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Ledcor Forms New Entity to Focus on Public Works Projects

Ledcor Construction Inc., with U.S. headquarters in San Diego, has moved to bolster its roster of new California projects, by tapping into the state’s continued moves to replace and upgrade aging school buildings.

The company recently formed a new entity, called Edge Construction LLC, to focus on public works construction, with an emphasis on education and related office buildings. Ledcor will work with personnel at Edge Development Inc. of Temecula, which has completed more than $1 billion in education, government and related projects since its 1989 founding.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, and Ledcor officials could not be reached for comment. The new entity will be based in Temecula and operate as part of the Ledcor Group of Companies, which has its head office in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Edge will allow us to provide more advanced and diversified services to our clients as we continue to expand,” said David James, Ledcor’s senior vice president of U.S. operations, in a statement.

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Local Ledcor officials said the new company has already earned four projects — an elementary school for Lennox School District in Los Angeles County; a regional learning center for the Riverside County Office of Education; an expansion at Merci Group Home for developmentally challenged residents in Monterey Park; and a construction management services building for the Temecula Valley school district.

Ongoing Consolidation

The Ledcor-Edge partnership reflects ongoing consolidation in the hyper-competitive construction industry, as companies look to broaden their geographic reach and project sector expertise, notes George Welch, construction management academic program coordinator at NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego.

Large national firms continue to form joint ventures with smaller ones, and in some cases complete mergers and acquisitions, to obtain local and regional construction jobs. The smaller company in turn gets to participate in more projects outside of its local geographic niche, thanks to new national and global connections.

“The larger company gets a better local presence, and the smaller company gets a better balance sheet,” Welch said.

Welch said many arrangements are geared to securing public works contracts, as private commercial and residential building activity remains sluggish nationwide. In education, there is still a steady flow of projects being completed by public school districts, universities and local community colleges.

Despite talk of government budget cuts, he said there is still a large amount of public funding yet to be committed to public school projects from bond measures passed five years ago in California. Much of the current work in education and government construction involves energy upgrades, geared to trimming long-term operating costs.

Shovel-Ready School Projects

According to the California Department of General Services, the State Allocation Board recently awarded approximately $637.6 million for shovel-ready school construction projects across the state. Government matching funds, provided through approved bond measures, will help finance 198 school construction projects in 96 school districts.

The employee-owned Ledcor Group of Companies was started in 1947 in Alberta by William Lede, whose first construction projects were focused on Canada’s oil industry. The conglomerate has since branched out into other sectors including industrial, highway and commercial building construction, employing approximately 5,000 throughout North America.

Among other large local construction projects, Ledcor Construction served as lead contractor on the Torrey Highlands Village retail center in Carmel Valley.

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