Blach Construction is celebrating 50 years in business in 2020 and to commemorate the golden anniversary, the San Jose-based company is giving back to the community with a year-long volunteer program at Sacred Heart Community Service (SHCS) in San Jose.

SHCS has provided housing and employment assistance, family mentoring and adult and youth education programs to the greater San Jose community since 1964.

Blach has a long-standing relationship with SHCS that spans more than 20 years and various capacities, ranging from building its current facility to donating more than 1,500 bikes and backpacks for its toy and back-to-school drives over the last several years. Furthermore, current Chairman Mike Blach has served on the SHCS board, including as a past president. 

“When we polled our colleagues on how they would like to celebrate our first 50 years, the results were overwhelmingly in favor of performing community service,” said Chairman Mike Blach in a news release.  “This response was very gratifying and would have made my dad, our founder, very happy. He loved working with nonprofits and organizations that made a difference in people’s lives and in our community.”

Mike Blach, whose dad Michael S. Blach founded the company 1970, says the secret to his company’s longevity “isn’t really a secret; it’s rooted in open, honest communication and an intense dedication to doing what’s right – in every circumstance.”

Besides all of its volunteering, the firm is also working on numerous high-profile projects across the Greater Bay Area and Monterey in California. A couple of its current big projects in Northern California include the transit-oriented development, Gateway at Millbrae Station, and the Cañada College Kinesiology, Health and Wellness Center.

The $340-million Gateway at Millbrae Station is being constructed for Republic Urban Family of Companies. Designed by Form4Architecture, LPMD Architects and ACRM Architects, the project is one of the largest transportation-oriented developments in California, “and we believe it will serve as a model for future urban development,” says Blach.  

Adjacent to the Millbrae BART Station, the most heavily trafficked transportation hub in the Greater Bay Area, Gateway at Millbrae Station will provide much needed housing, a greatly enhanced commuter experience and quality retail, dining, entertainment and office space. The project is being done as a joint venture with Cahill Contractors.

The roughly $90 million Cañada College Kinesiology, Health and Wellness Center was designed by ELS Architecture and Urban Design and is being constructed for San Mateo County Community College District.

This new, state-of-the-art, 85,000-sq-ft Kinesiology, Health and Wellness Center will serve as home of the Cañada College Physical Education Department. In addition to supporting the college’s growing athletic programs, it allows for expanded curriculum/course offerings, as well as the overall health and well-being of students and the surrounding community.

An iconic, two-story landmark that will be clearly visible from Interstate 280, the project will house classrooms and offices spaces, a fitness area and dual-pool aquatic center, tournament basketball and volleyball courts, showers and locker rooms, and activated rooftop and multi-purpose activity spaces.

Throughout its entire golden anniversary year, Blach will make pro bono building improvements to SHCS, with employees volunteering at least 500 hours to support various events and drives for the nonprofit facility. Moreover, the firm kicked off an internal fundraising effort and will match all employee donations, which are anticipated to generate more than $50,000 for SHCS.

Blach will be supporting SHCS in a myriad of ways this year, says Mike Blach. “Apart from monetary contributions, fundraising and volunteering, we are building pro bono a permanent shelter over the facility’s currently unprotected, drive-up donation station,” he says. “The volume of donations SHCS receives on an ongoing basis is massive and often overflows into their parking lot. Additionally, volunteers working the donation station aren’t protected from the elements. After working with SHCS to develop a wish list of repairs, it was clear this addition was the highest priority.”

In addition to Blach’s philanthropic work with SHCS, the builder will also commemorate its 50th anniversary with a series of special celebrations in gratitude to its clients, partners, subcontractors and colleagues. A special history exhibit is also being installed at its San Jose headquarters to showcase the firm’s first 50 years of achievements, newsworthy events and the people who made it happen.