Craftmanship, Comradery and Consistency at Tri-Hurst

by Janet Keeler Wilcox
Contributing writer
(Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series celebrating the ongoing success of the Scott Hurst family businesses. Part One was published in the May 3 San Juan Record.)
Tri-Hurst Construction has always been a family-oriented company.  Many of the Tri-Hurst Navajo employees include multi-generational skilled workers. 
Robert James started working for Hurst Construction as a laborer 22 years ago, then he advanced to carpenter and now his son works with him.  “There are five father-son employees in the company,” he said. “Our Navajo employees are fabulous craftsmen, concrete workers and welders. Our field crew is 90 percent Native American. It’s always been a part of our company culture.”
One of the results of having well trained employees is that company projects often receive recognition from various state organizations. 
Tri-Hurst completed Tse’Bii”Nidzisgae Elementary School in Monument Valley in 2012. It was named the “Best in State” new school. 
Tri-Hurst basically built the Utah State University campus in Blanding as we know it today.  This includes the Library, Administration building, Arts and Events Center, The Quad, and dormitories and most recently the large hogan on the north west corner. 
The USU hogan won a “best of year” construction in the worship category this past year. 
“This was one of the highlights of my career,” stated Joe Hurst. 
He credits Benedict and Rena Daniels for their direction and insight for the project.
Two years ago, the company built an addition to the Monument Valley Clinic, then they constructed the Bluff Elementary, which took 1 1/2 years to build.  It was completed in 2020, but sat empty for nearly a year because of Covid. 
Oftentimes, crews are working at different locations, with multiple projects going on at the same time: some building, some pouring cement, and others working on electric systems. 
With such a good track record of quality and efficiency, Tri-Hurst continues to help build San Juan County.
One of their new projects will be to retrofit the Blanding Wellness Center, including an update to the fire suppression system and restroom shower facilities so they meet state fire and health codes. Construction is anticipated to begin after the swim season this year.
Interestingly, it’s not all work and no play for the Tri-Hurst team, where workers and supervisors are like family, so picnics and meals together occur often. 
One recurring company tradition is the “Saw Dust Bowl” where meals are shared and team morale is strengthened because everyone knows each other on a personal level.
Joe explained, “We have a diverse workforce with different talents and abilities.  Using the strengths of each, enables us to take on a broad spectrum of construction projects.”
Good humor and laughter are common at socials, in the office and at job sites.  Stressful situations are often diffused with a lighter view. Owners, supervisors and craftsmen are all very much involved in each other’s lives. 
Tri-Hurst recently completed an 18-month project, building an upscale “glamping” facility near Looking Glass Rock. It includes camping sites, a pool, gas fireplaces, a lobby building, full-service restaurant, guest amenities, and service facilities.
The new tourist attraction will be featured in the May 2023 Sunset Magazine.

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