Maine's Commercial Builder - Steel Building Specialists
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As often happens with successful businesses, Hampshire Fire Protection outgrew their space – a multi-tenant building in Saco with adjacent land that they had originally bought from PATCO Construction, Inc. several years ago. Based in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Hampshire Fire Protection is one of New England’s largest commercial fire protection companies, with services including sprinkler system design, installation and inspection, as well as sales, service, and inspection of fire extinguishers and fire alarms. The Saco office was their first office in Maine and they needed a new, larger space. Owner Larry Thibodeau knew there was only one contractor to call to build the new building. “It only made sense to use PATCO. Their relationship with the City of Saco is worth its weight in gold.”  Hampshire Fire Protection works with many general contractors in the area and has a lot of great relationships, but Thibodeau was confident PATCO was the right contractor to build the new space.

Built on land near their old office, the new building is 12,000 square feet, divided into three 4,000 square foot spaces, with Hampshire Fire Protection occupying one of them. Thibodeau outlined the design needs for their space and PATCO put the design to paper, working with Sebago Engineering for the site planning. It includes an office space with a nice receptionist area and interior finishes that match their New Hampshire office interior. In addition, there is a warehouse section for all the spare parts their service techs need, and an area for testing, inspecting, and refilling fire extinguishers, which required a special design and Department of Transportation (DOT) approval. For the exterior, Thibodeau decided to have it match the old building, creating a cohesive feeling on the property. PATCO was instrumental in helping Thibodeau navigate some early site work challenges and brought on an excellent team of subcontractors to get the job done. “We had good communication which was helpful,” shares Thibodeau. “Now, we have a great looking building. It’s a really nice set up for us.”


Employee Spotlight

Photo of another patco employee

Jason Gardner – Project Manager

When Jason started as an Assistant Project Manager with us in May 2020, it wasn’t his first time working for PATCO. After earning his Associate’s Degree and serving in the Army, Jason first worked for PATCO back in the early 90s. He would go on to work with an engineering firm on industrial construction and manage a cabinetmaker shop for a decade before returning to PATCO with his expanded skill set. He was recently promoted to the role of Project Manager.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a military household, so we moved around a lot, but most of my childhood was spent in Portland, ME.


Why did you decide to go into the construction field?

 As a kid, I was always building things: tree houses, clubhouses, even go-karts. In high school, I took drafting classes and I went to vocational school in my junior and senior years. Visualizing how things went together started coming naturally to me and I always enjoyed being around construction.


What is a typical day like for you?

I get out to the job sites when I can, but most of my work now is from the office. The bulk of my day is dealing with the logistics of many different projects at one time. For example, I’m often reaching out to contractors, site supervisors, job foremen and even the clients or owners to schedule their time and scope of work. Or I’m reaching out to vendors or suppliers and schedule deliveries of materials to the job sites. I’m also creating and managing budgets and, more recently, construction schedules. There are only two drafters in the commercial side of the office, me being one of them, so I am still using my drafting skills to this day. I also occasionally will put estimates together for small renovation jobs. The biggest part of all of my day is trying to stay in front of everything, and trying to foresee any problems that may come up, before they come up.


What is the best part of your job?

I enjoy talking with our contractors and developing and maintaining relationships with them. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of my job. After working 10 years in a cabinet shop, I also enjoy focusing on the finish details .

But my favorite part of my job is overseeing the process of an owner’s vision coming to life and helping them through the process to make sure that their expectations are met.


What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a call firefighter with the Saco Fire Department. I also work part-time providing interfacility transfers for Maine Medical and I’m an EMT for Kennebunkport Emergency Medical Services.

I do enjoy working with my hands. I put together a small wood shop in my garage and I have built a couple small pieces of furniture for friends and family as gifts. I also enjoy working in my yard and gardening. I am currently working on putting together some raised beds. When I can, I also enjoy day trips riding my motorcycle.