Catalano Construction Inc.
Catalano Construction’s commitment to its values has earned it loyal clients in Rhode Island.
By Alan Dorich
Catalano Construction Inc. sets itself apart with a personal approach to its work, Vice President Jason Catalano says. “We pay more attention to the details and our relationships,” he declares. “I’d rather make a little less profit on a project than have it not establish a relationship where an owner comes to us first.”
Based in Cumberland, R.I., the company provides a range of site construction services, including concrete work, utility installation, excavation and demolition.
Catalano’s father, Bernie Catalano, founded the company in 1989 after working for another contractor. He and his wife, Diane, initially operated it out of their home.
After two years, the Catalanos moved the company to its current location in Cumberland. When Bernie Catalano died in 2013, “I took over, we continued the projects and we maintained our employees,” Jason Catalano recalls. “The guys in the office and the guys in the field stuck by me.”
Today, Catalano Construction is not the biggest contractor in its area, but “our goal is to do what we do better than anyone else,” he says. “I hold a high value in reputation and that’s something my father worked very hard for.”
The younger Catalano strives to improve the company’s already strong reputation. “Doing the right thing is what points our compass in the right direction,” he continues. “That leads our business decisions and the projects that we go forward on. That’s the biggest value that we have.”
Catalano Construction’s recent projects include work at the Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island. “We’ve been down there for the last 12 years,” Catalano says. “We’re familiar with the area, with the protocols of the Navy and their expectations.”
The company has a $3.3 million contract for work on a
Navy Gateway Inn & Suites location at the base. “We’re doing all the excavation, utility work and capping of a previously contaminated area,” he says. “There’s a whole remedial work plan as far as dealing with new soils and having the job site capped with clean material.”
Catalano Construction also recently took the role of general contractor for a new tennis complex at Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket, R.I. Not only is the academy a repeat client, but Catalano, his father and sisters are alums of the school.
“That was probably the largest project we have done for the school itself,” he says. “It included a lot of rock removal and three sets of tiered tennis courts with retaining wall and tennis court surfacing, landscaping, drainage and flat work around the outside.”
Seventy-five percent of Catalano Construction’s projects incorporate sustainable features and the company strives to stay current with green standards. “We’re members of the U.S. Green Building Council and I’m a LEED green associate,” Jason Catalano says.
“We’re been trying to get our project managers and estimators here LEED certified,” he says, noting that the company also reuses materials when it can. “When we’re working on sites, we’re bringing materials back to our yard to crush as gravel and use on future projects.
“We try to recycle materials where financially it can save us some money,” he says. “It also can earn us LEED credits on these projects.”
At the Forefront
Catalano Construction adds new technology to its operations to “stay ahead of the curve,” Catalano says. He currently is studying for his Part 107 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) license.
“We’ve been looking to integrate drones into our workflow and use them for our progress photography and marketing purposes, as well as some kind of rough surveying,” he says, noting that the company also invested in telematics in its vehicles.
These give Catalano Construction “a better handle on our mileage reporting for federal and state requirements, as well as maintenance and intervals to curb costs on what we’re spending on equipment,” he says. “[We want] to make sure we’re getting the most value for our dollar as far as our equipment turnover.”
Catalano Construction plans to grow, but will need to bring in new people to do that. “We’re also trying to make decisions where we’re open to new ways of doing things, innovative technology solutions or different skill sets of people,” he says.
The company, he notes, needs to keep implementing technology like UAVs before they become the norm in the industry. “By being at the forefront of those things, you’re being able to be a couple steps ahead of your competitors,” he says.