What do you do when you’re up against a hard deadline and have to complete a large portion of work for an $8 million dollar contract in just few days’ time? You “Fast Track” the project.
That’s exactly what our Maryland landscape construction team did in order to complete their scope of work for the Clarksburg Premium Outlets project in time for the grand opening on October 27th. As is the case with many landscape construction projects, the start date for the landscape portion of the work was pushed back due to construction delays and inclement weather, and we found ourselves faced with carrying out four months’ worth of work in only a month and a half (with about 20% of the work being done in just four days). As the deadline approached, the branch found they needed a little extra help with this 64-acre site, and they decided to Fast Track the project.
So what is a Fast Track? For us, it’s an all-hands-on-deck approach to finishing a high-priority project within a short time frame – in this case, the four days before the grand opening. In order to accomplish such a high volume of work within that time, the Maryland landscape branch called upon their fellow branches to come to their aid.
In all, team members from 11 other Ruppert branches – King of Prussia maintenance, Toughkenamon maintenance, Baltimore maintenance, Frederick maintenance, Laytonsville maintenance, D.C. maintenance, Alexandria maintenance, Forestville maintenance, Richmond maintenance, Raleigh maintenance, and North Carolina landscape – pitched in to help. An average of 120 Ruppert employees from across the company were onsite each of the four days during the Fast Track, working anywhere from 10 to 16 hour days. All of this work was being performed while merchants were also trying to move merchandise into their spaces by the tractor trailer load and myriad other trades were putting the finishing touches on their work as well (leading to extensive traffic jams on the site). The Maryland landscape branch provided lunch and dinner for all of the team members on site each day as a small token of appreciation, and even administrative staff pitched in to distribute lunches and lend a hand where they could.
“The unique thing about this company, in addition to our serious can-do attitude, is that when we needed help, the cavalry came,” said Bob Jones, landscape division president. “We would never have been able to meet the deadline without the partnerships that exist between branches and divisions within our organization. Our entire team pulls together for the benefit of our customers when it’s necessary.”
Ruppert’s project scope included pavers, stamp/color/gray/decorative concrete, curbs and walkways within the mall, biosoil, topsoil, irrigation, bioswales and biofiltration planters, container pots, and plantings including over 250,000 individual pieces of plant material from trees to shrubs to annuals and perennials.
One of 200 container pots placed around the two-level outlet mall.
We’d like to extend a sincere thank-you to all of the Ruppert team members across the company who stepped up to help complete the project in time for the grand opening. We would also like to thank the following members of the Maryland landscape team who were instrumental in the success of the project: Casey Coleman (field manager), John Parsley (field manager), Darrin Middleton (senior field manager), Trevor Mann (project manager), Sean Davitt (operations manager), and Mike Felts (branch manager).
“This is one of the best jobs our branch has ever done. Given the challenges we faced, it could have been one of the worst, but our team really responded and came together to bring it to fruition,” said Mike Felts.
The main courtyard under construction during the Fast Track,
with many subcontractors involved in addition to Ruppert team members
We’d also like to offer a special thank you to our extended Ruppert team—the spouses, significant others and families of our dedicated team members. We realize that when we’re performing jobs that have tight deadlines and require the extra time and attention of our team members, that major adjustments are often required on the home front. People are tired, often not able to contribute to household activities and missing time and events with children and loved ones. We want our employees and their families to know that we value all of the support we receive—both on the job and off—and the sacrifices you’ve made on our behalf.
Want a quick peek at the work we’ve been doing? Check out this drone footage taken by director of quality and efficiency Ken Thompson at Clarksburg Premium Outlets the day before the grand opening: