For years following its recognition as a four-year university on July 1, 2008, Utah Valley University in Orem has experienced immense growth in student population. In fact, for the 2019-2020 school year, UVU saw a 4.5 percent increase in student population from the previous fall, bringing the student population total to 41,728. Out of that number, 27,530 are full-time students, a huge number of which are looking for a place to live close to campus.
The Hub Apartments.
The Hub is a $91 million student housing property that will eventually include two six-story residential buildings, a parking garage and amenities that include a swimming pool, fitness center, a lounge and other community gathering spaces.
After initial attempts to get the project completed were not working, Wasatch Commercial Builders was asked to take over and finish the job, despite losing six months of build time.
“After several meetings with ownership, I accepted taking on this challenging project only if I could get the right ‘A Team’ to build it with me,” says Scott Overman, president of Wasatch Commercial Builders.
That “A Team” included professionals at Clyde Companies and Pikus Concrete — among others.
“The build has not been without challenges, but I could not be more happy than I am with the partnership that we have with Pikus Concrete, Geneva Rock, Sunpro and all of our other building partners,” Scott Overman says. “Without them, we don’t have a successful project.”
Central to this “A Team” — and the success of Geneva Rock — is Pikus Concrete. Pikus Concrete is the largest concrete contractor in the state and utilizes Geneva Rock material on all of the company’s projects.
“Five years ago, we decided to go exclusively with Geneva Rock material,” says Scott Adams, operations manager for Pikus Concrete, based in Lehi, Utah. “This decision was based on two things: first, the personal relationships we’ve formed with their team; second, their ability to consistently supply our demand, which is significant.”
“We have a lot of subcontractors that we have to worry about,” says Kirk Allred, estimator and sales manager for Pikus Concrete. “Geneva Rock isn’t one of them. They deliver. They’re consistent.”
The HUB was one such project. The parking structure features mat footings between four-feet and five-feet thick. The slab band post tension deck design means the material needs to be consistent, specific and predictable.
With Geneva Rock, it’s not just the material that has been consistent, but the people behind the material.
“This work is hard enough, and the hours can be cranky,” Scott Adams says. “It is good to work with good people. They are responsive to our needs. They’ve made adjustments to their organization to help meet our needs. That means a lot.”
“We used to have two separate dispatchers — one for our Salt Lake crews and one for Utah County,” says Ryan Wolsey, sales representative with Geneva Rock. “Now, there is a single combined dispatch center. It makes it easier to get the deliveries where and when we need them. We’d been talking about it for a long time, but the work we do for Pikus was one of the big factors in us making that change.”
While the projects can be challenging and multi-faceted, this relationship means that even when things get rough, the two sides work through things with a solutions-based approach.
“No matter what the issue is, I know there is someone at Geneva that I can call and we’ll work through it together,” Scott says. “I deal with them like they are members of our own company.”
It’s a partnership that contractors — like those working on the Hub — appreciate.