Tradespeople Treated to a Thank-You Barbecue
Several hundred contracted tradespeople—carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers and sheet metal workers among others—lined up recently for a barbecue lunch, hosted by a grateful University.
Offered on both South and North campuses on Monday, Aug. 8, the event gave UMass Lowell a chance to tip its hat to the men and women currently working on myriad projects this summer. The work includes the high-profile new buildings, the Emerging Technology and Innovation Center (ETIC) on North and the Health and Social Sciences (HSS) on South, as well as a dazzling number of renovation projects in Pinanski, Wannalancit, Olsen, O’Leary and other buildings.
“Because of all the hard work you are doing, we will have a top-notch campus with top-notch facilities, and we will be able to do a better job teaching our students,” Chancellor Marty Meehan told the contractors as they enjoyed hamburgers, sausages, corn on the cob, salad and a range of gooey desserts.
“This is an important time of growth at UMass Lowell and we thank you for your efforts,” he added.
On any given day this summer, there have been well over 300 contractors on campus, and over the time it takes to build ETIC and HSS, more than 800 tradespeople will have cycled in and out of those two projects alone.
Given how the economy has slowed construction work over the last couple of years, the work is greatly appreciated.
The lunch was great, said Bob Younker of Somerville, who works for Chapman Waterproofing, but he is even more grateful for the job. “It has been slow, and this year got off to a very slow start.”
PJ Johnson is a project manager with Turner Construction. “A lunch like this makes a big difference to the workers,” he said. “It keeps morale up. They know their work is appreciated.”
He also noted that the economy has hit the construction industry hard and that the work at UMass Lowell has been a needed boost to the companies and workers hired to do the work — all of whom are local.
For information about the major capital projects under way this summer, check out the Facilities website