By Claire Bachand,
Greg Brazell, the project manager for Davis High’s All Student Center, has spent the last 32 years working in the construction field.
Born in Orange County, Brazell graduated from Casa Roble High School in 1985 before attending two years of community college at American River College where he also played soccer.
Outside of work, Brazell continues to play soccer, as well as fish, golf and ride his motorcycle.
“The decision to work in the construction field was a decision of chance. At the time my high school’s girlfriend’s father was a General Contractor and he offered me the opportunity to work for him after graduating high school,” Brazell said.
Since then, Brazell’s work in carpentry has become a long-standing career and a means for him to support his family.
“I’ve gained valuable life skills and experience that I can pass down to my children, which gives me a tremendous sense of pride,” Brazell said. “You work with your hands to build something that is needed, useful and valuable. You’re able to visibly see the results of your time, effort and hard work and you’re able to make a positive contribution to the community and economy.”
Still, construction can be very labor intensive and stressful. At times, it is both physically and emotionally exhausting.
“The physical aspects of construction take a toll on your body overtime and the mental aspect is also exhausting and draining,” Brazell said. “Working up high can be scary and intimidating but it’s something you adapt to.”
On top of this, workers are expected to deliver a finished product on a deadline, despite unexpected and unpreventable issues, such as bad weather. As a project manager, it is Brazell’s responsibility to overcome these issues.
“You’re always working against the clock and mother nature,” Brazell said.
Brazell’s career has brought him as far as Hawaii and Vegas, where he worked at military bases installing jet fuel lines and bomber pads.
“To touch foot on a nuclear submarine, watch the Thunderbirds take flight and interact with various military personnel was a memorable experience I will never forget,” Brazell said.
Out of everything, though, Brazell says that the best part of his job is getting to know the people he works with.
“A construction project is a collaboration of various people all working together to build something amazing. That is incredible, to say the least,” Brazell said. “I’ve worked with various people from all walks of life throughout my career and have formed lifelong friendships and connections.”
One of these people is Stephen Bugbee. He is eight years older than Brazell and has known him since Brazell was 18 years old and in high school.
“I kind of feel like he’s my little brother. I love the hell out of him,” Bugbee said. “I respect the hell out of him.”
Bugbee and Brazell have worked several jobs together, including projects in Carmichael, Vegas and Hawaii. In total, the two have spent about eight years working together.
Over this time, Bugbee has gotten to know Brazell very well, and he sees Brazell as good natured and fun to work with.
“He gets along with everybody,” Bugbee said. “He’s very good at what he does–he doesn’t just show up for the paycheck. He takes a genuine interest in doing things right and building things right.”
Currently, Brazell is working on DHS’s All Student Center.
“It’s ironic how life comes full circle at times. I began my career in the construction field just out of high school because someone took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity. Now I’m working on the Davis High School All Student Center Project that is giving students the opportunity to do the same,” Brazell said. “It’s surreal, to say the least, and I am honored and privileged to have this opportunity to pay it forward and work with the students.”