Born to Build

Entrepreneur Sundra Ryce’s gutsy leadership has cemented SLR Contracting’s reputation as a player in the construction industry

Eyeing Continued Growth
Among SLR’s more recent contracts is a $17.4 million new office and warehouse project with the New York Power Authority. The project, which began in February 2010 and is scheduled for completion this month, consists of building a new warehouse and includes all the necessary site and construction work as well as the installation of utilities for the building such as sewer, electric, and gas. Once completed, the 60,000-square-foot facility will include some 18,000 square feet for offices for the NYPA’s Niagara Power Project. In addition, SLR is working with the U.S. Green Building Council to ensure that the warehouse is LEED Gold. “They’ve been proactive in anticipating issues, getting the work done, and maintaining our schedule,” says Charles Collado, a project engineer for NYPA. “We’ve been lucky to have a good contractor on the job.”

While the challenges of the recession linger, the industry outlook is brighter. Financial services information provider S&P is positive on the construction and engineering sub-industry on gradually increased bidding during 2011. The firm also says demand for delayed or postponed projects should drive backlog growth, particularly later in the year.

Meanwhile, Ryce looks to add more geographical diversity to SLR’s projects (most are in New York and the surrounding states). But growth without profitability doesn’t make for a sustainable business—and Ryce is well aware of that. “For us it’s important that we’re profitable. So, when we look at growth, growth is important as well, but our ultimate goal is profitability and productivity.”

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