David Parker: Bird Construction and Stuart Olson offering customers the best of two worlds


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Moving up the ladder in the construction industry requires experience, education and a strong ability to communicate with people at all levels of construction teams, while demonstrating a high level of organization.

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Jeremy Boldt, currently vice president and district manager for Bird Construction, certainly started off on the right foot by pushing wheelbarrows. The education part was completed by earning a degree in civil engineering at the University of Calgary which helped him to join Bird right after in 1998.

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From engineering intern — which did include doing all kinds of laboring jobs — he was rewarded with a position of project co-ordinator and became a project manager in 2003, and then in 2010 was promoted to operations manager for the Alberta Commercial District.

Boldt’s experience during those years rewarded him with some exciting projects that Bird was entrusted to build. They include working on the Fluor Daniel head office, the rehabilitation of the Northern and Southern Jubilee auditoria, Wing Kei Senior Supportive Living Facility Phase II, the $46 million Canadian Blood Services new building, and the 160-bed Providence Care Centre.

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In 2020, Boldt was appointed to the executive position of assistant district manager, Southern Alberta, where he successfully led the integration of the Stuart Olson and Bird organizations.

The venture brought together two 100-year-old firms.

Bird’s history dates back to 1920 when it opened for business in Moose Jaw, Sask. It recorded its first one-million-dollar project with a contract for the expansion of the CPR depot/station in Regina in the 1930s. It has since been a big player in the Alberta market, responsible for the construction of some iconic buildings that include the Maxwell-Bates-designed St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Stampede Corral, designed by architect JM Stevenson and opened to lots of fanfare as the largest arena west of Toronto in 1950.

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In 1955 Bird built Rideau Towers, Calgary’s first post-war luxury high-rise apartments, four buildings that at the time were the tallest to be constructed using the lift slab technique.

Today, it provides construction services to a broad scope of clients and is recognized as one of Canada’s leading builders with offices coast to coast.

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Stuart Olson is a trusted partner in the public, private and industrial construction industries operating from head office in Calgary and other office operations in western Canada, Ontario and the Territories.

The new entity is successfully using the complementary skill sets of the two companies in the design-build and construction management sides. But for the time being Boldt says both names will be kept, although subtle changes are being made that include Bird’s new logo that incorporates its familiar green and Stuart Olson’s orange with its overarching dash.

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Bird’s corporate headquarters remain in Toronto but president and CEO Teri McKibbon resides in the Calgary area with an office in Stuart Olson’s WestMount Corporate Campus location along Richard Road SW

In Calgary, Bird currently has a staff of 120 salaried employees and a further 80 to 100 skilled craftspeople working on job sites.

Boldt says those numbers will grow as the amount of work continues to grow.

Currently, awarded projects include the $225 million Phyto Organix pea processing net-zero plant to be built on 15 acres in Strathmore. Bird has built many schools and has another five on the books valued at $200 million, and work is underway on renovations to G-Wing at Mount Royal University.

The company is also enjoying a boom in business in its Kelowna office with projects for the Okanagan College in excess of $100 million in aggregate.

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Boldt says uniting the pieces of the puzzle of two large companies is providing the best of both worlds for clients, and providing that one plus one can add up to far more than two.

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Adam Hayes and John Engbloom, both former principals with Cresa Calgary, have joined Avison Young’s local office as Principals, Occupier Services. They will be responsible for helping occupiers reach their goals with their office space and other corporate facilities, offering integrated solutions by collaborating with the comprehensive occupier services lines within Avison Young, such as workplace consulting and project management, all while ensuring a seamless experience for clients .

David Parker’s columns appear regularly in the Herald. Read more online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at info@davidparker.ca

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