In the Army, Bearup grew up very quickly and had the responsibility of leading other young men to finish projects.
"As a second lieutenant, I was in charge of an engineer platoon with 35 people who I had to direct and train, motivate and encourage, and with them we built some amazing projects," he says. "At a very young age, I was put in a position of leadership and responsibility for others. That is unique to a military career."
Traveling around the world with the Army also opened Bearup's eyes to new modes of construction, including alternative delivery methods that he first learned about on a family housing project in Saudi Arabia. He would later help the city of Phoenix adopt and use these same methods, the use of which then spread throughout the Southwest.
Dawn of Alternative Delivery
When Bearup returned to Arizona, he was still on active duty. His final assignment was as professor of military science and the head of the Army ROTC program at Arizona State University in Tempe. It was during this time that he helped change legislation in Arizona to provide better methods for construction projects.
"There was a stakeholder group in 1999 that proposed new legislation here in Arizona to provide other methods to do construction other than the traditional low bid or design-bid-build," Bearup says. The new methods included construction manager at-risk, design-build and job-order contracting.
When Bearup retired from the Army and began working as the deputy engineer for the city of Phoenix in 2000, he was able to move quickly to adopt the new methods to build large capital construction projects in the city, he says.
"He had a big impact on the whole surrounding area, the whole state really, on alternate delivery," says Kotchou, who worked closely with Bearup as his project manager for the city of Phoenix. "There really wasn't anyone doing it when we started, and he went out and taught a lot of the local entities how to do it."
In 2004, Bearup became the city engineer for Phoenix and played a key part in constructing billions of dollars' worth of projects.
"The largest and most challenging was the Phoenix Convention Center expansion," Bearup says. The $600-million multiphase effort, completed in 2008, nearly tripled the size of the existing facility.