75 Stories: Jim Anderson, Superintendent

2021 marks the 75th Anniversary for Clark Construction Company. To celebrate, we’re using our employee’s voices to explain the impact Clark has made to ourselves, fellow teammates, communities, and clients. This is Jim’s story.

St. Louis Prison

I was still working as a carpenter at the time.  Some of us were involved in pouring the first footings on the project and were the last to leave after millwork, hardware, and punch list were complete.  We had a great crew of guys who worked well together, challenged each other every day, competed in spirit and led confidently.  It looks like a motley crew from a distance, but there are very sharp guys in this group. They taught me an awful lot from some of the older carpenters at the time to Spike, Jeff, and Bernie, the superintendents, all the way up to Jake.  There are too many stories intermingled into the two plus years we were on this project (at and after work) that it’s too hard to just nail any single one story down.  There could probably be a book or a sitcom written about this project.

In early 2000s, most of the crew from the St. Louis Prison project was sent to Ionia to build a very similar new prison there.  What stands out about this project was that this was the last project I worked on as a carpenter for Clark.  I became a superintendent not long after.  As this project was winding down, Jake told us that the self- perform work was going to be slowing down and that if any of us aspired to be a superintendent, he would be glad to show anyone interested some things from the management side.  Many of us had no idea what an RFI even was at that point. We started to spend a couple mornings each week arriving at the jobsite at 4:30am. Jake would be there waiting with a slue of topics he wanted to cover that day. He ran through everything including initial drawing review, job set up and logistics, scheduling, etc.  Jake went well out of his way to help several of us further our career at Clark. When I call him, he always takes the time to give me advice and/or share any helpful experiences. I will always be grateful for his tutelage.

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The St. Louis prison crew, 1997.