Founded in 1995 by Jim Morrison, Wildstone Construction and Engineering is a family company that began as a construction and engineering firm with a primary focus in engineering and resources in the interior of BC. They are now an infrastructure specialist whose prides themselves on their core culture: Integrity, Safety and Quality with a goal of providing a higher level of service in the various market segments of their operations.
In 2007 Mark Melissen, Morrison’s step son, joined the Wildstone team and has now become Wildstone’s Managing Partner, being responsible for the day to day operation at Wildstone. In 2010 he became a partner in the family company working side by side with his brother and step father. Melissen explains that clients enjoy working with Wildstone because they can offer knowledgeable and professional services of a large contractor while still offering the personal touch of a family company.
Melissen explains, “We do what we say we’re going to do; we can offer the expertise of a larger contractor but you still get the feel of a smaller contractor.”
Wildstone Construction and Engineering has a wide range of projects to date and continues to add to their impressive portfolio. One example is the Red Chris Mine 287kV Substation. This design build project involves a green field 287kV substation including all foundations rock anchored to the top of a remote mountain top. A blast wall, oil containment pits, transformers, CT’s, an E-House and all related High Voltage Hardware supply, installation and commissioning are part of the delivery package.
Melissen explains that one of the challenges to overcome for this project was that the location was at the top of a remote mountain. He states, “Access into the site is in a very remote area, it’s a remote camp where the weather conditions change very rapidly and winter comes quick, so you’ve got to be organized. The mine has tight deadlines and we’re working on a critical piece of infrastructure for them; so if we can’t deliver our package on time, the mine essentially can’t turn the power on. So it’s about as critical as it gets.”
Another project is the Inuvik RCMP Detachment. This new 13,000 square foot two story RCMP detachment will be built on thermopiles in Inuvik. This is exciting because it will be the first time thermopiles have been used in Canada. On top of the piling sits a steel framework with a unique S curved wood frame structure above. The building will also be doubling as a small jail including holding cells. The project is expected to be completed January 2016.
In the fall of 2012, Wildstone completed the Old Crow water treatment plant which was located in the north western Yukon, inside the arctic circle. This project was in an area so remote that the only access to the site was by aircraft. Consequently, all materials had to be delivered by aircraft as well and though projects in the Yukon are often delayed because of this remoteness and related weather conditions, Wildstone was able to successfully complete the project on time and on budget. Melissen, who explains the company’s organization and precise planning made it possible to accomplish this project, states, “That was a good kick start for us, we knew that if we were able to build that one, we could build anywhere.”
Though the majority of the work that Wildstone does is municipal or resource infrastructure, they are quite diverse and have also completed a recent project for a craft brewery. The Bad Tattoo Brewery is an 8600sq.ft single-story concrete sandwich panel building with a 1600sq.ft mezzanine. The building is made up of a 5950sq.ft brewing area and a 2650sq.ft admin/kitchen/restaurant area. There is also a 1000sq.ft covered patio. Melissen explains that this project was originally scheduled to be completed in 8 months but it was fast tracked and Wildstone was able to have it completed in 6 months.
Most recently, the company has been finishing up a large mechanical retrofit to a new WWTP in Fort McMurray. The wastewater treatment plant is a fairly new facility but Wildstone is working on improving the blowers, headworks screens, sludge handling conveyors and chutes and the various controls hardware. Wildstone is in charge of commissioning this project and getting the facility up and running again. This was another project that was fast tracked and was completed September of 2014.
The Importance of Diversity
Wildstone Construction and Engineering started as one large company and since its establishment, it has branched out and developed smaller divisions. There are currently five divisions in the company: Wildstone Industrial Ltd., Wildstone Special Projects Ltd., Wildstone Environmental Ltd., Wildstone Arctic Ltd, and Construction and Engineering, the flagship company which started it all. By having these multiple divisions, the company is enabled to diversify itself so that it can work in any industry.
According to Melissen, the company stands apart from the competition because of this diversity and leadership. He states, “The fact that we’ve got a large portfolio of projects and have succeeded in different environments and different aspects of building,” he continues, “that and we’ve got a great team with a really strong structure and very experienced leaders in charge of various divisions”.
The company has experienced an increase in revenue each year since 2007 and looking forward, the company will continue its growth and expansion.