Builders association opens new HQ

VIENNA — Immediately noticeable at the new headquarters of the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, in addition to the lingering new building smell, are the exposed structural steel beams and other visible systemic elements.

“That was done purposefully so you can see the exposed structural beams all through the conference room and we left the open ceilings and also exposed the duct work and the electrical and the joists,” said Kevin Reilly, association executive vice president.

“We wanted to leave that exposed just so you can see the structural components, all the different trades that are utilized in the building industry,” Reilly said. “A lot of this stuff ends up getting covered up, but we wanted to expose it.”

Move-in day into the 4,000-square-foot building on Youngstown Kingsville Road was June 6. The association formally introduced the building on Sept. 10 with a ribbon cutting and open house.

Construction wrapped in April at about $100,000 less than the $1.5 million budgeted for the project.

“Construction started in October ’18 and we were finished in April ahead of schedule and under budget. Knowing what the worst time to start would be, you’re thinking you have contractors, you know when to start, when not to start — we started at about the worst time we could,” Reilly said.

Part of the reason why is so the association could be in the building by 2020, which marks its 50th year, Reilly said.

The building has a large and a small conference room, full kitchen, high-tech features and offices for the association’s three employees.

All of the 26 subcontractors involved in the construction were members of the association, which represents about 150 construction and other firms across the five-county region of Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties in Ohio and Mercer and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania.

Connell Inc. and Diamond Steel in Youngstown erected the steel beams, York Mahoning Mechanical Contractors in Youngstown installed the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and Youngstown Tile and Terrazzo installed the terrazzo floors, which isn’t the typical flooring in the office building setting.

DeSalvo Construction in Hubbard was the contractor.

Axiom Architects, a collaboration of Phillips Sekanick Architects in Warren, BSHM Architects and Strollo Architects, both in Youngstown, designed the building with the thought of “bringing people into the construction industry,” said Bruce Sekanick with Phillips Sekanick.

“We presented what we felt the builders needed for their facilities, what was really important,” Sekanick said. “It was important for them to showcase them as an industry and they needed to stand out somehow.”

The new headquarters replaces a building from the 1960s the association has owned since the mid-1970s on Youngstown Kingsville Road SE. It sits directly in front of the old building, which was in need of improvements, said Reilly. It’s been listed for rent by Platz Real Estate.

“The question was, how much do we spend in renovating,” Reilly said.

The association incorporated in 1969 and the first officers took over in 1970. Members include suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, architects, construction consultants, financial institutions and bonding agencies and construction trade publications. Fifteen skilled trades, from asbestos workers and to insulators to construction teamsters are represented by the association.

It’s involved in contract negotiations, apprenticeship programs, health and welfare, pension plans.

“I think the construction industry is a lot different than a lot of other unionized industries in that we are constantly working with our labor partners. We have labor / management trust funds that oversee our pension plans, health and welfare plans; that is all labor / management involvement. Those apprenticeship training programs, all labor / management, so we are constantly working with our labor counterparts,” Reilly said.