Fontaine Selected to Revitalize 31 Elm St. | Court Square Building

What a great day in Springfield! We were thrilled to join Mayor Domenic Sarno and U.S. Congressman Richie Neal to celebrate a major step forward for the redevelopment of the historic Court Square Building |13-31 Elm Street in Downtown Springfield. Mayor Sarno announced that Fontaine Bros. has been selected to work with the project’s developer WinnCompanies, of Boston as well as Peter Picknelly’s Opal Real Estate Group on the project. Much was described of the building’s long and storied history in the downtown neighborhood. “There’s no better view, there’s no better location in Springfield than 31 Elm Street.” Picknelly offered. The $51.3 million Court Square renovation project will renovate the building into retail space and six floors of more than 50 market-rate apartments. Mike O’Brien of Winncompanies commented on the addition of Fontaine to the team, “Fontaine Bros. are the real deal. They are hands-on partners and a master builder. We absolutely need them as we move this ball forward.” The Court Square project has been a long time in the making. And that message was clear at today’s press conference. “It’s really the story of commitment, of dedication, and of partnership. Ultimately, there’s been a commitment to get to this point and stick with this project. From state and local sources to all of the government entities, and now our joining Opal and Winn, this is a great team that has been put together.” added David Fontaine Jr. of Fontaine Bros. As part of their host agreement with the City, MGM Springfield is also a financial partner on the project. In recent weeks, the project has been called “the most important in the Commonwealth” by Governor Baker as he sees it as the key to continuing the revitalization of the Downtown area, and he made one of the largest investments of State of MA redevelopment money to date in solidifying the State’s support of it. Work on the project is anticipated to ramp up in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Fontaine Bros. Building the Future Workforce

We are having a busy summer of learning and growing the pipeline of future AEC employees here at Fontaine. Today, Rob Fairbanks (Carpentry Instructor at Worcester Technical High School) and Jacob Gogolinski (Construction Management major at Roger Williams University) spent time with Mark Bisson (our Director of Safety). Rob is spending time with us over the next several weeks as part of an externship funded by Fitchburg State University. He will be doing a series of rotations observing the latest trends and techniques in construction management to take back to his students. In addition to teaching carpentry at Worcester Tech, Rob is an instructor for the Construction & Engineering Students in the Innovation Pathways Program.

Fontaine Bros. Names Wambui Director of Diversity, Inclusion, & Community Impact

Increasing diversity in the construction workforce is an important topic and has become a measure of each project’s success just like schedule, budget, and safety. Fontaine Bros. Inc. has named Elizabeth Wambui to serve as the company’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion, & Impact. “Our approach, led by Liz, will go beyond the traditional General Contractor/Construction Manager line of looking to subcontractors to have all the answers”, explained David Fontaine Jr., Vice President of Fontaine Bros. Ms. Wambui will play a critical role in leading Fontaine’s projects and project teams to maximize opportunities for Minority |Women-Owned Business Enterprises as well as attracting a more diverse workforce. Fontaine Bros. will be partnering with the unions, trade schools, and other community partners to more actively promote and provide opportunities for diverse and local residents. “The key is to support these individuals throughout their careers so that as their time with one subcontractor or on one project comes to an end, they have every opportunity to connect with subs on another of our projects. By being more active throughout the entire diversity ecosystem, I believe we will not only meet and exceed our goals and expectations, but we will help to create and sustain great careers for the next generation of tradespeople in Springfield, Worcester, and throughout the Commonwealth,” said Wambui. Liz will immediately step in and support Fontaine’s work across the Commonwealth, including the new $242 million Doherty Memorial High School project and the new $75 million DeBerry | Homer Elementary School in Springfield. Before joining Fontaine, Ms. Wambui served as the Director of Advancement at the Nativity School of Worcester (a longtime Fontaine community partner). A graduate of North High School and the College of the Holy Cross, Liz is passionate about engaging with the community. She currently serves as a Board Member at the Bancroft School, Shine Initiative, Women in Development of Central Massachusetts, Worcester Historical Museum, and YWCA. Liz is also a Mechanics Hall Modern Mechanics Guild Member, Worcester Art Museum Corporator and she has served as a Greater Worcester Community Foundation Early Childhood Committee member and scholarship community reviewer. She was part of the Leadership Worcester Class of 2016-2017 and she has been recognized in the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 under 40.

ENR Top 400 Contractors 2021

Fontaine has been named to the ENR Top 400 Contractors List, which recognizes the 400 largest contractors in the country for 2021! We are thankful to our clients for supporting and trusting us and to all of our partners and team members for their hard work and dedication even through unprecedented times!

The Shrewsbury Library Receives Preservation Massachusetts Award!

Fontaine worked alongside LPA|A, PMA, and the Town of Shrewsbury to restore and expand the original 1903 Howe Memorial Library without giving up the conveniences of modern-day advancements and technology. The Robert H. Kuehn, Jr. Award recognizes “projects that meld collaborative partnerships with creative and cutting-edge ideas for the rehabilitation and active reuse of historic buildings.” Fontaine is proud to have taken part in this project, and thanks the project team for their time and talents that made this project such a great success.

Ludlow Cub Scout Visit Harris Brook Elementary

Yesterday, Fontaine's Mark Feeney led a pack of eager Ludlow Cub Scouts through the new construction of Harris Brook Elementary School. These five Cub Scouts came to Fontaine in hopes of receiving their Build It Badge. This badge requires them to learn about a construction career by visiting a jobsite and interviewing someone working in the industry! Fontaine was honored to be a part of their education and journey to receive their well-deserved badge!

Raymond E. Shaw Breaks Ground!

Fontaine, along with all project team members, gathered today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Raymond E. Shaw Elementary School project. This project will include the construction of a 90,265 SF Elementary School located on Elmwood Street in Millbury, MA. The new school will consist of a two-story, steel framed building with exterior metal panels as well as masonry. The project will be completed in three phases. These include the construction of the new building, the demolition of the existing building, and the construction of a new multipurpose field and softball field. The project is de-signed to meet LEED Gold certification and is estimated to conserve 30% energy use compared to a similar size building!

Coburn Topping Off Ceremony

Coburn Elementary School celebrates the Topping Off Ceremony today! This project consists of a new three-story public elementary school building, associated site work, landscaping and demolition of the existing school and ancillary residential on the site. This new school is designed for 700+ students grades preK-5. The design also includes a gymnasium, cafeteria, classrooms and various admin and support spaces.

Fontaine, in a joint venture with Dimeo Construction, Awarded Doherty Memorial High School Project

The City of Worcester recently awarded Fontaine, in a joint venture with Dimeo Construction, to serve as their CM for the largest project in the City’s history, Doherty Memorial High School. The Fontaine + Dimeo team will be building the new Worcester Doherty Memorial High School which will be a 422,000 SF new state-of-the-art high school with a projected construction budget of $240 million. With the strong community desire to become more sustainable, Doherty Memorial High School will be built to reduce or eliminate fossil fuels by using a HVAC and Solar PV design. John Odell the Energy and Asset Director shared with us, “After a careful review, the selected power systems (HVAC and solar PV), coupled with a superior envelope design will result in a better than net-zero facility. This means that the building is designed not only be carbon neutral, but to be carbon negative – the first municipal building in the city to achieve this distinction.” This large-scale and highly complex project poses several challenges. Foremost, the project will be constructed on the grounds of the fully occupied existing school with an enrollment of 1,800 students. The phasing of the project is driven significantly by the logistics required to keep the existing school operating safely. We are excited for this opportunity to serve The City of Worcester once again!

Middleborough High School Starts Phase 6

The Middleborough High School project started in May of 2019. This very large project consisted of a tight schedule that was often faced with difficulties when COVID-19 hit. This project is a 166,650 SF high school consisting of one, three-story academic and administration wing, a two-story athletic and mechanical wing and a two-story performing arts wing. All three wings are interconnected by the commons and rotunda areas. This project also includes the installation of a new synthetic turf and track that will serve as a multi-sport field for Middleborough Sachems athletics program and the community. With phase 5 of this project just finishing up, we are moving forward to phase 6 which will consist of; demolition and abatement of the existing building, the completion of the front entrance and parking lot, a junior varsity softball field, tennis courts and two soccer fields. Phase 6 is scheduled for completion in the early fall of 2021!