BLUE BELL, PA-The locally based Philadelphia regional office of Skanska USA Building Inc. has undergone a complete redevelopment with a new general manager, three top-level promotions and as many new hires within two weeks. Formerly Barkley White Skanska, this office, like all 23 US regional offices of the Parsippany, NJ-based construction company, has been rebranded Skanska USA Building Inc.

As six different brands were undergoing realignment over the past several years, Edward Szwarc, this region’s new general manager, tells, “we had a big turnover of personnel and a couple of tough years in this office.” Since December, the office staff here has grown from 100 to 119, “and there will be more,” he says. “We are revving up. We see significant additional potential in the Philadelphia area, and we have the right people in place to handle large, complex jobs and to diversify.”

This office covers New Jersey from Princeton south and all of Delaware and Pennsylvania. As previously reported, it broke ground this April on a $181-million R&D facility at Johnson & Johnson’s Spring House, PA campus. Szwarc says the company is also adding 100,000 sf to the Phoenixville (PA) Hospital, constructing a 62,000-sf School of Health Sciences at Reading (PA) Hospital & Medical Center, and a new 35,000-sf Crate & Barrel store in Cherry Hill, NJ.

The Crate & Barrel project represents this Skanska USA office’s diversification efforts, say Szwarc. The office is most known for high-tech installations in healthcare, life sciences, educational institutions, transportation and sports and entertainment. “We are now also going into retail and office markets,” he says, adding that the Lehigh Valley and Downtown Philadelphia are “target areas.”

Prior to his promotion, Szwarc was based in Parsippany where he worked for the New Jersey region and oversaw construction of major projects for Pfizer Inc., and Merck & Co. Inc. In promoting him, Phil Southerland, co-chief operating officer, said Szwarc’s “leadership led to a complete redevelopment of the [Philadelphia] office, including rapid growth of our expert team.”

Nearly simultaneous with Szwarc’s promotion, Hugh Biggin, currently involved in the J&J project, was promoted to senior project manager; and Kenneth Schell and Jennifer Wheeler were promoted to project managers. The new hires include two project engineers and a superintendent.

Michael Breitenbach, who recently completed a master plan for a 443,000-sf trauma center and emergency department at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ, is named superintendent. Al Daye, former assistant project engineer for the Duke University French Family Science Center in Durham, NC, and Peter Hayes are the new project engineers. Hayes was involved in construction of the new Arthur Ashe Youth and Tennis Education Center and the 114-unit Aria Condominium in Philadelphia.

Skanska USA Building Inc. is part of the Stockholm, Sweden-based Skanska AB global group of companies. It employs 56,000 throughout Europe, the US and Latin America and had sales of $17 billion in 2006.

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