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PCC graduate returns to help build new facilities
Photos and Story by James Hill
by James HillThe motto of her company is "Exceed customer’s expectations."Sharon Crymes and her company Mechanical, Inc. have been exceeding expectations at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus for quite some time. The company installed all of the HVAC (air conditioning) systems at the new Public Services Education Building.The existing facility is getting a renovation, plus an addition. Mechanical, Inc. has almost completed the $300,000 HVAC component of the project, on time and on budget. "Our work was taking down old duct work and putting up new," Crymes said. "We installed new sheet metal and equipment for the HVAC system. The barreled roof design of the grocery store has posed some unique challenges that our crew has risen to with a positive, innovative attitude."For proof of their work ethic, all you have to do is ask the people she works with."Their attention to detail, promptness in maintaining a construction schedule and the abilities of its employees were a contributing factor to an on-time completion for this project," said Ed Whitford, project superintendent for Walsh Construction. "I wouldn’t hesitate to use their services again."The 29,000-square-foot Public Services Education Building is a renovation of the former Renaissance Market site on North Killingsworth Street and Mississippi Avenue. The two-block site will house several PCC public service training programs, including fire science, emergency medical services, 9-1-1 dispatch training, and criminal justice. The project is part of the $57 million in bond projects earmarked for urban Cascade Campus. (District voters approved a $144 million bond measure for PCC in November of 2000 for new space, technology upgrades and repairs of existing facilities.)The building will become a cornerstone for a rapidly expanding campus, thanks to contractors like Mechanical Inc."We are committed to this community," said John Crymes. "Our employees and office staff are the foundation of this company and they have made the commitment to make this company a success."The company has worked not only on PCC projects but has worked with the Port of Portland, Fred Meyer, Multnomah County, Albertsons, OHSU, and David Douglas and La Salle high schools. Sharon Crymes doesn’t want to grow into a huge corporation, but does want to satisfy the basic needs of its business and employees.It’s no wonder Sharon, whose company is also working with Emerick Construction on the Technology Classroom Building at the Sylvania Campus, takes pride in PCC projects. Crymes is a former student and graduate of PCC and her husband John is a retired mechanical engineering technology instructor and former department chair of that program. Her three children also attended the college."It is exciting to work on PCC projects, especially with my many connections to the college," Sharon said. "We have a long history of working with PCC in our family. And we’ll be bidding on more projects at the college in the future."With the MWESB initiative, the college has allocated $8.7 million to date in contract money toward women, minority or emerging small businesses for the construction projects. In addition, minority and females make up nearly one-third of all apprentices on the PCC construction project sites. As of July 2004, more than 1,900 MWESB contracts have been allocated.