Careers in Construction Month - Superintendent Gary Hauptmann
Last but not least, we sat down with Superintendent Gary Hauptmann who is currently working on the Kenner Discovery Arts & Athletic Performance Center to discuss his career in construction.
Q: Tell me about your construction career so far. Where did you start out and where are you now?
A: I started out about 30 years ago as a laborer in stud line construction. I moved on from there and became a metal stud framer and dry wall hanger and did that for several years. I had the opportunity to work with Landis on the Shell project and I really meshed with the team. About a year later I ran into the Landis team again working on the 425 Notre Dame project and that was when I knew Landis Construction was where I wanted to work. I was hired in 2015 as an Assistant Superintendent. Starting out as an Asst. Superintendent was my plan because I knew the magnitude of the projects Landis takes on which made me nervous, and I told myself, “Man, those are some huge jobs and some big shoes to fill.” I mentored under great Superintendents for a few years and was soon promoted to Superintendent myself.
Q: What is the role of a Superintendent?
A: I coordinate things. I guess you could say, I shuffle the dice. I move things around and figure out on a day-to-day basis: How can we progress with this project today? How can we make sure to maintain the work schedule we have?
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: It’s the reward of accomplishing the build. Looking back and knowing that, I helped build that, or That was my project, just feels great. I still drive around the city pointing out the buildings that I had the opportunity to work on. My favorite jobs to work on are schools because they are used forever. So many children use what we built to develop their own skills for the future.
Q: What has been your favorite project to work on and why?
A: My favorite project so far was The Troubadour Hotel. There was so much involved between the metal stud framing to the exterior façade. It was the old Rault Center that caught on fire years ago. It was a 17- or 18-floor building that had so much history within it. Seeing what it was like when we first started the project to where it was when we stepped off the site—to me it was incredible seeing what we turned it into.
Q: What has been your biggest learning experience thus far?
A: QCs...going back to QC things. Always, always go back and check the dimensions.
Q: What would you say to someone thinking about starting a construction career?
A: I think it’s a great field to be in. You are given the opportunity to build something that will last for generations. If you want to be proud of what you are doing every day, come build something with us. I believe you learn more working on a project and learning from the mistakes that you can’t necessarily make in a classroom environment. Being out in the field is your education, you will learn more using your hands than you ever will with any book. Get into this field and be ready to get your hands dirty and be proud of what you are helping to build.