By John Brock, General Superintendent, Tellepsen
Why do we build? It’s a great question. Almost all of us believe that we build to earn a living and to take care of our families. However, several of us build for other reasons too. Many in our industry build because it gives us a sense of accomplishment and makes a significant difference in our community. What other professions give you the opportunity to drive through town and look at almost any street and say “I was part of that project,” or “I built that project,” or (my personal favorite) “I was the superintendent on that project”?
At Tellepsen, we build all types of buildings – multi-story high rises, churches, hospitals, government buildings, schools, universities, sports stadiums, grocery stores, restaurants – the list is extensive. Whatever project you can think of, it was built by men and women who strive to make a difference in their community. That’s what building does, it gives you a sense of pride and enjoyment that really no other career path can offer. When a builder goes to work, no two days are the same. Sure, you may be doing the same task, but every day there is progress, thus creating a different setting each day. On the first day of a project, you lay the first block and by the end of that day, you are up 4 or 5 courses. The next day you keep going, and by the end of the week, a wall is complete, and you get to step back and see the results of your work. That’s when it really becomes rewarding and, so far for me, that feeling has never stopped since the beginning of my construction career.
I build because I love to build! I build because I love seeing the results of my work and the joy it brings to the owners and architects who envisioned the building when putting pencil to paper, or by today’s standard, keyboard to computer screen. There really is a satisfaction that all builders get when they complete a project. Regardless of the project, the type of building and the people it will serve, they all stick with you, forever holding a spot on your list of meaningful projects.
There are two projects that really hold a special place in my heart. My favorite project was Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church – my first project with Tellepsen. It is a gothic cathedral built in the tradition of 15th century churches. It is one of a kind and everyone working on the project knew how unique and special it was going to be. We cherished each day we were building it. To be honest, I am not sure any one of us wanted to finish it because it was a SWEET JOB. The church parishioners and the builders all worshiped together on the day of its dedication. I can honestly say it was one of the most important days of my building life. It was really special to be on a job from ground to finish and opening it up for its intended use and for all to enjoy.
My second favorite job was the Texas Children’s Hospital in the Woodlands. This job was massive, including a hospital bed tower, medical office building, a central utility plant and a 7-story parking garage. Building it was a wonderful experience! The project team was second to none and we enjoyed so much comradery. Each day was a pleasure – it didn’t feel like a grind. Why was that? Because we all were builders doing our part to complete this job for the KIDS! That’s what it was all about – the kids who needed help and a place to heal. This hospital would do just that; save the little ones from the cancers and diseases we all fear may affect our own kids. I got to be a part of something with 700 other builders, architects and other design professionals which would ultimately make a difference in the lives of thousands.
In a nutshell, this is why I build, and this is why so many of my colleagues are drawn to build also. This is what I love most about working at Tellepsen, a contractor in our community who stands for the community and builds these cornerstone projects that builders like myself can be a part of. As our CEO, Tadd Tellepsen often reminds us: we exist to build projects of significance that positively impact how people live, work, play, heal, worship and learn.
Be safe, build safe and leave your mark on the skyline!