Southington's go-to Guy for School Construction

SOUTHINGTON - Tom DiMauro is no stranger to local school construction projects, and once again he has become a figure that the school system relies on, said Board of Education member David Derynoski.

DiMauro is vice president of Newfield Construction, of Hartford, and the project executive on the renovation and reconstruction of Kennedy and DePaolo middle schools.

DiMauro has been involved in Southington school construction since 2005, beginning with the Agricultural Science and Technology building at Southington High.

"That building was challenging to finish," DiMauro said. "It's always a challenge when you have construction going on during the school year."

DiMauro said the construction workers and project managers had to work around the student athletes who were having practice on the field next to where the building was going. He said this will also be a challenge for the two middle school projects, because renovations will be taking place during the school year.

"Blending in with the environment without interfering with everyday student activities is always a challenge," DiMauro said.

Because of the school system's experience with Newfield on the high school job, Operations Director Fred Cox said, the selection process was easier in choosing a construction company to renovate and construct Plantsville and South End schools in 2010. The town went with Newfield Construction for those projects.

"Because of the job at vo-ag, everything was done within budget and on time," Cox said. "We interviewed several construction managers for that job. Newfield was one of the finalists and we awarded it to them."

At Newfield, DiMauro and his team mainly work on school projects.

For the two middle schools, DiMauro reports directly to the Middle School Building Committee, providing a weekly analysis.

Construction has always been part of DiMauro's life, he said.

"I've been dealing with it all my life," he said. "I've been doing it since I was young, it was family business."

DiMauro grew up in Wethersfield and attended the University of Hartford, where he earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering and his master's in business administration.

As executive on the two middle school projects before the construction phase even started, DiMauro said, there is a process of pre-construction, analysis and site logistics that he goes through, making sure the bidders were qualified, then conducting interviews with those companies and making recommendations to the Middle School Building Committee of which firms to hire.

Josh Johnson, of Newfield, a project manager on the middle school projects, has been working with DiMauro for 12 years.

"When I first started, Tom took me under his wing," Johnson said. "I was right out of college and he brought me up right under his footsteps."

Johnson said that from working on other school projects and with the town of Southington for the past six years, "We've been a strong team and built a strong working relationship. This is a good town to work for, with strong building committees."