If you happen to be at one of the track and fields along the Peninsula, there’s a good chance it was a creation of South San Francisco’s Interstate Grading and Paving.
The latest local project by the 36-year-old family-owned company is South San Francisco High School’s new track and field complex that’s slated for completion this fall. The contractor opened business at 128 S. Maple Ave. in 1978 and has stayed in the family since.
“All four of our grandparents were raised in South San Francisco,” said owner and partner Craig Caron, whose father, aunt and uncle started the firm.
Caron grew up in South City, but lives in Redwood City now. Not only do many employees have children who attend these South City high schools right now, but many of our employees themselves went to school there too.
The company enjoys projects like building fields because its owners see it as a way to give back to community.
“We’re lucky enough to have many of our employees reside right here in the community,” he said. “That created a deeper interest in doing these jobs.”
Craig Caron and his brother Bruce have taken over the family company in recent years. Now, about half of their business is creating new school track and fields, however, they still do conventional grading and paving projects. Track and field construction and stadium reconstruction has been the focus for the company in the last 10 years.
“Many years ago, we were building roads and parking lots,” Craig Caron said. “With the creation of this new synthetic field system, it has opened up a new avenue of work development for us. As this work became more and more abundant, we were able to gain more contracts for it.”
The new synthetic turf is a lot easier to maintain, he noted.
“You don’t have to have a grass specialist to grow lawns and fertilize it,” he said. “We only have so much water these days.”
Because of this growth, Interstate has built most of the high school track and field facilities within the county. These projects include Hillsdale, Capuchino, Aragon, Mills, Woodside, Sequoia, Menlo-Atherton, Carlmont and Serra high schools.
“It’s a great sense of accomplishment when you deliver that product they play on for so many years and see players and participants on the field you constructed,” he said. “It’s gratifying to know the kids have such a high-level facility to play on for so many years. The fields we grew up on were nowhere near this. They had gopher holes and these kids have collegiate or professional level facilities and they’re only in high school; it’s a great benefit.”
The company does gain every single field through a low bid.
“The reason we keep doing them is we’ve become pretty good at them,” he said. “We’ve perfected the art of building them through repetition. We can build them efficiently. We definitely like working all over the Peninsula.”
The company does travel to places like San Jose, Gilroy, Mountain View, Livermore, Morgan Hill and Marin County for work, he said.
This week, the company will be paving the track at South San Francisco High School. For more information on Interstate go to igpinc.com.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105