Blueprints for Success

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Luigi DiMeglio/The Mirror

In the words of the recipient of the “Private Owner of the Year” award by the Associate General Contractors of Connecticut, “You can’t spend all of your money on looking pretty.”

The award recipient, Fairfield University’s Associate Vice President for Facilities Management David Frassinelli, is one of the top men behind campus construction and has successfully balanced campus aesthetic and mechanical maintenance since 2008.

Frassinelli’s ability to handle the University’s building needs in the face of an economic downturn is part of what distinguishes him from others in the industry. The recent $60 million residence hall construction project in which he was instrumental could be, as Frassinelli himself called it, “a mini economic stimulus.”

Says John Butts, executive director of Associated General Contractors of CT (AGC), “Fairfield University being fairly active while the rest of the industry is down is what caught our attention.”

Aside from the challenges associated with the new dorm construction, such as the extensive underground utility removal needed for the creation of 51 McInnes Road, a lot of other behind-the-scenes contributions have made Frassinelli an esteemed industry name.

In the nominee biography submitted to the AGC for award consideration, Frassinelli mentioned the Young Contractors’ Forum, a program that hosts Bridgeport high school students. It is endeavors like these that Butts considers reason for “people at Fairfield University to know that [Frassinelli] is very well regarded outside campus doors.”

One project Frassinelli has been recognized for is the Bellarmine Museum of Art, winner of the 2011 CBC Project Team Award. He has also been a heavy influence on Fairfield University’s recent ‘Green’ initiatives.

With the completion of the new residential halls and talk of a RecPlex renovation coming in the near future, the entire scope of what Frassinelli and the administration as a whole currently have planned for campus building is not yet known.

“We are committed to maintaining a beach presence –it’s part of the experience,” said Frassinelli.

The RecPlex renovation has been outlined but there is still a need for funding.

“The important thing,” Frassinelli said, “is to be prepared as possible regardless.  Some developments come out of nowhere. In the case of the Bellermine Art Museum, a guy just came one day and wrote us a check.”

In general, “There is no limit for ideas and projects.”

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