Portside Center in Mt. Pleasant Nearly Finished

By Christina Fisher | September 28, 2010


Spotlight On The Contractor

David Teague , project manager

How did you get your start in the construction industry?

I started as a carpenter doing residential remodeling and reconstruction after I graduated from college. I decided that I wanted to move into management so I went back to school at Trident Tech and got a certificate of Engineering Technology and Construction Management.

My first job after that was with Scheduling Systems, Inc.; I was a construction consultant with them and worked there for three years. Later, working on a project at Trident Tech, I built a relationship with Mashburn Construction, which was the general contractor on the project. I decided I wanted to try project management. The relationship I established with Mashburn allowed me to pursue that opportunity, and I went to work with them in 2004.

What advice would you give to others interested in the construction industry?

I think field experience is really hard to beat. You can be book smart and read all of the management books, but if you don't know how a building is put together you're doing yourself a disservice.

If you're in high school, contact a vocational school and find something you like whether it's electrical, mechanical or carpentry. They can help guide you and direct you as to what your goals are. If you're coming into things later in life, certainly the community colleges can put you in a better position and build on opportunity in the construction industry. You'll also make contacts ... so community colleges are a good place for school and to network.

From a management standpoint, most general contractors require a college degree and some academic background in construction. There are many strong possibilities whether it's a community college or a university. Once you get started you can decide where you want to go — remain a tradesperson and stay in the field or become a superintendent and oversee the construction. Or you can become a project manager and get into the contract and the financial aspects — do the behind-the-scenes management of a project. All three are very rewarding positions, and it just comes down to personal preference.

Mashburn Construction has nearly finished Portside Center, a $4.3-million, 38,000-square-foot Class A office building in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Located just off I-526, Portside Center offers the largest office space to date in the rapidly growing corridor between Mt. Pleasant and Daniel Island.

David Teague, project manager, and Robert Hunter, project superintendent, say that this is a typical project for Columbia, South Carolina-based Mashburn Construction. "The finished core area on the floors feature oak trim and ceramic tile," says Teague. "The shell spaces for the balance of the building allow for tenant upfit, and HVAC distribution and plumbing rough-ins (have been installed) for future use."

Started in November 2005, the project has gone smoothly. A soil study determined that piles were not needed, and the building sits on a concrete foundation with a turn down slab. Mashburn encountered water and unsuitable soils when excavating for the elevator pits. To correct the problem, they excavated out an additional 6 feet and remediated the soil with 57 stone. The only other challenge was working without electricity for the 10 months of the project. "We powered this entire job off of generators," says Teague. "We used a trailer generator for primary power and smaller generators for the trades."

The building also features a structural steel frame, a concrete second floor deck, clear anodized curtain wall, and a standing seam roof with a TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof membrane.

Mashburn is currently completing the curtain wall system. The parking lot has been paved and striped, and sidewalks and landscaping will be finished by the end of December.