In the 1930s, in the midst of the Great Depression, it was hardly a time when one could expect to start a successful business. But it was a time when men dreamed about making a better future for themselves and their families. Both Eudore J. Fontaine and George O. Fontaine decided to work toward their dreams of fostering strong and vibrant communities. In 1933 they issued 35 shares of common stock thereby founding Fontaine Bros. Inc. Since then, the Fontaine's have continued the tradition of quality building for three generations.
The Transition to General Contracting
In the 1940s, when Ray Fontaine took the helm, he began to more narrowly define the firm's mission: to make Fontaine Bros. Inc. the major industrial/commercial contractor in Western New England. It didn't happen overnight, but the next generation of Fontaine brothers built on the foundation laid by the senior Fontaines and the goal became a reality. Not surprisingly, the work necessary to achieve the goal fuled more growth. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Cold War prompted changes in American Society. As a result, Fontaine Bros., Inc. ventured into government contracts, building the Westover Air Force Base. Thus, the Fontaine's transitioned from home builders of the 1930s to general contractors.
1960s and 1970s
As work at Westover wound down, another new opportunity awaited contractors. The first Baby Boomers were getting ready to go to school and America desperately needed new schools for its children. Fontaine Bros.' work on elementary school construction in the 1950s was only the beginning of the company's journey to become the largest school builder in Massachusetts. As the 1960s progressed, college campuses began a period of unprecedented growth and, once again, Fontaine Bros. was a major player in what the academics like to call "Bricks and Mortar". The UMass Medical Center job was especially important. In 1970, the $50,000,000 construction contract won by Fontaine Bros. was the largest single contract ever awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
1980s and 1990s
The 1980s saw a slower period for school construction than the 1960s and 1970s. Under the steady leadership of new President Lester Fontaine the firm continued to grow. Fontaine Bros. continued to win many housing, school construction, and renovation jobs. Fontaine Bros. kept busy in the housing sector, with 10,000 housing units built in the 1980s alone. The completion of the $25,000,000 William J. Dean Vocational Technical School in Holyoke pushed the total dollar value of completed construction by Fontaine Bros. over the $1 billion mark. The early 1990s saw the company continue to focus on schools while their portfolio expanded to include numerous commercial and municipal projects. In 1996, the company entered its third generation of family leadership as David Fontaine was named President.
Fontaine Bros. Today
The start of the new millennium saw a period of unprecedented economic prosperity for the United States, and Massachusetts benefited as public and private construction thrived state wide. Fontaine Bros. continued to grow, completing a variety of public and private contracts and utilizing a variety of delivery methods. In 2003, Fontaine Bros won the $48 million dollar contract of the renovation of the old Springfield Civic Center and new construction of the MassMutual Convention Center. In 2007, Fontaine Bros. completed the new $75 million dollar Chicopee Comprehensive High School, the largest project in the company's history.