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THALEA TORRES:   Construction Experience

Early Years
Thalea first showed an interest in construction at about 10 years of age when she enlisted the neighborhood kids to help build forts in the woods behind her New Jersey home. After moving to Michigan as a teenager, she left high school without graduating after her junior year because she had been accepted at Albion College in Michigan as a pre-med major. By sophomore year in college, she realized that medicine was not her calling. Her love of buildings lead her to California to apply to the School of Architecture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

While she waited to get residency in California, she saved money she made waitressing to put herself through college. Since the admissions department at Cal Poly advised her to go "bang some nails" to improve her chances of getting in, she ended up using her savings at the age of 19 to buy a "fixer upper" house in Oakland. The summer before school started, she glazed windows, hung doors, installed a new roof, a water heater and plumbing fixtures, built a brick fireplace front, framed walls, installed millwork, laid tile, patched drywall and painted. While she never became an expert in any trade, the project did help her gain some valuable field experience.

California Polytechnic State University/San Luis Obispo, CA
School of Architecture:  B.S., Construction Management  1979

Work Experience

TOWERS CONSTRUCTION, INC.                                     1994 to Present 
Position:   Owner/Estimator/Project Manager  

LUCASFILM LTD.  (Skywalker Ranch/Nicasio, CA)               1989 to 1994
Position:   General Contractor/Construction Manager  

Highlighted Projects:

  • The Archive Building
    This new building is a warehouse designed to look like a large barn. It currently houses the models, props and costumes from the various Lucasfilm movies including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies.

  • The Fitness Center
    This lovely building is a fitness facility for the employees and clients of the Ranch. It includes a gym, racquetball court, weight training and aerobics rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and the company store.

PLANT BUILDERS, INC.  (San Francisco, CA)                       1987 to 1989 
Position: Project Manager                

  • At Plant Builders, Thalea was Project Manager on a variety of projects in downtown San Francisco. They included the renovation of several banks, a church and school, numerous high end office projects and several retail stores.

DINWIDDIE CONSTRUCTION CO.  (San Francisco, CA)         1979 to 1987
Position:   Project Manager/Estimator  

Highlighted Projects:

  • 222 Kearny Street
    This project consisted of a new 11 story structural steel office building tied into an existing 7 story office building on Sutter Street. In addition, a second building on the property, 200 Kearny Street, was seismically upgraded and remodeled.

  • The Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf
    This project involved a new 5 story, 243 room hotel with a restaurant constructed of reinforced masonry and poured-in-place concrete.

  • The Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    This project was a world class San Francisco hotel with 158 guest rooms built in the top 11 floors of an existing 48 story office building with an ornate lobby, restaurant and meeting rooms at the ground floor levels.