Stronghold Engineering, Inc. is a construction firm based in Perris, California. They have been in the construction industry since 1991, and recently celebrated 30 years of operation. Over the years, the company has developed demonstrable expertise in Full-Service Design and Construction Support Services. They provide their clients with multiple solutions for their engineering needs. Their business model has been widely successful since they are a one-stop shop. This makes it incredibly easy for their clients and the company itself, as they can see an entire project through to completion, from the design to construction.
Stronghold’s long list of services includes Design-Build, Vertical, Civil and Medium to High-Voltage Electrical Construction, Retrofitting, Modernization, and Seismic upgrades, to name a few. Through the years the company has completed a host of challenging projects. Despite the complication of various projects, they have been completed within the stipulated deadlines, with zero accidents, and high customer satisfaction.
The company has gained a reputation for building construction excellence. In its thirty years of operations, they have exceeded $2.5 billion in construction costs. Stronghold employs 205 employees, some of which are based in their new corporate office building in Perris. The rest of its employees are scattered all over the country working on different projects, including, electricians, construction workers, operators, carpenters, and painters.
History of Stronghold Engineering, Inc.
Back in 1991, Beverly and Scott Bailey had started the construction company from their kitchen table in Moreno Valley, California. Then, the company was known as Stronghold Electric. In only two years after starting their company, the Baileys opened their first office space on Business Way. From then on, the company continued to steadily grow, one milestone after another. In 1996, the company performed its first project that crossed the million-dollar threshold. This project was done for the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, California, and involved upgrading the 4th Floor of the northwest corner of the hospital.
After having been in business for only seven years, the company had to move out of its older office, into a newer and bigger one at Gato Court. The company continued to perform electrical projects and then, in 1995, decided to expand further into the general construction industry. That same year, the company crossed the five-million-dollar threshold for a project that was completed for the US Marine Corps.
One of the earlier achievements of the company that put it on the map was successfully graduating from the 8(A) Business Development Program. Through this Federal-run program, the company received technical assistance and training to enhance its ability to compete in the American economy.
The company has since continued to be the top choice for some of the biggest and most technical projects. These projects have included work for the US military, renovation of federal buildings, photovoltaic system installation, and historical renovations, to name a few.
Stronghold Engineering, Inc. Guarantee – Q.S.T.I.C
Stronghold has been able to achieve all of this because it has uncompromisingly complied with five attributes. These include quality, safety, teamwork, integrity, and commitment. Adhering to these attributes has set it apart from its competitors and made it the top choice in the country.
All the projects that the Stronghold team has worked on have focused on meeting the aspirations of its clients. This motivation to provide quality work to its clients has made its clients come back from more projects, one after another. Its processes have been planned with great attention to detail, which is why they can deliver outstanding work repeatedly. These processes undergo continuous scrutiny and updates, to ensure that the company stays abreast of modern developments, refining them further. To ensure that its high standards for quality are consistently being met, Stronghold uses the awards and recognition that it receives for its individual projects as a scorecard for quality project production.
An important aspect of these processes is the underlying precedence given to safety. The management at Stronghold understands that without its employees, none of the projects would be possible. Consequently, the safety of its employees is one of the company’s top priorities. The company finished several projects with zero onsite accidents simply because they continuously train and educate their employees on the importance of safety. Stronghold has an outstanding safety record, and has integrated employee safety into the company culture through recognition of the Safety Employee of the Quarter, a serious Safety Glasses policy, and assessing and addressing safety training and standards as early as during the hiring process. Stronghold also has its internal safety team regularly visit job sites to identify and proactively address potential hazards.
Meeting tight deadlines, ensuring quality and safety, is not possible without effective teamwork and collaboration. Stronghold believes in a team approach. The company considers everyone a part of its team, not just its employees, but also includes its clients, subcontractors, stakeholders, suppliers, and design team. Its ability to effectively collaborate on projects has allowed the company to reach complete project requirements with great accuracy, dependability, and satisfaction on the part of Stronghold’s clients.
Teamwork has been at the heart of Stronghold since its inception; in a recent interview, founders Beverly and Scott Bailey spoke to the importance their own teamwork played in getting Stronghold off the ground, with Scott stating: “The difference with Stronghold was that it was both of us together as a team – not only as husband and wife, but we were true partners in the company, as we have been for 30 years, so we were both focused on a common goal and direction.” This is an attitude that has shaped how Stronghold has operated over the past three decades, with both the CEO and COO noting that trusting your team is vital in building a successful company.
Integrity, on the other hand, is important to the company because remaining honest with its clients is responsible behavior for any services provider. Keeping clients in the loop ensures that the clients are aware of the progress of a project and if any changes are needed, those changes can be implemented quickly. It also ensures that the problems can be weeded out even before they arise. Internally, Stronghold has an ethics program that conducts annual ethics trainings, as well as an anonymous ethics hotline for employees to call to report any concerns.
Lastly, all the attributes stated above would not be at all effective if the company was not committed to adhering to them. The company is committed to providing its clients with building construction excellence, which is also its mission statement. The fact that the company has received an Outstanding Performance Evaluation on 95% of its projects, is evidence that this promise is more than just a marketing ploy. Since its inception, the company has completed over $2.5 billion in construction projects, a testament to the commitment Stronghold Engineering, Inc. has to providing its clients with exceptional work.
Civil Projects – UPRR Bridge Fresno
Stronghold Engineering has diversified since its earlier days as an electrical firm. The company is involved in multiple kinds of engineering projects, including civil, electrical, construction, design-build, and historical renovations. The company has completed several civil engineering projects, with one of the latest one being performed for Union Pacific Railway Road (UPRR). In this project, the company replaced UPRR’s bridge at Fresno over Laguna Creek in Elk Grove, California. This bridge is located only 15 minutes away from the State capital.
The total cost incurred on the project was three million dollars. It was completed in four months and covered an area of 5,000 square feet. Since this project was carried out in a residential area, the diesel hammer used on site had to be soundproofed. These measures were necessary so that minimal disruption was caused in the lives of those living around the project site. For the maneuverability of the diesel hammer, it was fitted on a crawler crane which moved around on a trestle built by Stronghold. 33 hollow sections were drilled into the ground. These holes were then fitted with 24” steel pipe piles.
Solar Projects – Lake Elsinore Unified School District Solar Carports and West Riverside Landfill
It is no surprise that Stronghold has been one of the leaders in photovoltaic installations. In 2020, they installed 7,631 kW of solar power plants. The company has worked on various solar projects and continues to be the top choice for this installation because of its expertise. In 2021, the company completed a massive solar power system project for 14 Lake Elsinore Unified District locations. The project had a total cost of $6.6 million and covered an area of 225,932 square feet.
Solar panels were installed on 10 schools and 4 administration buildings. The project mainly consisted of solar panel carports, which generate a total of four megawatts of energy. The LEUSD Solar Carport has been a wonderful addition since it creates a positive environmental impact. Another project that was completed by Stronghold was at the site of the West Riverside Landfill. Energy generated from the landfill solar power plant is now offsetting energy usage for schools that have less space dedicated for parking.
The schools in the district can now pull energy from the landfill site at a cheaper rate. These two projects have contributed to a huge increase in electrical savings for the school. Stronghold will be leading more projects in the coming years in LEUSD. The company has completed two off-grid solar guard shacks, which use solar energy to heat and cool the buildings. SEI is also contracted to install two battery storage systems for LEUSD, and has engineered a site that may lead to a contract to install electric car charging ports as well.
Construction Projects – Ironwood State Prison
Over the years, Stronghold Engineering has worked on some amazing construction projects. However, the biggest project to date is the Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California, for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The total cost of this project is $126 million and construction began in June 2018. Stronghold is the prime contractor for this project. Ironwood is a level three prison and Stronghold has been contracted to upgrade its HVAC system.
The team is busy constructing a new chilled water loop that will feed new air handler units all over the prison facility. They will also be installing a new Southern California Edison main electrical service. In addition to the upgrades to the HVAC system, Stronghold will be upgrading the fire alarm system. The new central plant will get a new primary power plant and a backup generator. The company will also be carrying out drywall installation, final grading, framing and carpentry work.
Design-Build – Mead Valley Library and San Jose Convention Center
Design-build engineering proves extremely advantageous for Stronghold’s clients. In these projects, that company becomes the single point of contact for the entirety of the project as it is responsible for the design and the construction of the project. This construction approach is highly efficient since there are no communications gaps between the design and construction team. The demands of the clients can be incorporated easily, and any mid-project changes are far easier to administer.
In 2011, Stronghold Engineering began work on the Mead Valley Library in Perris, California. The library was a design-bid-build project that consisted of a ground-up, one-story library complex on 3 ¼ acres. The 20,000 square foot complex features a multi-purpose room for afterschool and community events, several independent reading rooms, a large children’s area, and an outdoor amphitheater. The surrounding community was unfortunately experiencing a struggling economy and poverty, as well as high unemployment and crime rates. The new library did not only provide the Perris community with a center for education and involvement, but also gave encouragement and opportunity to a community that was facing significant challenges. Following completion of the library in August 2013, Stronghold Engineering received an ABC Excellence in Construction award for this project.
More recently in 2021, Stronghold Engineering completed a project worth $20 million in 8 weeks. The project won them the APWA Project of the Year. This project was carried out at the San Jose Convention Center, in California. Stronghold was contracted by the Team San Jose and San Jose Public Works Department. They are responsible for the management of the Convention Center. The project saw the Stronghold team upgrade the sound system, lighting, acoustical performance, and aesthetics of the Convention Center. This was a particularly challenging project since work had to be carried out at heights of 30 to 60 feet. The team deployed several aerial booms and platforms. Additionally, Stronghold upgraded the Center’s structural components for performance standards improvement.
Huimin Mu, the Project Manager at the San Jose City Facilities Architectural Services Division had the following to say, “You and your team from Stronghold Engineering, Inc performed outstandingly on this $20 million project. This project was very challenging regarding schedule duration. This exhibit hall space was required to be completed within a short eight-week window of construction duration. Your team provided a professional service in coordination, planning, safety management, and quality control. Again, a much-appreciated effort for your excellent leadership, integrity, dedication, and hard work to complete this challenging project.”
Historical Renovations – Hotel Sandford and the Riverside Municipal Auditorium
Working on historical renovations is a matter of prestige for any construction company. It gives them a chance to contribute to the preservation of history and culture. Being entrusted with the renovation of historical buildings also bodes well for companies since it shows that they are trusted by public bodies.
One of Stronghold’s award-winning projects was the renovation of Hotel Sandford, in San Diego, California. The award was presented by the Associated Builders and Contractors, for Excellence in Construction. The project incurred a cost of $3 million. It was completed in one year and covered an area of 81,957 square feet. The hotel was constructed in 1914. It is an unreinforced brick masonry building with four stories and a basement. This project was carried out to bring the building in line with the city’s structural code requirements. Work was carried out on the exterior and the interior of the building. The interior was floored, and carpeted, painted, and hazardous materials were removed. Other improvements included plumbing, toilet fixtures, accessibility, electrical, mechanical, and accessibility upgrades. The exterior got a fresh coat of paint, was reroofed, windows were fixed, and the sidewalk was improved.
Another notable historical renovation was the Riverside Municipal Auditorium. Built in 1919 as a monument to Riverside Soldiers who died in WWI, Stronghold was brought on to bring the building up to current codes and construction industry standards, while maintaining its historic integrity. The project required a seismic retrofit, and Ravatt, Albrecht & Associates (RAA) partnered with SEI to complete the $8 million renovation in under two years. This project earned Stronghold multiple awards, including the Old Riverside Foundation Award for Restoration and Maintenance, ENR Best Small Project Under $10 Million, and ENR Excellence in Safety.
The construction was completed in phases so that the building could be occupied continuously throughout the duration of the project. The work complied with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Making a Difference
As time progresses, consumers are becoming increasingly aware. It is important for consumers that they spend money on companies that recognize their corporate social responsibility. Stronghold realises that it has a responsibility towards the communities that it works in. The company has a dedicated Charity Committee that is responsible for finding out ways Stronghold can help various communities. The company stands out in its charitable efforts since it is not just about donating money, but it is creating personal relationships. An attitude of giving permeates throughout the organization from the top management to its team members. They have longstanding relationships with American Heart Association, Blindness Support Services, and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
In 2021, the Charity Committee raised funds for Blindness Support Services (BSS) and the Blythe Cancer Resource Center. Stronghold has had a relationship with Blindness Support Services since 2009. Since then, the company has funded its annual Christmas celebrations at BSS’s Children’s Department. Each year, the party includes a host of interactive tactile activities, sensory toys for children, and food. Similarly, the company has a long relationship with Loma Linda Hospital. In a rather unique way of raising charity, the company held the Stronghold Motorsports Campaign #Hoods2Help. Stronghold Motorsports collaborated with LLUCH and MavTV. They recruited racing teams, collected designs, connected racing teams with sponsors, and all vehicles were wrapped in design by kids at LLUCH.
In addition to these partnerships, Stronghold supports several veteran and senior support organizations. These charity projects have also contributed to the great company culture at Stronghold. It has given its employees a sense of purpose and a chance to create a real difference.
Awards and Recommendations
While most companies do not work only for awards, the awards and recognition a company receives can say a lot about the priorities and quality of a company’s work. For all its work, Stronghold has won admiration and recognition. It is also a great source of motivation for its employees who put in the effort and time to complete projects while adhering to the highest levels of quality.
The company managed to secure first place at Associated General Contractors of California’s Construction Safety Excellence Awards. The award was presented to Stronghold in recognition of its continued commitment to safety at project sites. This award serves as proof that Stronghold takes the safety and health of its employees seriously.
It is not surprising then, that the company has been named one of the Top Workplaces multiple times. In 2021, the company won the Best Contractors to Work for in Construction award by ForConstructionPros.com. Stronghold secured this award because its employees nominated the company for this award by filling out a survey. The company has also won the Top Workplace Award consecutively for five years from 2015 to 2019.
Solar Power World also recognized the company as one of the US’ Top Solar Installation companies. This award was based on the total number of kW installed in 2020. Moreover, the company has frequently completed projects that have won the ABC’s Excellence in Construction Awards, notable mentions include the Regional Eagle Awards for the Wellfield Emergency Generators Project and the STEM Huntington Library Project.
Having been in business for thirty years, the company has surely come a long way. If you are interested in finding more about them, you can visit their website at strongholdengineering.com.