In 2017, Graham was selected as the design-build provider to replace the City of New Westminster’s 70-year-old high
school with a state-of-the-art facility for 1,900 students and 200 staff. At the time, the biggest construction related challenge in B.C.’s Lower Mainland was the scarcity of trades due to the hot building market. But what was regarded as manageable for an experienced builder delivering a large and richly programed project, would soon spiral into labour shortages, construction slowdowns, sub-contractor interruptions and murky supply-chain disruptions—all brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, New Westminster Secondary officially opened to students in January 2021 and, by all accounts, is a marvellous facility. In addition to the standard school attributes, it has a robotics facility, a three-court gymnasium and a theatre that would be the envy of a professional theatre company. Students and staff say they are thrilled with their new school.
Deliverance from the effects of COVID-19 was not brought about by any silver bullet. There was no swinging for the fences. Instead, explains Justin Marchiel, Graham’s Senior Project Manager on the $78.8 million, three-and-a half year-long project, it was more like a game of inches. Keeping the project from bogging down and getting it over the finish line on-budget and to its revised deadline, says Marchiel, was accomplished through able construction management, quick response to emerging issues and item-by-item problem-solving.
Graham is an employee-owned construction solutions partner with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually. With over nine decades of experience, Graham provides general contracting, design-build, integrated project delivery, construction management, public-private partnerships and development services in the buildings, industrial, infrastructure and project finance sectors. Graham has offices throughout North America and, with over nine decades of experience, has the resources, capacity and expertise to undertake projects of every scope, scale and complexity.