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Centex Rooney Takes on Role as Mentor

Wed January 26, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Debra Wood

For 15 years, one of Florida’s largest construction firms has guided an Orlando minority business, helping the newer company become a serious player in Central Florida’s construction marketplace.

“We’ve been able to contribute to a smaller construction business to get them to a higher level,” said Al Petrangeli, senior vice president and central and north Florida division manager for Centex Rooney Construction Co. “The relationship provides Construct Two [Group] with the opportunity to participate in projects it would not otherwise be able to build.”

Centex Rooney first worked with the minority firm, Construct Two, during construction of Orange County’s 33rd Street Correctional Facility. Construct Two had the contract for window glazing. The team also spent four years working together on the Orlando International Airport. Centex Rooney provided mobilization funds and assistance with payroll, if needed.

Centex Rooney has assisted Construct Two with bids on solo projects and with bonding requirements. The relationship has enabled the minority firm to grow, to take on bigger projects and to become a viable independent player.

Construct Two helps ensure that the larger company maximizes its minority business and provides additional reliable workers. Centex Rooney craftsmen perform much of the company’s concrete and carpentry work. Centex Rooney gains flexibility and responsiveness as it mentors Construct Two employees in accounting, management, marketing and field superintending.

“At the end of a job, Construct Two has people whose skill level has been improved,” Petrangeli said. “We provide management software, so they can see how we provide efficient construction management.”

Centex Rooney is not concerned about Construct Two using the knowledge it gains to bid against its mentor.

“We have a mutual understanding,” he said. “We do not compete against each other.”

The joint venture recently snagged the largest construction project in the history of the University of Central Florida (UCF), a nearly $48-million construction management contract to build a new student housing complex. The first, 800-bed phase of the Academic Villages will break ground in the first quarter of 2000 and will be completed in May 2001.

Centex Rooney and Construct Two will complete the second phase of the entire 44,409-square-meter (493,438 sq. ft.), 1,600-bed complex in May 2002.

Centex Rooney Vice President Rob Baker will serve as project executive. Site earthwork and utilities scopes of work will bid in January 2000.

The team’s last UCF project, a 13,500-square-meter (150,000 sq. ft.) Residence Hall received an Eagle Award from the local chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The companies also received ABC’s 1998 Project of the Year award for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

“Construct Two owner Derrick Wallace and I have become personal friends,” Petrangeli said. “He hustles and is a go-getter. It’s fun working with people like that.”

Centex Rooney is a subsidiary of Centex Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, and has been building in Central Florida for more than 40 years. The company specializes in public and private sector projects, including educational facilities, hotels and theme parks, criminal justice centers, office space, and retail centers. Centex Rooney received this year’s ABC Project of the Year award for the Walt Disney World All Star Movies Resort, a back-to-back honor.

Construct Two is Florida’s largest African-American construction management firm. Inc. Magazine recently named Construct Two one of America’s fastest growing companies. The magazine ranked the company 31 on its 1999 list, based on Construct Two’s five-year growth rate of greater than 4,000 percent.

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