The Times West Virginian

Business

May 25, 2014

Stantec brings ‘sense of community’

FAIRMONT — In its work, Stantec focuses on bettering people’s lives and improving the community.

Stantec previously had three offices in West Virginia — Charleston, Buckhannon and Fairmont — and recently made the move to consolidate the Buckhannon office and all of its employees into the Fairmont location, at 111 Elkins St.

“The location here was a great location for servicing the clients we have,” said Gary Fazalare, principal and operations lead for West Virginia. “As we continue to grow and to service more clients and increase our staff, it was a better situation to have all the staff in one location to better serve our clients. Fairmont is a great location.”

He explained that the company has had a presence in the Fairmont area since 1998, including the first six years at Moran Circle in White Hall and then the last nine years on Elkins Street in Fairmont.

With the addition of the Buckhannon team, the office in Fairmont now has about 40 total employees, including several who are regularly out in the field, said Fazalare, who is a professional engineer.

Many of these workers are local people who have been educated in the area, and they are part of the communities, he said.

Fazalare, who grew up in the Shinnston area and still lives there today, graduated from Fairmont State with his bachelor’s degree in engineering technology. He has been working with Stantec for 12 years now.

The company thinks about the community when it designs, he said.

“The passion of what we do is we design with the community in mind,” Fazalare said.

Stantec, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is a pure design firm with 13,000 employees and 200 offices worldwide. The company does anything related to design, and its team features architects, engineers, planners, landscape architects, scientists and other experts.

The firm has received several national rankings.

For instance, in Engineering News Record’s annual Top 500 Design Firms issue, Stantec was ranked No. 22 among the country’s biggest engineering companies, and moved up two spots from last year. In the rating of 100 Pure Design Firms that do not offer construction, the company came in at No. 7. Also, Stantec took the No. 19 spot in Engineering News Record’s Top Global Design Firms list of 150 firms for 2013.

At the Fairmont office, Stantec focuses on general civil design, doing about 60 to 70 percent public sector work and the remainder is private sector work, Fazalare said.

He explained that the location does a lot of projects related to the oil and gas industry, water and wastewater, utilities and transportation. The staff handles bridge and roadway design, site planning, surveying, coatings inspections and other specialty work.

“We service a lot of different clients,” Fazalare said. “We work with municipalities and towns and PSCs (Public Service Commissions) and state government.”

In the MidAtlantic region alone, Stantec has 15 offices and about 800 staff members. The Fairmont office often collaborates with that larger working group, which is a great resource, Fazalare said.

The company is set up to be able to link local experts with national professionals who are specialized, and the connection to that type of experience and knowledge offers a huge benefit to clients, he said.

Stantec has been involved in numerous projects throughout North Central West Virginia and across the state.

For instance, the company has completed several utility projects with the City of Fairmont, including a sewer collection system upgrade, and has done water upgrade projects and water tank painting in Grant Town, Fazalare said. It has also tackled well and wastewater efforts in Shinnston, a sewer system improvement project in Grafton, and a water extension project in Bruceton Mills

“To be a part of those projects and bring water to those families is really a lot of personal enjoyment for all the staff that works on those projects,” he said. “You have a sense of community and a sense of using your skills to better the lives of other folks in the community.”

In addition, Stantec painted Fairmont’s Third Street Bridge, or David Morgan Bridge, last year. The company is currently working with the West Virginia Department of Transportation to update four bridges in Anmoore, and completed a coatings project for the Cheat Lake Bridge a few years ago, Fazalare said.

Stantec has also worked on projects for Fairmont General Hospital and West Virginia University.

In terms of oil and gas work, Stantec does pond and pad design for drilling, works on water transportation to sites, routes pipelines, and prepares documents for bidding for contractors, he said.

Stantec has also been part of the the site work, construction layout and management, and materials testing for different commercial developments around the state.

“We’re a full-service firm that can provide all those services to our clients,” Fazalare said.

As for the future, he anticipates that Stantec will experience further success in North Central West Virginia and across the state.

“I expect that we’ll continue to see growth,” Fazalare said. “Locally and for West Virginia as a whole, my main focus is to continue to grow our services and our staff across the state.”

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

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