Woman-Owned Business and Women-Led Project Leads to Success

Woman-Owned Business and Women-Led Project Leads to Success

The number of women in the construction industry has risen steadily since 2016. Today, women make up almost 10% of the industry’s workforce in the United States. Showcasing the roles women have in designing facilities, developing and managing construction projects and building communities, helps grow diversity in the workforce. This year, Women in Construction Week is March 3-9, 2024.

While many women work on Varco Pruden projects daily and contribute to the success of their companies and ours, a unique project in 2023 was women-led from inception through completion. Mary’s Training Center, a new training facility in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, is owned by a woman. The project manager, as well as the lead designer, are also women.

Jessica Kosoff, EIT, the project manager from VP Builder Arthur Funk & Sons, led the coordination and design of the pre-engineered metal building. Kosoff, a seasoned professional with nearly three decades of experience in the construction industry, played a pivotal role in turning the vision of building owner Mary Schaefer Driscoll into reality. From the project’s earliest stages until its opening, Kosoff served as the project manager, ensuring that Driscoll’s dream took shape even before the site purchase was finalized.

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Reflecting on the early stages of the project, Kosoff recalls their initial meetings when the details were yet to materialize. Driscoll’s determination left a lasting impression on Kosoff. “Mary knew what she wanted and was driven to see that come to life,” she shares. “It was my responsibility to ensure that it happened seamlessly, adhering to both the timeline and budget.”

Kosoff’s commitment extended beyond mere project management; she meticulously oversaw every aspect, from securing mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors, to working with the client’s interior designer on finishes. Recognizing the importance of even the smallest details, Kosoff ensured that each element aligned with Driscoll’s overarching goals. Her role extended beyond the technicalities, as she emerged as a connector, bringing various stakeholders together to orchestrate a cohesive and successful project.

“This project serves as a perfect example of people coming together to help realize a vision, overcome hurdles, and achieve something significant,” Kosoff affirms. “Assisting a client in fulfilling their dreams was truly a gratifying and enriching experience for everyone involved.”

For Mary’s Training Center, the Varco Pruden Rigid Frame was utilized to achieve a clear span over the turf space. Since the turf building had a large span, its foundation required significant design. Natalie Bird, PE, and principal at WZG Structural Consulting Engineers, and her team proposed a couple of design ideas to work within the project’s budget. One important element was the appearance of a flat roof at the office building. A parapet wall with a gutter box was designed to conceal the pitched roof over this portion of the building.

“The foundation design was a little more complicated than a traditional pre-engineered building due to several factors, including the large span of the building frame, the sloped site, and lack of a traditional slab on grade due to the turf. WZG used a concrete tie beam across the width of the building to resist the thrust of the frame to tie the building foundations together,” shares Bird. She and her team were integral to the project’s success.

For a durable and low-maintenance roof, the Varco Pruden SSR™ Standing Seam Roof system was used. The Varco Pruden Vee Rib™ Wall system was used as an economical yet aesthetically appeasing wall option. This project included 31,832 sq. ft. of turf space and 7,029 sq. ft. of office space.

Mary’s Health & Fitness, which includes a new training center facility, caters to the athlete population and is a one-stop-shop for everything an athlete needs – turf, weight room, recovery, nutrition, sports psychology, tutoring, and more. The facility offers individual and team training; Sportsmetrics™, a program designed to reduce the risk of knee injuries; post-physical therapy return-to-play training; sports clinics; and musculoskeletal assessments.

“I am very grateful to have worked with the experienced teams from Arthur Funk & Sons, WZG Structural Engineering, and Varco Pruden who took my vision and made it a reality,” shares Driscoll.

Mary’s Training Center was recognized as a Miscellaneous category winner in the Varco Pruden 2024 Hall of Fame contest.

“This award is a testament to the collaborative spirit that permeated every aspect of the project. Arthur Funk & Sons extend its thanks to Varco Pruden for the honor and to everyone connected to the project; this achievement is shared by each individual who played a role,” says Kosoff.

“Collaborating with this exceptionally skilled, female-led team was truly a gift. Natalie epitomizes the essence of a consummate professional, consistently delivering outstanding results. Beyond her professionalism, Natalie’s remarkable creativity sets her apart, making her one of the most adept individuals I’ve encountered in thinking outside the box to surmount challenges,” shares Kosoff.

She continues, “I also appreciate Mary’s unwavering perseverance and her remarkable ability to inspire and drive teams toward achieving their goals. Mary’s capacity to set high standards and motivate teams to exceed them left a lasting impression on me that I will take to other projects.”

We celebrate the women who envisioned, designed, and managed this project and brought the building to life, and we celebrate all women in the construction and manufacturing industries. Increasing workforce diversity makes the communities we build stronger.

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