Some of the region’s most ambitious corporate construction projects have been entrusted to Glass & Associates, Inc., with its many clients including Billy Craft Automotive Group, Liberty University, Centra, Terry Volkswagen Subaru and more.
The company was selected to manage the construction of Centra’s Amherst Medical Center, as well as Liberty’s LaHaye Ice Center renovation and expansion and the new Indoor Track Complex beneath the LU Monogram. The complex is one of only a handful in the entire nation with a hydraulically banked track system. Next door, Glass & Associates is getting started on the construction of Liberty’s new Natatorium, which will open in November.
Glass & Associates is equally comfortable with small-scale projects, many of which have come about through relationships the company team has fostered in the community over the years.
A contributing factor to the success is a mindset instilled by Glass & Associates President Darryl Glass, who, rather than focusing on the business aspect, concentrates on how to customize the company approach to best achieve the goals of each individual project.
“We see the product and the work and the client’s needs as the most important purpose,” Glass said. “You have to learn what the client wants this to be, what purpose they want it to serve, and from there build it on paper … then work with them to bring them a functional facility that delivers what they are looking for at a value and schedule they are after.”
Glass explained that he’s “never really looked at it as a business.”
“It is more of a challenge and the business is just a part of it. If you do it well enough, you will reap benefits from it, whether it is relationships, whether they are financial, whether it is having pride in your work, or future work from people who see what you are able to do.”
Like many on his team, Glass started at the bottom of the industry and worked his way up, earning more responsibility as he proved himself. He has supervised steel crews and has been a general project manager and estimator, among other roles. For 17 years, he worked with Coleman-Adams Construction before becoming the vice president of Coleman-Glass Construction. Glass & Associates, Inc., was founded 11 years later in 2011.
The experience he gained and relationships built were instrumental in preparing Glass and his team for what they do now. Because many of them have worked together for as many as two decades, collaboration is second nature to them.
“You get a whole lot more creativity out of people—you get ownership because they made a crucial decision that played an integral role in pushing a project or in how we made a detail work,” Glass said.
Glass & Associates strives to complete projects in an expeditious and conscientious manner, and sets itself apart by keeping the client’s goal for the project as the driving purpose while ensuring everyone involved is given an environment that allows them to do their job successfully.
“We are able to coordinate work together with all of the trades and give them a chance to succeed and put together a nice product in time for the customer,” Glass said, adding that this allows “people you care about to do something that they enjoy and excel at it. That makes you want to go do it again.”
The key to a smooth process is being nimble in the face of challenges. The site for the Centra project in Amherst, for example, included rock that was tough to break through on one end, and soil that would hardly hold anything up on the other.
“Every project inherently will come with its set of challenges,” he said. “Our group would like to say that we are as flexible, if not more, with change as anybody.”
The company is confident in its ability to rise up to a new challenge, though it doesn’t take them lightly. Team members know their responsibility to their clients, regardless of the size or complexity of the project.
“You can sit here and say you can build this, but until you do it there’s a question about it,” Glass said. “But once it’s done—and done well—it stands for itself.”
Where we might see windows and walls of brick and stone, Glass sees chapters chronicling a successfully met challenge.
“The story in it, from beginning to end, that is the interesting part,” he said. “Standing in (the facility) at the end is bittersweet. You are glad you accomplished it; it was a lot of hard work. But you are finished. You’ve got to move on like you do in life. But you also need to reflect back on the story: How did that start?
What did you do in between? (Remember) all the different decisions and changes that happened and realize you still wound up here. That’s cool.”
Learn more at Glass-AssociatesConstruction.com
By Drew Menard