You have to see it to believe it. The choreographic style movement of men who work in silence — as they weave in and out of each other’s way – laying the pavers — they are the team who are creating the beautiful walkways – it is an art.
Juan Ponce is the proud owner of Priority Construction Corporation a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). He had been in business for several years Then one day in 2001, he was asked to bid on a contract for P. Flanigan & Sons and he got it – the job was worth $1.6 million and it was the biggest contract that Juan had ever had.
“I came to his office before we started the project,” said Juan. “He touched me on my back from behind.”
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about you,” Pierce told him. “Don’t let me down.”
Juan answered, “I won’t! If I have to work 24 / 7, I will!” He’s been contracting with P. Flanigan & Sons ever since. “If it wouldn’t have been for him, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Juan. “It is very unusual for someone to trust you with so much when they hardly know you. It’s a good company to work for.”
Jim Coudon and Juan Ponce
Juan Ponce, Bill Beall, Susan Flanigan and Qiaojue Yu
In addition to creating walkways, Juan and his team have built the retaining walls on the ponds. And, much of the project is donated! “I wanted to give back because of the opportunity that Pierce gave me,” said Juan. In 2001, Juan employed 15 to 20 men and today he has more than 80 with 10 to 12 projects going at any one time. He is donating much of the labor for the building of the park.
There are many steps to creating a substantial walkway – first a concrete base is laid followed by an asphalt setting bed followed by a layer of glue – then the pavers are set and sand is poured on top and sifted into the tiny openings between the pavers.
Blog by Helen Szablya
Photography by Steffi Graham