News & Updates:

TRAC Selected as General Contractor for RI's First Full-Service Culinary Business Incubator

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Hope & Main, LLC will transform the former Main Street School building into a $3.2 million state-of-the-art workspace for food-based entrepreneurs
hope ground breaking
WARREN, R.I., July 26, 2013 – Hope & Main today officially broke ground on plans to transform the former Main Street School building in Warren into Rhode Island’s first full-service culinary business incubator. U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse spoke at the ceremony, as well as other honored guests including State Director for USDA Rural Development Jonathan “Jay” L. Healy, Warren Town Council President Christopher W. Stanley, Owner of The Sunnyside Restaurant Chef Joe Simone, and Founder and President of Hope & Main, LLC, Lisa Raiola, MPH.   

“Rhode Island has so many talented chefs, bakers, farmers and fishermen, and this new commercial-grade kitchen could help them cook up exciting new business ventures. I am pleased to have helped secure federal resources to support this effort,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. “I commend Lisa Raiola for cultivating this idea and seeing it through to fruition. This facility will help local entrepreneurs grow their operations and get technical assistance to turn their ideas and recipes into commercial success.”

Located at 691 Main Street in Warren, R.I., the 17,500-square-foot space will feature state-of-the-art workspace for food-related entrepreneurs and businesses.  The renovation will include the installation of three code-compliant, shared-use commercial kitchens, including a gluten-free kitchen, over 6,000-square-feet of production space, cold and dry storage, and a range of commercial equipment to support small-scale operations for baking, food processing and catering. The rehab will also feature a demonstration kitchen and classroom for education and training related to food preparation, cooking and nutrition, and a 2,000-square-foot community room for events and seminars. A year-round town market will be located on the grounds to allow member companies and food producers, as well as local farmers and fishermen, direct access to local consumers.

The Hope & Main project is funded in large part by a $3 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Community Facilities Loan. Hope & Main purchased the building from the Town of Warren for $125,000 in June 2013 after a nearly three-year effort to secure funding for the incubator project and an investment of over $200,000 in private funds.

"We here at USDA Rural Development are very pleased to be part of a project that will not only increase the profitability of farms and rural businesses by adding more value to their products, but will also help to strengthen our Rhode Island economy and add more local jobs,” said Jay Healy, state director for USDA Rural Development. “This project will serve as a food hub, bringing great products directly to local customers. We plan to continue to work with Hope & Main as they develop into a sustainable, successful and profitable food-based business incubator."
 
TRAC Builders was selected to lead construction of the project in July 2013. Headed by Bill Tracey, the award-winning general contracting and construction management firm is known for its work in the food industry, most notably the Wildflour Vegan Bakery in Pawtucket and Local 121 restaurant in Providence. TRAC has also completed a number of projects for community organizations across New England including Lifespan, Crossroads of Rhode Island, Brown University and the Olneyville Housing Corporation. Greg Spiess, AIA, of Barrington, R.I., is lead architect and Eric Busch of Rustpoint Advisory, LLC, in East Greenwich, R.I., has acted as a consultant to the project since 2009.
Lisa RaiolaBill Tracey, CEO TRAC with Lisa Raiola, ED Hope & Main
Hope & Main will support its member companies with technical assistance and a clearinghouse of resources to support small food businesses; facilities for shipping, receiving, labeling and packaging; a business center for e-commerce, marketing and backroom operations; collective procurement options; distribution assistance and the ability to identify a product’s provenance to the consumer as “Made at Hope & Main”; access to mentors and experts; and a host of other support services.

The organization will begin accepting formal applications for membership in September 2013 with plans to announce its inaugural members in January 2014. Hope & Main will open for operation in spring 2014.
 
"Today's groundbreaking is an overwhelming milestone for the people of Warren, the East Bay and all of Rhode Island,” said Chef Joe Simone, owner of The Sunnyside Restaurant in Warren, R.I. and vice chair of the board of directors at Hope & Main. “As a local business owner, I celebrate the spirit and uniqueness of the town of Warren and I am looking forward to Hope & Main's contribution to our thriving food culture and community."

Hope & Main, LLC, is a new Rhode Island-based nonprofit created to support the local food system and to strengthen the region’s food economy. The organization will provide low-cost, low-risk access to full-service kitchens and other technical resources to community-based entrepreneurs enabling them to jump-start early stage food companies and food-related businesses. Hope & Main will focus on creating an economically self-sustaining enterprise that will act as a foundation for economic development and education for decades to come.

TRAC's Commitment to Safety for Residents/Staff in Occupied Settings

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A clean worksite is very important not only for the safety of the work force on the job but also to the quality of health of the residents living and working in the space.  Very often, TRAC completes projects in occupied settings and with that comes extra precautions that need to be taken into account regarding the operations of the business and its inhabitants.  With our experience in highly technical hospital and other occupied construction settings, TRAC Builders often uses the Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) Matrix of Precautions for Construction and Renovation on its projects. 

Given the sensitive nature of many of the clients we are serving, TRAC finds it incredibly important to implement the same strategy taken on by hospitals to control infection control to other occupied spaces.  In addition to the ICRA Matrix taking into account all possible infection concerns, we use Negative Pressure Ventilation Construction Systems to ensure that the work being done is contained.  These units allow us to clean and control the air in the work area without contaminating other areas.  They also help remove any infectious airborne pathogens and purify the air to create a protective environment for your clientele.  The purpose of these two systems is to clearly define where precautions can be taken creating better cleaning practices, air quality, and reduce the risk to how it affects the residents and staff population.

The picture below is an example of a workspace at Brown University in an effort to keep the workspace free of debris. Walking through it is hard to believe it is a construction site it is so clean!Brown Construction Site

TRAC Builders Takes On William D'Abate School As Service Project

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TRAC Builders Takes On William D'Abate School As Service Project to Continue Olneyville Housing Corporation's Great Work!

William D'Abate Before and After

TRAC Builders recently completed a large affordable housing project for Olneyville Housing Corporation.  On May 17th, Olneyville Housing held its ribbon cutting and announced that they will continue to focus their work around the William D’Abate School in the Olneyville Section of Providence, as it is the hardest hit section of Olneyville in their area.  Knowing how important it is for the people of Olneyville to be invested in their community, TRAC Builders has taken on a service project to give the William D’Abate School a face lift for returning students in the fall.

Only July 20th, TRAC Builders coordinated over 25 staff and volunteers to dedicate their time to repaint the school that was a myriad of colors, gang tags, and in disrepair.  TRAC donated their time and financial resources to this project in an effort to continue the work of Olneyville Housing Corporation to make the neighborhood a better place to work and live. 

As stated at their ribbon cutting, Olneyville Housing Corporation quoted, “The impact of this initiative on the residents and school children in the area around the D’Abate School and Joslin Recreation Center cannot be underestimated.  By attacking derelict properties along walking routes to school, particularly at corners and other high impact locations, Olney Village has had a tremendous impact in stabilizing the neighborhood and supporting the work of the D’Abate School.”

“The outside now matches the magic of what happens inside our school.”, stated Principal Brent Kerman who could not have been happier with TRAC taking on this project and was ecstatic to see the results. 

A special thank you to other contributors that helped TRAC Builders make this project successful!! Christine Malecki West, Kite Architects for selecting a great palate of colors, Benjamin Moore for donating all the paint used in the project, JM Painting for donating their time to the painting project, COSCO for donating the guardrail replacement in front of the school, American Aerial for donating the lift equipment, Olneyville Housing Corporation for bringing the project to our attention and helping us with their time to the painting project, Al Buco, Coordinator of Public Property for cleaning the school prior to our painting, Building Futures for donating their time to the painting project, and Sabina Matos, Councilwoman for the City of Providence for visiting us during our service project.

 William D'Abate Progress

The Importance Of Professional Affiliations

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Professional affiliations and continuing education in the industry you are serving is very important.  We at TRAC Builders take the time to learn what are clients are looking for and what they are facing in their business so that we can understand how to better serve them.  Our principals and staff attend continued trainings and events and even serve as board members to some of these organizations that TRAC Builders belongs to.

Professional Organizations

 

 

 

Subcontractor Relationships are Very Important

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The success or failure of a construction project usually comes down to people.  The relationship between a general contractor and subcontractors is incredibly important.  When they work well together, the result is often a successful project.  This takes a high degree of trust and respect, teamwork, and communication. 

Needless to say, our subcontractor relationships are very important to us.  As much as we love getting compliments from our clients, it is always great to get such nice compliments from our subcontractors as well.  We recently got a nice letter from one of our subcontractors who worked with us on the Olneyville Housing project we thought was important to share.

"I wanted to let you know that this project was one of the better working experiences I've had. From the team in the office to the supervision in the field, the job was run the right way. It was an added bonus how prompt the payments were made, which made managing the job on my end so much easier.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that retainage was paid with this last check, didn't expect to see that till the end of the year.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this project"

Thank you to all of our subcontractors that help us in making our projects successful!