Lang Masonry Contractors, Waterford, Ohio, has been making its mark across the region for 20 years, one brick building at a time. One of the company's recent projects, the PARS Brain and Spine Institute, occupies a high-profile position in downtown Parkersburg, W. Va., near several of the masonry contractor's other decorative projects.

The 38,000-sq-ft, three-story medical complex specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the spine and central nervous system. The facility required 2000 linear feet of 8-ft precast high bands, sills, and wall caps, 115,000 modular bricks, and both smooth and colored split face concrete block. But before any of these materials could be installed, Lang Masonry management met with the owners and architects over a three-month period to finalize the building's design.

Mason's design input

The design needed to reflect its tenant's reputation as the area's premier neurological services provider. GKG LLC (owner) and Pickering Associates (architect) wanted Lang's advice on specific design details, such as decorative arches around the building's perimeter. The contractor designed special steel forms to install the 16 - 24-ft long, self-supporting arches and reinforced the space above them with concrete, rebar, and brick ties to accommodate the shallow 8-in. radius.

Several special shapes of brick were custom made to create the building's decorative details, including bullnose with 90- and 155-deg angles. In fact, Lang had the opportunity to contribute an unexpected project detail when the wrong size of custom angled brick was mistakenly ordered for the arches. To prevent a costly waste of materials, Tom Kern, project manager and Lang's vice president of operations, quickly designed two attractive arched signs for inclusion in the PARS center project.

The eye-catching signs are approximately 20-ft high octagonal piers, which add a modern, artistic feel to the building's entrances. Although their unique design required extra patience and precise craftsmanship, Lang's team of ten masons and five laborers completed the entire fast track project in just less than four months.

Impressive reputation

The team's efficiency and skill can be credited, in part, to Lang's in-house training program. “We train our masons to do all aspects of masonry work,” Kern said. He also pointed to the company's generous benefits, pay, and excellent safety record as helping attract and keep dedicated people.

Lang's investment in its masons has made the company one of the state's top contractors, with award-winning work to prove it. The company has been recognized for its specialty masonry work on projects across Ohio, such as Caldwell Hall at Muskingum College, the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center at Marietta College, and the Fitness and Recreation Center at the University of Dayton.

With projects like these, Lang has earned a reputation among construction managers, general managers, and architects, who routinely call for advice on difficult jobs. The contractor answers design questions and recommends modifications to meet specific budgets, and its expertise has earned the company many projects over the years, especially in schools.

“I like to think the builders and architects have heard good things about Lang Masonry,” concluded Kern, “or they wouldn't call us in for the job.”

Visitwww.langmasonry.comfor more information about Lang Masonry.