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Designing for America’s Finest

Whether we were at a football game or watching a political rally on television, my father used to tell me, “I still get a tear in my eye every time I hear the national anthem.” Now, 50 years later, the same sentiment holds true for me. As a US Citizen, it’s easy to get caught up with patriotic passion, but the importance of the sacrifices made by those who have fought for our freedom is never lost on me. I believe those who have served or fought in the armed services, been wounded or killed in battle or conducted acts of heroism are America’s finest citizens. When you visit a VA hospital, you are surrounded by our country’s very best.

Nacht & Lewis has had the distinct privilege of serving America’s finest citizens on several occasions throughout our history. Our most notable efforts have been at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Sacramento Medical Center at Mather Field where we most recently completed an addition of a new emergency department.

The emergency department addition was originally issued as a competitive bid design-build project open to all bidders, but when the cost came out higher than expected, the VA reduced the scope and added some stipulations. With the next issue, in order to qualify, the teams now had to be SDVOSB (Services Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses). Nacht & Lewis scrambled to put together a winning team – we needed a solid general contractor that met the SDVOSB classification and who had the construction experience to build a technically complex emergency department addition. BVB Construction, with their SDVOSB status in owner Benjamin Valenzuela Jr., became the perfect team to clinch the deal. Their general contracting expertise as a prime electrical contractor and their great relationship with the VA put us in good position to secure the project.

The design phases of the project went reasonably well for a project on a tight budget. There were a few rocky moments during the early phases of design where the team had to come together to balance and realign the project’s scope across the sub trades. There were also complicated underground utility issues that required priority in resolution right after breaking ground, but once resolved the project progressed smoothly and the addition was completed spring of 2016.

Peter Dahlmann, Senior Project Coordinator, represented Nacht & Lewis at the facility’s grand opening / 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. Peter was the day-to-day project representative throughout the design and construction process and reflected upon the ceremony:

“It was exciting to be invited to and attend the grand opening, after so much time and effort spent on getting this project completed and ready to serve veterans.”

“The event was grand and the speakers were entertaining, thoughtful. The veterans who spoke brought tears to my eyes with some of their stories. These guys have suffered so much and really deserve the best care in the best facilities.”

“Knowing who this project was going to serve made all the trials and tribulations worthwhile.”

We would like to congratulate the Department of Veterans Affairs on their new emergency care facility. As Peter so clearly put it, the veterans “really deserve to have the best care in the best facilities,” and we would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to be of service to America’s finest.

 

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John Flath-01

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