In April of 2020, Puritan Medical Products, one of two major manufacturers of COVID-19 testing swabs, reached out to Cianbro in desperate need of expanding from their Guilford, Maine facility, to meet the ever-growing demand for testing swabs. Cianbro and subsidiary A/Z Corporation answered the call, developing a proposal to retrofit a property on a vacant manufacturing site at 129 Main St. in Pittsfield, Maine, to meet their needs on a tight timeline. On March 10, 2021, Associated Builders and Contractors announced that Cianbro would receive a National Excellence in Construction Award for this project, honoring the nation's most innovative and high-quality construction projects and safety programs.
"We're proud of our dedicated team members and trade partners, who worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure Puritan was able to increase swab production, knowing that these swabs are integral to helping our country fight COVID-19 and move forward," said Peter Vigue, Chairman of The Cianbro Companies. "Hopefully this project gives businesses the confidence to continue to invest in Maine and invest in Maine's people. We do have the capacity -- and we do have the ability -- to compete and be successful. This project and this prestigious award from ABC shows just what the people of Maine are capable of achieving."
The project had a significant impact on the central Maine economy, employing 700 individuals over the course of the renovation, with Puritan creating 300 permanent positions at the facility following the project's completion. The project also enabled Puritan to produce 90 million COVID testing swabs per month, which contributed to identifying hot spots for the virus and saving countless lives.
ABC judged projects based on criteria including complexity, attractiveness, unique challenges overcome, completion time, workmanship, innovation, safety, and cost.
"For more than 30 years, ABC has honored award-winning construction projects like Puritan Medical expansion because the work by the team at Cianbro exemplifies excellence in our industry," said 2021 ABC National Chair of the Board of Directors Steve Klessig, vice president of architecture and engineering, Keller Inc., Kaukauna, Wisconsin. "This world-class construction project is a vital part of our economic engine, built safely, on time and under budget, and it is an honor to congratulate Cianbro for their commitment to setting the standard for excellence in construction."
This year's panel of judges included representatives from Building Owners and Managers Association International, Smithsonian Facilities Construction Division, Construction Management Association of America, Engineering News-Record, Design-Build Institute of America and various construction-related firms nationwide.