We are back to sharing the stories of the folks of East Hill Creamery. Today we are featuring an absolute necessity to making our creamery come to life: the man behind all of the concrete work! Bill Kern, foreman for King Brothers Construction, is in charge of constructing all of the cave walls, ceilings and the foundations for the building for East Hill Creamery. Bill says most of his work gets buried and no one ever sees it. But in this case, there will be lots to see and taste from the fruits of the labor of him and his crew. Someday, when you come to take a tour, you will hopefully think of Bill and his crew and all of the hard work they have done to make the creamery come to be.
Bill started doing concrete work back in 1979. He is a local Wyoming County man, and we got a recommendation to use his company from one of our neighbors. He is a foreman that has a crew who works under him, and he has been a foreman for about 25 years. Normally, he does a lot of work for schools and colleges. Our creamery will be like a school though, because it will teach you all about the history of cheesemaking in our area. He is an ag guy at heart, grew up on a small dairy farm and milked cows throughout high school. His farm background gave him the excellent work ethic that shines through on our jobsite. We are sure that Bill appreciates the connection of working on an agricultural project.
Now, we want to tell you that pouring concrete is not a job anyone can do. Bill is truly an expert at what he does. He and his company have the gumption to tackle this part of the project by pouring concrete from 22 feet in the air. They are building the walls for the caves that the cheese will age in, and that is no easy task, mind you. He told us, “Every job is a different challenge, and the high walls are definitely a challenge because of all of the rebar and the footers for the walls along with the extreme heights.” The large, special use footers, are rented from a company in Pittsburgh, PA. Bill enjoys the challenges, however, and he is definitely doing a great job for us.
Bill, of course, is quite humble and gave all the credit to his crew, Bob, Walt and Brady. He said he wouldn’t be where he is if it wasn’t for the teamwork that is evident in his crew. The four of them are like “busy bees” and know what each other's next move is going to be, always working as one. After he is done with the caves and outer work, he will also do the interior stub walls for the creamery, so he expects to be working on our job for another 8-9 weeks. If you are in the Perry area, go ahead and drive by and take a look at the progress on the creamery. It sure is moving along fast as you can see from the photo below, which shows the site alive with action! We are very excited to have you visit when it’s all completed, and we hope you enjoyed reading about Bill, our local concrete expert.