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Western Pennsylvania Hospital News, November 2003

Cavcon Construction Continues Family Tradition
Written by John Fries


Construction has long been in Michael Philips' blood. The grandson of Frank Cavalier, an Italian stonemason who left Europe in the 1930Õs for life in Westmoreland County, Philips literally grew up surrounded by hard hats and heavy machinery.

Today, as president and CEO of Cavcon Contruction in Greensburg, he continues his family's legacy. The small company his grandfather founded in Greensburg six decades ago has evolved into one of the regionÕs busiest and most respected construction firms.

The company was founded in 1984 by Philips and his cousins Jim Thomas (vice president) and Bud Cavalier (secretary), and has firmly established itself as a leader in the regional medical building business. CavconÕs noteworthy accomplishments over the past 19 years include building the operating room, outpatient center and birthing area at Frick Hospital, and the birthing area, dialysis area, medical office building, and a 20,000-square foot entranceway at Jeannette Hospital.

The company has also been tapped over the years to handle numerous projects at Westmoreland Regional Hospital, including the rehab and oncology departments, birthing and womensÕ area, operating rooms, patient rooms, ICU renovations, surgical and lab areas, short stay unit and many others.

These and other projects have helped build something very important to Cavcon--an excellent reputation that, according to Philips, has been responsible for a considerable amount of repeat business.

"Building health care facilities requires a highly specialized approach and understanding of the working environment," said Philips. "There are many important factors to consider, such as environmental issues, cleanliness, and regulations that are specific to the industry. We understand these factors, along with the need to work in as unobtrusive a way as possible."

Cavcon's clients appreciate what the company brings to the table. "We have worked with Cavcon for the past 20 years," said Daniel K. Robison, project manager at Westmoreland Regional Hospital. "They're a big contractor with a small town feel, and have always been there for us. They do the small jobs with the same fervor and level of expertise as they do the big jobs. That's part of why we go back to them time and time again."

Being among the best at what you do often means meeting challenging situations head on and handling them without breaking a sweat. ThatÕs exactly the scenario when a construction crew sets up shop in a busy hospital public area. To ensure that the work will be accomplished efficiently with a minimum of inconvenience to the patients and the hospital staff, Cavcon works closely with its hospital clients to plan logistics.

"When we were building the operating rooms at Westmoreland Regional Hospital, we did everything possible to maintain normal traffic patterns," said Philips. "We also had to maintain the sterilization of the area. Things went very well. We also had to work some off-shift hours, but we completed the project on time."

Meeting deadlines is a way of life for Cavcon. In addition to its hospital work, the company has built, enlarged, and expanded a wide range of structures. CavconÕs portfolio includes a variety of projects at athletic facilities, including St. Clair Country Club, the Pittsburgh Field Club, and the Diamond Run and Pittsburgh golf clubs. Specifically, the jobs have ranged from building pro shops and racquet courts to dining areas and additions to existing facilities.

Cavcon continues to break new ground and build new structures, sometimes working in tandem with sister company Westmoreland Construction, a commercial real estate company thatÕs also under the family umbrella.

Michael Phillips is proud of the work his company does, and the tradition of excellence heÕs continuing. Frank Cavalier would be proud, too.

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Copyright © 2003 by John Fries, Pittsburgh, PA.
Please direct all correspondence to JohnFries@aol.com.