Blog

Thoughts from the field

The key players at VPCS have a lot to say about the state of the industry, because we’ve been in the thick of it for years. Read current and archived posts for insights and perspectives.

Jenny Choi on Working, Playing, and Dreaming

Jenny Choi on Working, Playing, and Dreaming

To say that Jenny Choi is a rising star here at VPCS is a bit of an understatement. In just the three years since she joined us in 2018, she has gone from being an administrative assistant to serving as a project manager within the $297 million Pleasanton Unified...

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Controlling School Site Rumors

Controlling School Site Rumors

Managing construction projects means tracking an enormous number of details. It also means communicating information to key audiences when those details affect them. On K-12 school sites, we share this responsibility with districts, site staff and other local...

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25 Years of VPCS

25 Years of VPCS

VPCS is thrilled and humbled to be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. We’ve kicked off the festivities with an updated company logo and a spruced-up website, now expanded to include rich details on our portfolio, our team and more. Please take a tour to see...

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Kicking Back with Ray Green

Kicking Back with Ray Green

Senior Project Manager Ray Green has been part of the VPCS family for many years in several different capacities, currently focused on our work for the Napa Valley Unified School District. In this Q-and-A, Ray tells us a bit about the arc of his career, his history...

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Taking Stock

Taking Stock

As we close out 2020, we reflect back on this unusual and challenging year. In spite of all the difficulties, we remain grateful for so much: our families, our friends, our community, and our work. At VPCS, we feel fortunate to have been able to operate without...

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A New Level of Sustainability

A New Level of Sustainability

Like Van Pelt Construction Services, the green building movement came to be in the 1990s. The growth of our firm has paralleled the growth of sustainable practices in the construction industry – particularly on school sites. In fact, our founders, Mark and Mike Van...

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Program Management: One Client’s Perspective

Program Management: One Client’s Perspective

In 2016, VPCS was proud to receive the program management (PM) assignment for the San Rafael City Schools’ (SRCS) $269 million district-wide improvements funded by bond Measures A and B. Since then, our team has worked side by side with district staff, architects,...

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Mid-COVID Project Spotlight: Napa Junction Elementary

Mid-COVID Project Spotlight: Napa Junction Elementary

In last month’s blog, we took a big-picture look at what it’s been like to adjust to coronavirus-related changes in our industry. Here, we’re digging into the particulars of how the pandemic has affected a single project: the all-new Napa Junction Elementary School in...

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Pandemic Pivots

Pandemic Pivots

The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we’ve all done things, both at work and at home. Here at VPCS, we’re fortunate to be part of an industry deemed essential per California’s directives. Because of that, we’ve been allowed to continue working virtually...

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Notes from the Home Front

Notes from the Home Front

Like professionals across the country and around the world, VPCS employees have been working mostly from home during the coronavirus outbreak. It’s been a bit of a transition, but our people have always been a dedicated and hard-working bunch. Not even a...

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Finding Our Way to the Other Side of COVID-19

Finding Our Way to the Other Side of COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected individuals, communities and economies around the world. Never in our lifetimes have we experienced such an abrupt shift in how we go about our daily lives and conduct our business. At VPCS, we take our commitments to our projects...

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Warm Wishes from VPCS!

Warm Wishes from VPCS!

Even amid the busiest moments of the holidays, we remind ourselves to pause and focus on what matters most: the people who surround us at home and at work. We are immensely grateful for all branches of the VPCS family for allowing us to do what we love, day after day....

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Pushing Contractors Without Harming Relationships

Pushing Contractors Without Harming Relationships

Construction project managers (PMs) like me are responsible for tracking all the large and small details related to the job (or jobs) we’re overseeing. We’re the bridge between the owner and the people who design, engineer and build the projects. It’s up to us to make...

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Rock-Solid Detail Work

Rock-Solid Detail Work

My official title here at VPCS is Administrative Assistant. But sometimes I think I should change it to Mortar Assistant, given all the ways I fill in the gaps. When people ask me what I do at work, I usually answer with a very enthusiastic, “Whatever’s needed!” In...

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Let’s Get Fiscal: Excellence in Bond Accounting

Let’s Get Fiscal: Excellence in Bond Accounting

When I was hired by Mark Van Pelt, a little over three years ago, I never would have imagined that my responsibilities would include categorizing, tracking and reconciling budgets totaling more than $268 million dollars. After all, I have a literature degree and I...

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OSHPD B’Gosh

OSHPD B’Gosh

Around here, I’m known as the VPCS “oshpod guy.” That’s because I’m considered the in-house expert on all the regulations related to California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, commonly referred to by the acronym OSHPD. This is the agency that...

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Keeping the Beat While Juggling Multiple Projects

Keeping the Beat While Juggling Multiple Projects

Even the most talented percussionists, the most eloquent string players, and brass instrumentalists with world-class cardio strength aren’t much use without a conductor. The conductor pulls those individually talented elements together to produce the symphony. That’s...

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A Career Highlight: George Mark Children’s House

A Career Highlight: George Mark Children’s House

Last month, my (younger!) brother Mark wrote a piece for the VPCS blog reflecting on his first 40 years in the construction industry. It’s hard to believe that we’ve both been in this business for as long as we have. I suppose one of the reasons the time has flown is...

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A Polaroid Guy in a Hashtag World

A Polaroid Guy in a Hashtag World

I started my career in construction on June 16, 1979 at 7:00 a.m. (The photo above was taken that very week.) Since then, I’ve collected paychecks from two companies: Lathrop Construction Associates and Van Pelt Construction Services, the latter of which I co-founded...

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Keeping the Community in the Loop

Keeping the Community in the Loop

There are always two very important relationships that we honor and nurture when VPCS works on school projects. The first is the one between us and our client, the school district. And the second is the one between the district and the taxpayers, who are basically our...

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Season’s greetings from VPCS!

Season’s greetings from VPCS!

Van Pelt Construction Services is a family-run business that has always thought of clients and colleagues as members of our extended clan. During this time of year especially, we offer our warmest wishes to every branch of the VPCS family. May your hearth be warm...

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An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

Stop. Reflect. Give thanks. These are always important practices, but are especially relevant this time of year. Here are a few reasons I feel thankful these days: During the recession, my brother Mike and I suffered through more than a few sleepless nights as we...

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Thoughts on the Growth of Green

Thoughts on the Growth of Green

Sustainable design and construction practices are becoming more widespread. Architects, engineers and builders are adapting to and embracing green approaches across all market segments. Building standards and codes are also changing to accommodate sustainability. We...

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