Crunching Numbers and Building Project Plans

Gale Roberge

In celebration of Women in Construction Week March 1-7, 2020, Pogue Construction has profiled women from various departments throughout the company to find out why they choose to work in construction and how they make an impact at Pogue Construction.

Gale Roberge, Chief Estimator

Describe your role at Pogue:

Google says the Chief Estimator role is the primary member of the estimating team with overall responsibility for creating budgets and estimates. In our organization, my role is a lot more fluid than the industry standard definition! In general, I’m responsible for coordination of the pre-construction budgeting and bidding process.

How long have you worked at Pogue?

I joined the Pogue Team last fall. I’ve been in construction my entire career and have specialized in the K-12 market sector for the past 23 years.

What does a typical day in your job look like?

Preconstruction requires a great deal of detailed coordination so many days include one or more meetings. I work closely with our Senior Project Managers and the design team to identify opportunities for cost savings, consider constructability challenges and establish solid budgets. We typically have a number of bid days in any given month so those days are all-hands-on-deck and focused on reviewing and tabulating subcontractor bids. In between, I’m doing peer reviews on our budgets and bids, working with subs on scope and supporting the overall estimating process.

What is your favorite aspect of working in construction?

Seeing a single dimension plan evolve into a 3-dimensional, tangible building has always been exciting to me. It’s particularly rewarding to witness students and teachers enjoying their new facilities!

What is the best memory you’ve had from working at Pogue?

One of our clients requested a preliminary budget for a sports complex with multiple event venues. The available plans were just a few simple design sketches. It was fun to “build” the project on paper, anticipate what would likely be needed beyond what was shown and deliver a detailed budget. Conceptual estimating is my passion!

What advice do you have for women who are interested in working in construction?

My own path has afforded me positions as an estimator, senior estimator, pre-construction manager, program manager, owner’s representative, assistant project manager, project manager and senior project manager….that may sound like a lot of positions but most were move-up promotions within the same company. So when I say I believe the construction field offers great career opportunities for women and men alike, I’m speaking from experience! There are so many amazing mentors in our industry….listen, learn and be open to experiences in both the field and the office.

How a colleague describes Gale:

“Gale has a great attention to detail in pre-construction that engages a conversation with the client. At the end of the day they know we are not leaving any stone unturned. She has truly been a great addition to the Pogue Team!” ~Michael Doddridge, Chief Relationship Officer