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Konell Construction finalist for quarterly chamber award

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Sandy company known for its high-profile products, repurposing building materials

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Many at Konell Construction are longtime members of the company family. As spring gradually unfolds, the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce's is on the hunt for the next sensational business it will celebrate at the next quarterly luncheon. Among the top three nominees for this quarter's award are Konell Construction & Demolition Corp., RedBoot Branding and LT Travel.

The Sandy Post will feature each nominated business in an effort to better inform the community's voting process in the coming weeks.

Konell Construction, 36000 Industrial Way, Sandy, is up for voter consideration this week.

Though Konell President Andy Webber hails from Troutdale, he says the company's Sandy location makes a great escape from the city, and many employees live in Sandy.

Steve Konell, who passed in 2009, founded the company in 1983. Webber started his construction career as a "grunt" worker with the company a year later, and in 2015 took on the title of president.

For 34 years, Konell has provided construction and demolition services to communities as far as Salem, throughout the Portland area and all the way up toward Mount Hood, helping with multiple major Sandy projects.

"The city's been good to work with over the years," Webber says. "It's a really tight-knit community."

Among the company's more notable Sandy projects are the Safeway supermarket at 37601 Highway 26, demolition and construction for the new Goodwill store at 37201 Highway 26, and work on the former Sandy High School at 17100 Bluff Road.

Webber notes that the projects that most appeal to him are these "big earth-moving projects."

He has been interested in construction since an early age, watching his father sell heavy equipment and dreaming about getting to operate some of it.

An added appeal for Webber is also being a part of change: "being able to be part of the community that's developing the community."

As a company, Konell has been at the forefront of change in its industry since 1988, pioneering recycling of building materials. The company owns a machine, which grinds up concrete for reuse, and the staff also cleans and reuses bricks and recycle any metal or wood they can, selling salvageable supplies to the public.

Webber says the company also tries to keep its equipment up to date and as eco-friendly as possible.

"We're on the cutting edge of (recycling)," Webber explains. "When you do demolition, you have a lot of debris that goes to landfills. From an environmental aspect, (we're) not filling up our landfills. ... We're a very environmentally conscious company, and in the construction business, that isn't easy to do."

Fittingly, the company's slogan is "using the past to build the future," something it has especially tried to practice in Sandy.

About winning the award, Webber says, "It is definitely quite an honor" to be recognized. "There are quite a lot of good candidates out here in Sandy."