Laying The Foundation For Success One Project At A Time

Procore set out to find the companies, projects and individuals that stood out for their bold achievements in construction. Among the 27 outstanding finalists selected, nine were named winners of the 2023 Groundbreaker Awards. This article is the fifth in a nine-part series spotlighting each winner. 

Fessler & Bowman, a concrete and civil commercial contractor headquartered in Flushing, Michigan, is committed to “Building Successful Relationships That Last.” When they were selected to perform a significant amount of concrete work for Ford’s newest campus, BlueOval City, this project extended not only to their client, but to the local community as well.

BlueOval City, Ford’s newest and biggest campus to date is set to be a $5.6 billion battery and vehicle manufacturing plant, with plans to open in 2025. This plant, currently being constructed in Stanton, Tennessee, will generate more than 11,000 new jobs for the area. The state-of-the-art facility will produce all-electric F-150 pickup trucks with the latest technology, and aspires to have 100% renewable energy, zero waste to landfill and water reuse.

For such an unprecedented project, Fessler & Bowman was chosen alongside Walbridge Concrete Services to joint-venture the concrete scope of work for the Body Shop, Paint Shop, Assembly Building, Battery Plant and Battery Build Up facility. With a reliable track record of over 60 years of exceptional performance, Fessler & Bowman approached the mammoth undertaking with excitement and quickly displayed their excellence in action on the project.

A groundbreaking project across the board

Jonathan Druyor, Regional Director of Fessler & Bowman’s Nashville office and travel regions, is excited for the impact this project is having on the community both today and in the future.

What makes this project groundbreaking? Its scale and timeline.

“It’s a green field site, so 18 months ago it was just corn fields,” Druyor said. “Now, there’s steel flying up like crazy. Between the sheer quantity and what’s going in within this timeline — it’s incredible to watch. It’s a once-in-a-career opportunity to be part of something like this.”

Beyond the magnitude of the project, Druyor — a Tennessee native himself — sees firsthand the positive economic impact such a novel project is having on the local community. There’s a sense of excitement in the air within Stanton and surrounding towns as this cutting-edge project goes up.

“It impacts the community greatly. Even within the smaller towns around the area, you can already see new construction going up and how it’s going to affect that region as a whole in the long-term is pretty exciting. When you drive around, people have signs out in their yards saying ‘Welcome BlueOval City!’ — folks are excited for it to be there,” said Druyor.

Facing the odds and pushing beyond

A project of this size is not without its challenges, and the Fessler & Bowman team have risen to meet them time and time again to keep BlueOval City moving forward. Their dedication to “relentless commitment” has shown up when facing every hurdle.

“One of our biggest challenges so far has been weather. We’ve had an incredible number of rain events since we started out there. The foundations for these buildings are massive. So every time it rains, there is significant flooding. But the most rewarding aspect is how well our team has been able to work around that, accommodate for that and stay on schedule. It’s exciting to watch,” shared Druyor.

To navigate hurdles like rain delays, Fessler & Bowman uses Procore to document daily logs and provide clients and owners with readily accessible, accurate data anytime. With a single source of truth, the Fessler & Bowman team is equipped to stay on schedule and anticipate problems before they become significant issues.

“Procore has been a pretty big blessing for us with everything being in one location. Anybody can view it, everything is time-stamped and you get a lot of real-time data without having to look through emails or folders,” said Druyor. 

As they continue to be excited for the future of the BlueOval City, Fessler & Bowman remains committed to bringing the same level of excellence to every aspect of the project.

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