Teaming With a Vision like a Relay Race

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The thousands of types of stone and brick that O&G supplies to construction projects beautifies all kinds of places – hospitals, estates, hardscapes, retail locations, municipal buildings, office parks. The list goes on and on, and, over the years, it’s included numerous universities and schools, both public and private.

At The Gunnery, an independent prep school in Washington, Connecticut, stonework figured prominently in the exterior walls and the grand foyer of the brand new Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center that O&G recently completed.

The process of getting the right stone for the Center began with the company’s Masonry Division and Sales Representative Scott Lockwood. Through meetings with project architect The S/L/A/M Collaborative, he was able to develop stone sample boards showing different blends of stone finishes, colors and shapes. 

The boards had been built by project mason, Midstate Masons, and O&G’s Marc Greco. These boards, each about three by three feet, let S/L/A/M see and touch actual stone layups. The stone selected was indigenous to Connecticut to look “in place” when installed. There was, as Masonry Division Assistant Vice President Bob Rizzo puts it, some back and forth with the architect over the colors and cuts. With “a pinch of this, a pinch of that,” says Rizzo, they hit the architect’s mark.

O&G then shifted attention to the quarries and a stone finisher, Getty Granite, to cut and supply stone in the time frame and quantities needed – about 7,000SF that included square, rectangular and ashlar cuts of full bed and thin stone.

O&G’s Wayne Zagrodnik, Facility Manager in the Torrington Mason Store, coordinated deliveries to the job site. The few issues surfacing with the product were resolved quickly, without the fuss of chasing down a web of suppliers and subcontractors. O&G’s Project Superintendent at The Gunnery, George Givens, appreciated that O&G was in the driver’s seat in stone supply. “We were able to give the project the benefit of a unified front,” he says.

In Farmington, O&G is back at Miss Porter’s this spring and will be using brick facing on their new “Main building” addition, with some Connecticut brownstone that was popular when the building was first constructed as a hotel in the middle 1800s. Teamed with Centerbrook Architects & Planners, care is being taken to source new brick that blends with Main’s existing walls, and brownstone that is colored, cut and finished like the original.

The process of moving from vision to application is like a track and field relay race. That’s how Rizzo sees it. “The architect starts with a vision for the stone. They pass that baton to us and we source the stone and supply it to the site, and we pass the baton to the mason. The mason installs and passes the baton to the owner for the final leg – a finished project that fits the look they imagined.”