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Estimator to head up Barrie Construction Association

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by Patricia Williams

Tom Thomason is the senior estimator and project co-ordinator at Coco Paving Inc. He will head an association that represents 430 companies — general and trade contractors, architects, engineers and allied professionals operating in the Barrie region.
Estimator to head up Barrie Construction Association

When Tom Thomason was asked to sit on the Barrie Construction Association (BCA) board back in 2004, he only knew of the association as a print house — a place to get drawings copied or printed.

“But I thought joining the board would be a great way to get my name out in the construction industry and meet many new people and contacts,” says the senior estimator and project co-ordinator at Coco Paving Inc.

Since then, Thomason has become familiar with the inner workings of the association, which represents 430 companies — general and trade contractors, architects, engineers and allied professionals operating in the Barrie region.

He has chaired several committees, including new members. Thomason recently succeeded Anita Stacey of Cowden Woods Design Builders Ltd as BCA president.

In an interview, Thomason said he plans to firm up priorities for his term of office following a meeting with the newly installed board.

But ongoing goals remain in place: to continue to be a one-stop shop for information on industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction, to participate in the local community, to search for ways to provide additional services to members, to build alliances with surrounding municipalities and to work in conjunction with the Council of Ontario Construction Associations.

Thomason, who was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. but grew up in Barrie, studied civil engineering at hometown Georgian College. He graduated in 1998.

“My dad was an engineer at Bell Canada,” he recalled. “That’s how I decided to get into the engineering field. I thought that civil would provide the best job opportunities.”

Thomason launched his career in the aggregates quality-control department at Lafarge in 1996, during his first co-op placement at Georgian. He subsequently returned for a second placement, this time in the asphalt quality-control department.

“When I finished school, Lafarge offered me a full-time position in its quality control department,” he said. “I spent many summers travelling around Ontario with the portable asphalt plant, paving roads.

In the fall of 2003, Thomason moved into the estimating department.

Lafarge sold its construction division to Coco Paving Inc. in June 2009.

As a senior estimator, Thomason’s day-to-day responsibilities include searching for bid opportunities, estimating projects from $10,000 to $10 million, co-ordinating projects, invoicing and tracking various construction markets.

He assumed the presidency of BCA during the association’s recent annual meeting.

The association traces its roots back to the Barrie bid depository and plans room, in operation since the early 1950s.

In the spring of 1987, an idea was put into motion to establish a construction association that would address the needs of the ICI sector in the region. The BCA was incorporated in August 1991.

In addition to operating a plans room and associated services, the association offers online job and resume postings as well as seminars and courses.

It recently hosted a construction labour relations seminar.

Upcoming is a one-day introduction to Building Information Modeling.

Hockey, ice fishing and golf tournaments are fixtures on the social calendar.

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