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Spazzarini Construction Company: Going Strong After 90 Years of Work

Fri August 27, 2010 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams


Anthony Spazzarini and his John Deere iron being given a helping hand after getting stuck in a ditch, circa 1970.
Anthony Spazzarini and his John Deere iron being given a helping hand after getting stuck in a ditch, circa 1970.
Anthony Spazzarini and his John Deere iron being given a helping hand after getting stuck in a ditch, circa 1970. Members of the Spazzarini crew check out plans for the Public Works Garage in the town of Enfield back in 1971. Hard at work on the Avon DOT pond. Working on the Avon Route 44 project. Mark Spazzarini instructs Daniel in the use of Case iron. The Spazzirini clan is most proud of raising a good family with good values. The company’s new facility, which combined both the office and the maintenance shop.

They answered when Avon called; but they have nothing to do with cosmetics.

They built ING and the Evergreen Walk; they’ve talked the Evergreen Talk for nearly 90 years.

Spazzarini Construction Company was founded in 1921– as most earth-moving companies were after World War I– by a hard-working immigrant seeking a better life for his family.

Founder Antonio Spazzarini migrated to the United States in 1907 when President Teddy Roosevelt served as a national go-getting role model. Some 14 years later, as the 20s roared, his small trucking company began to roll.

More than 35 years later, after hard work and easier dreams in 1956, he was still supervising his better life, until his sudden death led his grandson, Anthony Spazzarini, to continue the company.

Anthony soon developed his trucking business into a small contracting business, serving various public and private clients.

Another Generation Follows

Times changed and Spazzarini generations with it. The company has always been a family venture, to this very day. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Anthony initiated his two sons, Edward and Mark, into his business. Word spread about how good they were.

Meeting this changing world, the company redeveloped itself toward total commercial building construction. Services ranged from site work and foundations to structural steel and roofing.

Amazingly, however, Anthony’s wife Judith solely staffed the office for the first 30 years.

In 1986, Spazzarini developed and built a 52-house subdivision in Enfield, Conn. In the early 1990s, company ownership began to transition to Mark and Edward, who leaned more toward heavy iron and highway construction, moving away from commercial building work.

The Spazzarini legacy has continued to grow in the competent hands of Edward and Mark. Their keen insight and business acumen have enabled them to build Spazzarini Construction Company Inc. into a multi-million dollar contracting firm that enjoys the status as one of the premier road and site contractors in Connecticut.

Serving Clients in Conn. and Mass.

Today, Spazzarini Construction Inc. is one of Connecticut’s leading providers of general contracting road construction and site preparation services. Located in Enfield, Conn., the company serves clients throughout all of north-central Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

This includes, but is not limited to, the communities of Enfield, East Windsor, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, Broad Brook, Tolland, Vernon, Rockville, Hartford and Bloomfield, in Connecticut, and Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Agawam, Chicopee, Springfield, West Springfield and Westfield, in Massachusetts.

The company’s main office is located at 38 Post Office Road, Enfield. In June 2009, Spazzarini Construction moved into a new facility, which combined both the office and the maintenance shop of the company, allowing for better flow of information.

“The new office is significantly larger than our previous office allowing for a large conference room with cutting edge presentation equipment,” said Edward Spazzarini, president of Spazzarini Construction.

“The maintenance shop in the new facility has been expanded to include more floor space to aid in the repair of equipment and the better organization of supplies, as well as an indoor wash bay to better maintain the equipment in the winter months. Our new facility also is environmentally friendly, featuring automatic lights and a heating system that runs on recycled oil.”

Spazzarini also has significant gravel pit operations on Sadds Mill Road in Ellington, Conn. Company services include heavy highway, site construction, underground utility installation, snowplowing, grading and paving and septic system installation.

Major Projects Abound

How could Antonio Spazzarini have dreamt back in 1921 that his little truck would give way to a legacy and a family firm that would help build a great many major projects?

The first of these was Evergreen Walk, a 1.2 million sq. ft. lifestyle center in South Windsor created by developer Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers. On this project, Spazzarini Construction worked as site contractor under Alabama’s Hoar Construction LLC (general contractor) Some 56 acres were cleared to make room for more than 50 upscale retailers and restaurateurs, now occupying the buildings erected for this project.

Next came the Windsor Regional Office Headquarters of ING Life Insurance & Annuity Company, a 47-acre project in Windsor. Spazzarini paired with the Boston office of Trammell Crow Company in this project, which was completed in late 2007.

Spazzarini then worked as site contractor under Regional Construction Corporation (general contractor) for the construction of the North Haven, Conn., Pavilion, an 18-acre shopping center developed for National Realty & Development Corp (NRDC). Upon completion, the project became home to 20 stores, including Target, Sports Authority and Michael’s, all acting as anchor stores for the complex.

The company was then awarded the general contract for improvements on Route 190 at the intersections of Middle Road and Palomba Road and South Road and Elm Street in Enfield. This contract was awarded and overseen by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Spazzarini is now working on the reconstruction of Avon Mountain Road, a challenging, three-year, $13 million project in Avon.

Good Reputation

David Ferraro, project engineer at ConnDOT has worked with Spazzarini frequently.

“I currently have three [out of five] active Projects here in District 4 [in Connecticut] with Spazzarini,” said Ferraro. “In general, they are a pleasure to work with. True gentlemen who really take pride in their work, which is rare these days. They are a great family-owned company that is run like the construction companies of years gone by with hardworking employees who sincerely care about the quality of work they produce.”

Two of the projects that Spazzarini has helped ConnDOT with are the rebuilding of Rte. 44, a $13.5 million job in Avon, Conn., and improvements to Rte. 10/202, a $1.7 million project in Simsbury, Conn.

“These projects [like many nowadays] have had some challenges and difficult issues to contend with and the Spazzarinis are always cooperative and one step ahead of the game working on solutions and solving problems to keep things on schedule,” added Ferraro. “I have worked with both Edward and Mark Spazzarini as they each manage different projects.”

Perhaps the company’s most unusual project was on TV.

“We volunteered our equipment and employees and some material from our gravel pit for ’Extreme Makeover – Home Edition,’ which took place in Suffield, Connecticut in 2009, on the rainiest June week on record,” recalled Edward Spazzarini.

90 Years of Growth and Change

Spazzarini Construction has worked with area companies such as Regional Construction, Purchase, N.Y.; Trammell Crow, Boston; Turner Construction, Milford, Conn.; John Moriarty & Associates, Unionville, Conn.; and Hoar Construction, Birmingham, Ala.

The company has grown from five to 50, from immediate family to extended family and beyond. In 25 years, its gross revenue also has increased tenfold.

“In 1985, our revenue was $1,585,000, compared with today, which is ten times that,” added Spazzarini. “We started out with Judith Spazzarini being the sole office employee and employing about eight workers. Today, we employ over 50, with the following office employees: Two owners, a controller, two estimators and two clerical staff.”

Longevity certainly is the key to consistency. But what makes this nine-decade company stand out? Is it service? Is it certain guarantees of timely contract work or workmanship? Is it the people?

“We take a hands-on approach, with extensive owner involvement on each and every project,” said the involved owner himself. “We also have a staff consisting of many long-term, dedicated employees, many of whom have been with us either over or approaching 20 years. This allows us to maintain an extensive knowledge base and experienced workers.”

The company president cited many loyal employees who have helped make his business so successful, including: Tod Rafferty, 24 years; Scott Richardson, 22 years; Gary Clark, 21 years; Ryan Brown, 20 years; Al Doyker, 19 years; Mario DeMauro, 18 years; Gabe Gil, 17 years; Charlie Francis, 16 years; Henry Cichon, 16 years; and 24 years for Carol Santoski in the Spazzarini office.

Such an experienced staff knows that it has to adjust over the decades, especially in challenging economic times like these.

“Due to the hands-on approach by the owners and our long-term employees, we are able to work efficiently. We also have a well-respected reputation which helps greatly in these times,” added Spazzarini. “We also keep our overhead low in both good times and bad, which helps us to take advantage of some incredible bargains in equipment purchases in these down times.”

And what are they proudest of? No, not the big buildings or the new roads or the mall they helped to build, although these stand as beacons of pride. It all goes back to family; family which started Spazzarini; family which sustains and improves it.

“We are proudest of raising a good family with good values,” said Spazzarini. “Beyond that, we hope for continued success in the industry and transitioning to the next generation of Spazzarinis.”

For more information call 860/745-5683 or visit www.spazzarini.com. CEG