Spokane Journal of Business

Garco, Richland contractor win jobs worth $38 million

Venture allows prominent concern to mentor small company on big projects

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Prominent Spokane contractor Garco Construction Inc. and Total Site Services LLC, a small Richland-based general contractor, have formed a joint venture and together have landed contracts totaling more than $38 million.

Most recently, the TSS-Garco joint venture won a $16.4 million contract to design and build a 61,000-square-foot, four-story barracks facility at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Operational Readiness Center southwest of Tacoma. Bernardo Wills Architects PC, of Spokane, also is on the design-build team for the project.

Rich Wagner, a project manager for Garco, deferred questions about the joint venture's projects to TSS.

The joint venture, which is a mentor-protege relationship recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration, enables TSS and Garco to bid jointly as a small business, says Shannon Toranzo, TSS general manager.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had set the barracks project aside for small businesses, Toranzo says, adding, "A $16 million contract isn't normally something a company our size could bid on."

The project is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.

"It gives us experience, an opportunity to grow, and involves large businesses in the work," Toranzo says of the mentor-protege venture. "It's a nice deal for both large and small businesses."

Earlier this year, the joint venture won an $8.9 million contract to construct a company operations facility at the Chemical Battalion complex at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That 45,000-square-foot facility will include office and warehouse space, Toranzo says.

Most of the design work is being handled by the Army Corps of Engineers.

"We're designing a foundation to accept a pre-engineered building," she says.

The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-August 2014.

Last year, the TSS-Garco joint venture qualified to compete with a short list of four other contractors for certain jobs at Fairchild Air Force Base totaling up to $95 million through 2016. So far, the joint venture has won a $1 million contract to repair a runway area, Toranzo says.

Separate from the joint venture, Garco has teamed with TSS on an $11.7 million second phase of construction in the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape complex at Fairchild. The design-build project, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2014, includes two steel-framed support buildings with reinforced foundations, and a total of 35,500 square feet of floor space. The project also includes parking lot and landscape improvements, and demolishing buildings with a total of 61,700 square feet of floor space.

That project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2014.

TSS owner Lisa Chapman-Rosa founded the company 10 years ago, focusing on work for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

TSS has about 20 core Richland-based employees and hires skilled workers in the communities where job sites are located, Toranzo says.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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