The IBEW has relationships with electrical contractors around the country. But those relationships often extend beyond the contractor and reach further out into the community. IBEW Local 252 has cultivated relationships within the community for decades, one of the strongest being with the University of Michigan. IBEW Local 252 and Huron Valley Electric was on the job at the U of M for over a year, building a beautiful high-rise dorm just two blocks from campus, the Foundry Lofts Tower.
Here in Ann Arbor, for students attending the University of Michigan, dorms aren’t for everyone.
Following trends in urban development, high rise apartments and lofts are going up all around downtown. It’s occupants? Mostly U of M students and faculty.
This is the Foundry Lofts Tower that is only two blocks down from campus. The $65 million project is 14 stories high with 210 units.
Erica McClaugherty sat down with IBEW Local 252 Business Manager Tim Hutchins and Huron Valley Electric team members to discuss the project:
Hi, and welcome to another feature story here on Hour Power, I’m Erica McClaugherty. Local 252 in Ann Arbor, MI is not new to high-rise apartment buildings. They also have had a long-standing work relationship with the University of Michigan.
So it was a perfect partnership between the Local and Huron Valley Electric to take care of all the electrical needs of this luxury high-rise.
It’s been over a year that 252 has been on the job and business manager Tim Hutchins says high-rise buildings are becoming more popular and his local is prepared for the work.
Tim Hutchins, Business Manager, IBEW Local 252: “What we primarily have is a lot of institutional work as well as small private businesses as well as a lot of housing. And what they are leaning towards now is high-rise housing and local 252 is on the forefront of making sure we build that at the highest standards in the county.”
Students will enjoy a state of the art fitness center, self-serve coffee bar, pool and hot tub, trendy bedroom units with exposed walls to give them an “industrial feel”. And for those harsh winters, just park your car in the underground heated garage. Huron Valley Electric says Local 252 gave them the best of the best to pull it all off.
Paul Petrick, Foreman, Huron Valley Electric: “The skill level of the people that I get out here is incredible. Even the first year apprentices which back in the days use to be kids with no experience, now we get first year apprentices that have good work ethics and our local is good at screening the ones that come into the program. We get some top quality guys and the journeyman are second to none in my opinion.”
Tim Hutchins, Business Manager, IBEW Local 252: “We have bench mark training here at local 252 that sets the mark for both safety and professionalism and well as the skills that are needed to do this complex construction.”
This is also one of the first projects that Huron Valley Electric brought in the primary power themselves.
Paul Petrick, Foreman, Huron Valley Electric: “So Edison stopped at the property line and we set our own switching gear and our own 4800 volt transformer. We have a bus duct going up both sides of the building, which then feeds the big distribution panel, which feeds every apartment panel. So we do the main trunk line, the backbone of electrical for the building, all common spaces, corridors, the entire garage and entire ground floor were made by us.”
Harry Hutchison, 5th Year Apprentice, IBEW Local 252: “Since I’ve been here we have done lighting, ruffed in walls, I got put on a lot of rigid. A lot of lighting, heating, motor starters and boiler work.
Jacob Church, Journeyman, IBEW Local 252: “For the most part I ran the fire alarm so I ran a crew that installed the fire alarm systems here. I just love doing the big jobs; you see more and get to do a little bit of everything. That’s probably my favorite part.”
Harry Hutchison, 5th Year Apprentice, IBEW Local 252: “The favorite part is that it’s mostly been inside for the winter!”
Paul Petrick, Foreman, Huron Valley Electric: “It’s a monster, it’s a HUGE building. It’s got a foot print so that’s kind of cool.”
What’s huge is the relationships between IBEW Local 252 has built to continue to get great work with both urban development and with this university, relationships that just seem to get stronger every year.
Reporting for IBEW Hour Power, I’m Erica McClaugherty.