant in agreeing to help out and not only would donate materials but as soon as the news of the project traveled throughout the company, multiple employees were asking how they could be a part of it.

We hope this playground brings hours and hours of joy to this boy and his family!  Thank you for letting us be a part of the process and allowing us the opportunity to spend that time with the family while prepping the site for the playground.

Announcing CCI – Crooker Construction Institute

Crooker Construction Institute (CCI) offers a paid training program to individuals interested in building a career in the construction industry, not just a job. The primary goal is to attract, train and retain quality employees and to ensure their successful transition into our workforce.

This introductory course is designed to educate motivated individuals. Participants will learn about the basics of working in the construction industry as well as the specifics of working for Crooker Construction.

Three-week training overview:

– Employee expectations

– General safety requirements

– Proper use of hand tools, small equipment, pipe saws, dewatering pumps, etc.

– Quality control practices

– Understanding grades and elevations

– Underground utility installation

– Precast concrete production

– Paving skills for hand crews

– Aggregate production and blasting

– Construction Layout

– OSHA 10 (Certificate upon completion)

– MSHA Overview

– And much more

 

Click here to read the full program details and apply as a participants

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Crooker Construction is a proud contributor to Bath/Brunswick area Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is that all youth achieve their full potential and to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Crooker was honored to receive the President’s Award at the Annual Big Awards Party in 2019.  President, Thomas Sturgeon, and Crooker have been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters for many years and are proud to be a major supporter of this amazing community program.

Visit their website to discover more about their organization and ways you can help at https://www.bbbsbathbrunswick.org/.

Crooker’s Response to COVID-19

Crooker and Precast’s Response to COVID-19 Public Notice

March 26, 2020 Update – Additional updates will continue to be provided as appropriate

Full guidance can be found on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml.

Our top priority is safety!  Safety of our employees, our customers, our vendors, our subcontractors, and the public!

Per Governor Mills, Construction is considered essential and remains open at this time.  Our business and material sales to customers are remaining open.  We have implemented recommendations by the CDC to continue to work safely and reduce the risk and do our part to flatten the curve and spread of COVID-19.  All employees who are feeling ill or showing symptoms are staying home and those who are able to are working remotely and outdoors to increase the practice of social distancing.  Our offices and shared areas on job sites and facilities are being cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Effective today, we are restricting public access to all of our buildings and shops.  Anyone needing access is asked to call ahead first for instructions on how to proceed.

It is our intent and our commitment to follow the necessary protocols and CDC guidelines in order to remain open and keep our employees working.  Anyone observed not following CDC guidelines will be promptly removed from the premises.

These are unfamiliar times for everyone but you can count on Crooker and Precast of Maine to work responsibility and do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Here are a few of the things we are doing:

  • Washing hands regularly. Covering coughs with tissues or coughing into elbows.  Wiping down shared surfaces, door knobs, etc. regularly.
  • Distributing and ordering cleaners, sanitizers, wipes, and other disinfecting products.
  • Social Distancing – Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited and we are utilizing conference calls and texting services to communicate with employees virtually.
  • Employee and public health is our priority! Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are to stay home and not come to work until they are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours.  Anyone at work who appears to have symptoms will be sent home immediately.

Stay safe!