Company History Series: WASCO Knoxville Part 3

A medical center office building in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is an example of Barry Jenkins’ forward-thinking concept for envelope integration, a core element of this project. Containing more than $800,000 worth of lightweight veneer, the building sets a new standard for fully integrated envelopes. Completed in autumn of 2019, the satellite location of the Murfreesboro Medical Center now stands as a tangible example of Jenkins’ years-long labors developing a concept for superior envelope integration.  

This accomplishment will be bittersweet, as Jenkins decided earlier in 2019 to step down from his active role at WASCO. His legacy in the company is nonetheless assured, having added a vital new dimension to the respected masonry firm. “It is WASCO’s intent to keep moving in the direction of Barry Jenkins’ vision for the mixed use of lightweight panels for the future of the construction market,” affirms WASCO’s VP and Knoxville office head Shawn Gallant. To maintain balance as Jenkins exits, newly enlisted logistical coordinator Rex Lawson will be tracking the panels in stages of completion and then on to shipping. Design needs such as CAD tech work are presently being sourced on an as-needed basis. “We have challenges ahead of us without Barry Jenkins on board,” Gallant says, “but the drive and resolve of the men in the synthetics division is strong, and they recognize our commitment to them and their trade.”  

As Gallant explains, his work with Jenkins led to an increased understanding of what can be done with different products. But, having taken a more active role since Jenkins’ departure, Gallant says he’s now been placed in a position allowing him “to develop a deeper relationship with the men that are doing the stucco work. They have shown me so much about the trade that I feel a deepening in trust and relationship with each of them.” Jenkins’ confidence in handing off his creation to Gallant is evident in his description of the WASCO VP: “Shawn Gallant sees through the eyes of a proud history in the masonry trade. He has become the heart and legs of the integrated cladding envelopes.”

In any case, retirement isn’t likely to stop Jenkins’ mental gears from turning. Jenkins jokes that he once wanted to be a philosopher, but in some respects that’s precisely what he has become. His manner of rationally and methodically questioning the way things are has positioned WASCO to point toward the way things will be. Both working and thinking smarter, rather than harder, is key to WASCO’s reputation for excellence and maximized efficiency. Having gleaned considerable resources as a result of joining forces with the former Southern Stucco, WASCO—now more than ever—is envisioning the shape of things to come.  

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If you’re interested in more Wasco history, check out Company History Series: WASCO and Lovell’s Parts 1-3