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February 25th, 2016 by Chris Cyr

On Wed. Feb. 17, Associated Construction was pleased to welcome Cub Scouts Pack 141 from West Hartford to our Delamar Hotel construction site. Knowing that a WEBELOS scout can visit a construction site to earn credit for his Engineering Activity Pin, I took advantage of the fact that Associated is currently erecting steel for the 6 story boutique hotel and organized a site visit. Since I am in my 5th and final year volunteering as a Cub Scout Den Leader for my sons scout pack, it was easy to arrange and had the potential to be an incredible experience for these boys. When I first confronted President Joe Jankowski with the idea he was very excited and supportive. He agreed that the best time to bring them to the site would be when United Steel would be there with the crane, swinging steel.

Webster Hill Elementary School is Pack 141’s chartered organization which is approximately 1 mile from the site of the new Delamar Hotel in West Hartford. This is a project that they drive by every day and will continue to see at every stage of construction from now until it is open for business and they will hopefully remember this experience long after they have completed elementary school.

In preparation for the site visit, I brought a complete set of civil, architectural and structural drawings to our den meeting to share with the scouts the week before so they would get an idea of what we are building. The drawings were so massive (400+ pages) that I had to wheel them into the school on a cart. Not knowing what kind of response I would get from such a young group, I was absolutely blown away by their level of enthusiasm and excitement. They, along with curious parents, had many questions and comments for me. It was so stimulating to see the level of engagement coming from a group of 10 year olds.

The day of the site visit was a beautiful, 40 degree day with lots of sun and plenty of mud left over from the heavy rain we had the day before. The scout’s arrived on site and were issued an Associated Construction hard hat and notebook which got them all very excited. After a safety briefing in the trailer and a quick introduction to the construction team, we headed outside. The site was prepped prior to the scout’s arrival, barricades were set up to keep the youngster from getting to close to the steel laydown area. Even with the area roped off the boys got to see up close the crane pick up large steel I-Beams and swing them around the site to the waiting hands of the steel erectors who maneuvered the members and fastened them into place. Later we returned to the trailer for further discussions about construction where Senior Project Manager Maurice Gawendo spoke to the Scouts about the different roles people play in the construction team.

As the visit wrapped up, I received lots of positive feedback from parents and the scouts. Who knows, maybe we made such an impression on them that one day maybe one of these boys will be the next pioneer in the construction industry or the next Angelo or Tom Giardini… Or maybe a future Associated Construction employee or intern … Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, they have a ways to go.

Thank you Joe Jankowski, Maurice Gawendo, United Steel and the rest of the Delamar Hotel Construction Team for making this possible for these boys who may have otherwise never had this kind of an opportunity!


Chris Cyr


Posted in the categories Employee Posts, In The Community.