Delaware CSMS Celebrates Ribbon Cutting

Delaware CSMS Ribbon Cutting Harkins Team
New Castle, DE

Harkins celebrated the ribbon cutting of the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in New Castle, DE on Thursday, April 15th.

Home of the Delaware National Guard Combined Support Maintenance Shop (CSMS) and Field Maintenance Shop #3 (FMS #3), the new 63,356 sf design-build CSMS serves as a vehicle service and repair shop. Amenities include a welding bay, paint bay, several general-purpose bays, a training room, fitness and locker rooms, administrative support spaces, and specialty shops, including carpentry, machinery, canvas repair, calibration, injector repair, radiator repair, communication, and an arms and vault shop. The project incorporated water source heat pumps, below-slab radiant heating, LED lighting, low flow faucets and fixtures, and 191 roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, achieving LEED v4.0 Silver Certification.

This CSMS is an upgrade from two small maintenance shops that have been of service to the Delaware National Guard since before the Korean War. The original CSMS consisted of a paint bay, a small arms room, storage space, and maintenance bays that quickly became too small to house the Delaware National Guard’s modernized equipment.

This was the first Harkins project to utilize BIM modeling before construction to plan proper placement of various mechanical aspects of the building. The team was able to mitigate risk and save time through the construction process by using this technology early in the process. It was great to hear the guard talk about how leveraging design-build as a delivery method enabled the building to be delivered faster and resulted in an excellent partnership amongst stakeholders from the onset of design through construction.

Ribbon Cutting Photos

President’s Message: The Path Forward

New CEO Gary's headshot

While most of us are happy to have 2020 behind us, we are starting 2021 in an environment that is no less challenging. As we head into what looks like the most difficult phase of this pandemic, Harkins continues with our established protocol of wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and using thermal imaging cameras, which have all been vital measures in keeping our employees and our trade partners safe.

COVID-19 Social Distancing

One of the biggest challenges we are facing as a result of the pandemic relates to the disruption of the supply chain. The ripple effect of material delays and shortages is impacting our projects today and will continue to do so in the coming months.

Harkins has been leveraging our 55-year history and relationships with our clients, design teams, key trade partners, suppliers, and vendors to ensure that we are receiving the most up-to-date information about materials. By involving the Harkins team early in the project and making decisions promptly, we can obtain materials with long lead times well before they are needed, in lieu of just-in-time contracting.

Though vaccines are on the way, I encourage everyone to continue practicing safe routines until they are no longer needed. Even with material shortages and the pandemic, Harkins continues to have a steady backlog and offers an optimistic outlook for our continued growth and success. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and I know we will get there and be a stronger company after going through this journey together.

Gary's signature

Harkins’ New Community Outreach Program

Harkins Has Heart Community Outreach Program

‘Harkins Has Heart’ is our company’s newly branded community outreach and giving program. Harkins is committed to improving the lives of those among us who are most in need in our communities. While we reinvest a significant portion of our financial successes into many good causes, employee-owners give their own personal time, talent, and resources to help those who are less fortunate.

Harkins Has Heart Community Outreach Program - Group Photo

Through the program, Harkins focuses its attention on various non-profit partnerships throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. One of our most popular initiatives includes ‘Jeans for Charity,’ where employees choose a charity and donate $5 per paycheck for the privilege of wearing jeans on Friday. Harkins is proud to give back to the communities we build in.

Harkins Has Heart Community Outreach Program - Stats

Rob Tirocchi Earns National Design-Build Certification

Rob Tirocchi Design-Build Certification
Columbia, MD

Harkins is proud to announce that Government Programs Manager Rob Tirocchi has successfully completed the Design-Build Institute of America’s comprehensive education and certification testing program to achieve the design-build industry’s highest designation as a nationally certified design-build professional. Two to six years of substantial, documented direct project experiences in design-build project delivery experience is an additional prerequisite for Designated Design-Build Professional certification.

DBIA Certification is the nation’s only measurable standard of an individual’s knowledge of the Design-Build Done Right principles vital to successful project delivery. By completing these requirements, which touch on all aspects of design-build, candidates earn the right to display “DBIA” after their names, identifying them as experienced design-build professionals.

DBIA offers certification in design-build project delivery to:

  • Owners
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • General contractors
  • Trade partners
  • Project managers
  • Legal professionals
  • Academics

Maintaining the credential requires a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education credit every two years.

DBIA logo

Harkins Begins Construction of Dulles Downs III

Dulles Down III
Sterling, VA

Harkins’ Commercial Group is excited to announce that they have started construction of Dulles Downs III in Sterling, VA. This will be the first project completed for Prologis, with Powers Brown Architects.

Dulles Downs III is a 61,200 sf tilt-wall warehouse that is expected to reach substantial completion by December 2021. Located in the Dulles submarket, this industrial facility offers quick access to Route 28, 606, and the Dulles Toll Road. The site is conveniently located approximately one mile from Dulles International Airport.

The facility offers 1,000 sf of parking with 11 spots for trailers, 2,500 sf of office space, 19 docks with one drive-in (ramped) for convenient building access, and 40’x52′ column spacing throughout the space.

Dulles Downs 3 rendering

Rendering of Prologis Dulles Downs III.

Celebrating Women in Construction Week

WIC Week 2021

Harkins joined the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in observing Women in Construction Week. This national week is celebrated annually in March and is dedicated to sharing the contributions of women in our industry while educating future generations about the incredible opportunities available within the construction market. The theme for this year was, “Connect, Collaborate, Construct”, and we are proud to say that the women at Harkins are crushing the stereotype that the construction industry is a man’s world!


Leitie joined the Harkins team as a field office manager and now leads our W/MBE outreach efforts as the chair of our Small and Minority Business Affinity GroupShe is also an active member of ABC Baltimore’s Diversity Committee. Her willingness to help and eagerness to learn makes her a strong leader within the company. 

WIC Week Feature Leitie Cobb-Gibson


Haley assists our preconstruction team in construction take-offs, analyzing plans and specifications, and assisting with contract documents before a project begins. She is actively involved in our Equity and Inclusion Affinity Group, contributing to the group’s mission of fostering a culture of equity and inclusion to improve the lives of our employees through diversity initiatives in education, training, recruiting, hiring, activities, and outreach. Haley is always eager to learn and dedicated to helping the preconstruction team perform at its best. 

WIC Week Feature Haley Hershey


Kristen works with our Commercial Group to maintain relationships with existing clients and track new opportunities for the company. She is a leader in our industry, serving as the 2020 board of directors president for the Commercial Real Estate for Women (CREW) and 2017-2019 chair of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Women’s Leadership Initiative.

WIC Week Feature Kristen Schrader


Antonice joined the Harkins team as a summer intern. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, she began her career at Harkins on our Robinson Overlook project in Columbia, MD, where she is responsible for coordinating with trade partners on unit finishes, conducting and maintaining schedules, managing material deliveries, and getting the units ready for the owner’s first walk. Antonice’s ambition and compassion in her work make her a key member of any project team.

WIC Week Feature Antonice Turpin

The Design-Build Advantage

Design-build advantage

By Vice President Ben Nichols

Back in the 1970s, we were contemplating taking a chance on a new project delivery method. What we did not expect was how well design-build would align with our culture and values over the next 40 years. The design-build approach brings the designer and builder under a single agreement with the project owner. This collaborative approach builds an integrated team that works towards the same goals for the project’s success, and the relationship between all parties is established before the project design is complete.

While we worked on some projects that integrated design-build aspects, our first official design-build project was in 1979 called Primrose Place. Located off Caton Avenue in Baltimore, Primrose Place was a new highrise senior living community that would create 125 new apartments for our client, The Humphrey Company. Former Harkins CEO Dick Lombardo fondly looks back on this project and remembers how proud he was of how well Harkins was able to navigate the design-build process with no prior experience.

Design-build advantage quote

Since that first project over four decades ago, Harkins has expanded its use of design-build to the public sector and now specializes in providing design-build services to our government clientele. The six main benefits from the design-build approach include:

  • Single-point of responsibility: One entity drives the flow of work from inception all the way through completion to ensure that the building incorporates all functional requirements, is aesthetically pleasing, and is built on time and within budget.
  • Budget management: The onus is on the design-builder to maintain the budget from bid time through construction and protects the owner from cost changes resulting from mistakes in design.
  • Accelerated project completion: These projects can typically be completed in a shorter amount of time since the owner only has to select a design-builder instead of procuring a design team, completing the design, and then bidding out the completed design to general contractors.
  • Quality control: This method helps to remove uncertainty that may arise in material and construction specifications and allows the design-build team to pick what is best for the project in terms of functionality for the owner and constructability for the team.
  • Improved communication: Specific design and construction details are continuously being developed throughout the entire process, and the focus is on giving the owner a product that meets their prescriptive functional requirements.
  • Builds the best team: This approach enables us to identify the right team, negotiate with established trade partners, and bring key participants to the table early.

We are proud of our rich history in providing design-build services, and we look forward to continuing to utilize the design-build method to deliver exceptional buildings and best live out our company’s vision of being the premier long-term partner.

Harkins Expands with a New Charleston Office

Harkins Expands Charleston

Harkins has expanded to two offices in our Southeast region: one in Charlotte, NC, and now one in Charleston, SC with our JV Partner Property Environmental Management (PEM).

The new office is located in the Venture X Charleston – Garco Mill building off of O’Hear Avenue. This modern, coworking space offers a shared, flexible workspace with a community of like-minded business professionals. The building offers high exposed ceiling windows and an outdoor pavilion adjacent to a one-acre park. There are large lounge areas for hosting events of up to 100 people, along with hi-tech meeting rooms for collaborating with our client and design teams.

PEM-Harkins is currently working on the DOS Parking Structure project. This 431,000 sf design-build precast parking garage is made up of seven-stories with 1,326 spaces for the General Services Administration with Stantec.

Harkins’ First MLK Day of Service

Harkins celebrated its first MLK Day on January 18th. The holiday was added to the Harkins calendar this year on behalf of the newly established Equity Affinity Group, to foster a culture of diversity company-wide.

Celebrated as “a day on, not a day off”, MLK Day has evolved into a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Although the pandemic made it a challenge to physically volunteer, our employee-owners found various ways to take part and give back to charities or causes they felt strongly about. Many stayed home to make Valentine’s Day cards for nursing homes or collected items for local food banks, and some made it outdoors to help pick up trash in their neighborhood or clear a path for volunteer dog walkers at the Senior Dog Sanctuary in Severn, MD. We also had employees put together over 400 snack bags to provide students in AHC’s teen program with some brain food as they study during virtual learning.

We are so proud of our employees for going above and beyond to give back to the communities we build in. Thank you to everyone who contributed their time and energy on this special day!

Event Pictures

Getting to Know Jorge Otalora

New Corporate Safety Director Jorge Otalora

Please join us in welcoming Jorge Otalora to the Harkins family. Jorge started on November 9th as Harkins’ Corporate Safety Director. With nearly 20 years of industry experience, he is passionate about the education and implementation of safety.


I am an active member and officer for the American Society of Safety Professionals and the Hispanic Safety Professionals group. I am also currently the chair of ABC Virginia’s Safety Committee and a member of the ABC National STEP Committee.

I have held safety specific positions at prominent Mid-Atlantic general contractors such as Hoar Construction, KBR Building Group, and BE&K Construction Company.


Having the opportunity to foster safety values and coaching workers on safety practices and behaviors and knowing that this will reduce the likelihood of having injuries and accidents.


When I started in the construction industry almost 20 years ago, safety was just a word I heard in meetings and toolbox talks. As the years have passed, I have received more training and knowledge that has incorporated safety into every aspect of my life. I am consistently finding opportunities to bring awareness towards our everyday safety now.


In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, volleyball, golf, and watching movies. I recently got into photography, on and off the jobsite. I take pictures and try my hand at digital retouching enhancement and restoration by using Photoshop and Lightroom.

Jorge Otalora with team