A legacy from over 50 years.

Our History

Founded in 1974 by Glen Sandwith, GS Construction has a proven track record of success and growth, and continues to look ahead without forgetting the robust past.


A Second Crew

After making money from the first job Glen decided to start a second crew in 1975.


Storm Pond & Lift Station

GS undertook a storm pond in Acheson GS2 and a lift station in Camrose GS3.


Nisku Industrial Park, SW of Beaumont

Here's a waterline going across the from Nisku industrial park over to a residential area on crossed the creek that line.


The Notorious Competitor

A notorious competitor tried to mess up GS’s bonding. Glen bid a job in Whitehorse (1976-77) and this competitor kept telling his bonding company that GS was going broke on the job. Both crews were up there and Glen bought a 245 CAT excavator (equivalent to 670 today) and shipped it up there to do the job.


Hinton Workers


Installation of watermain


NW Hinton, Mountain St.


Glen and a future engineer with Stantec

Stony Plain crossing of Highway 16A.


Hard Times & a Lucky Win

In 1980, GS had no work to start the season but then got a job in Slave Lake. As soon as the first payment came in the Bank seized the payment which would force Glen to declare bankruptcy. He had not breached any covenants of the banking agreement and so if had been put into bankruptcy he could have sued for future lost profits. His lawyer wanted to sue for $20 million. The bank finally relented, and Glen only asked that his vendors were paid and an apology letter sent to them. His name and reputation was more important than declaring bankruptcy. He continued at the bank until he paid off the loan he owed and left the bank in 1982.

During the tough 1980s, Glen did the estimating, paid bills, ran the main excavator and even laid pipe as needed during those lean years. All the while working in remote towns and hamlets in Northern and Central Alberta.


Workers from New Brunswick


Excavating North of Stony Plain



R. Angus - a sticker on the loader. They used to be the Caterpillar distributor in Alberta, prior to Finning.


Terran Sandwith

13 year old Terran Sandwith driving a packer.


963 CAT Loader


A Better Future

The 1990s started to get better. With John returning as the estimator after a 10 stint working in Calgary, and Jules Bertrand coming to work for Glen as a Foreman around 1996 after spending 33 years with Standard General. This slowly allowed Glen to take more of a management role and take some of the burden off of him.


The Home Office

In 1990 Glen finally completed his house on the acreage and was able to put his office in the house. He had purchased the acreage in 1979 with plans to build his dream home. Those plans had to wait 10 years.


Installation of a lot service in a shored trench







Deanna, Glen's daughter standing beside the brand new GMC.


Running the Crews

From 1998 to 2004, GS had one main underground crew under Jules and a second crew run by Wilf Hartfelder, a good friend of Glen’s who had retired from CN. Wilf who could do underground but also earthworks, landscaping and other special projects.


A regular supply line


Precision Trenching Gets Some Extra Hands

In 2000 Wilf was doing a project in Barrhead. Glen helped Keith Mackinnon start Precision Trenching by renting Wilf’s crew and equipment.


Fort Saskatchevan


Mark Wright Joins GS

Mark Wright was hired June 12th, 2000. His first project was with Jules in 99 st Edmonton. That winter he bid his first 2 estimates by hand, the old school way.


Silver Spoon

Christmas of 2002, Terran, came back to work with GS. At that time the office was in the family home where his Uncle John worked as the Estimator and Mark helped estimate in the winter months.

The first day on a job did not go well for Terran as he slept in on the first day and was late, then at coffee break he was presented with a shovel that had ‘Silver Spoon’ spray painted on it.


Terran at GS

From 2003 to 2006 Terran spent the construction season working in the field in every position from labourer, topman to pipelayer, and every piece of equipment from loader to excavator and eventually as a Foreman running projects. All the while learning the business from Glen, Jules, Wilf, John, and Mark. (from construction, estimating, contract management, project management, risk management etc.)

Terran’s sister Deanna was working for GS in the field as well.


Town of Bon Accord, 2003 Infrastructure Improvements

Shored trench excavation next to a shallow concrete storm sewer.


Sturgeon County, Villeneuve Water Supply System, Contract 1 – Water Supply Line

Installation of the waterline meter vault.


Town of Edson, 2004 Watermain Upgrading and Replacement Program

Watermain replacement and service connections.


Town of Stony Plain, 1050mm Sanitary Sewer Mainline Repair

Mark Wright, after checking the internal connection between the newly install 1050mm PVC Sanitary sewer to the existing concrete sewer. On the main sanitary sewer trunk out of Stony Plain.


Town of Fox Creek, 2004 Infrastructure Improvements

Installation of concrete storm sewer, Hitachi 200 excavator, Terran next to barricade. Terran is on the right, installing the manhole.


Jules Departs

At the end of 2004 Jules left GS because of personal reasons.


Town of Edson, East End Subdivision – Underground and Roadways

Installation of the Storm Water Management Facility Control Manhole. The SWMF water elevation will be maintained to the top of the vertical PVC Pipe.


A Second Underground Crew

In 2005, GS started a second underground crew with Terran running one and Mark Wright running the second. Wilf Hartfelder was running a third crew doing earthworks and special projects. Again, at that time Mark and Terran would both be wearing different hats at times by also going and laying pipe or running a piece of backfill equipment while also playing our role as Foreman.


Wilf Exits the Company

In 2006, Wilf Hartfelder left the company after the 2006 construction season to start his own landscaping business.


New Blood

Steve Brittain was soon hired to run the second crew. Steve had been an engineering inspector with UMA. He later returned to a group of engineers who started Select Engineering. Terran was able to become more of a project manager. Again at that time everyone was wearing different hats.


First Meeting

In 2006, Ryan Thompson met Glen, Terran and Mark for the first time as an inspector for Associated Engineering on GS 208 – 2006 Sewer Bypass Project. Ryan would work with GS on several projects as the consulting engineer over the next few years in Onoway, Slave Lake, and Hinton.


Unprecedented Economic Growth

From 2006 tp 2008, Alberta saw unprecedented economic growth. It was a crazy boom with oil prices reaching the $150/barrel. It was like the ‘wild west’ and it was hard to find people to fill jobs with all the work that was available. During those years GS was able to do very well in their niche of municipal rehab because no one wanted to do these difficult and high risk projects when there was ‘easier’ work to be had.


2 Underground Crews

In 2008 GS continued to run 2 underground crews.


Mike’s First Project

Mike ran his first project as a Foreman running his own crew in Onoway and under the tutelage of Glen as well.



A Loss in Revenue

Revenues were cut by 60% due to the Global Financial Crisis and revenues didn’t recover to 2008 levels until 2012. However, GS maintained two crews, stayed profitable and didn’t have to let go any of its permanent or key employees.


A Contract with EPCOR

In 2012, Ryan Thompson and Terran spoke about potential opportunities with Ryan coming on board with GS. At that time GS was looking to get a long term contract with EPCOR Water so the timing was perfect. Ryan was hired and spearheaded the proposal to EPCOR Water and secured the contract. He then proceeded to build out the team and infrastructure needed to service such a large contract. This was a catalyst for GS in providing it with steady revenue and allowing it to grow.


5 Underground Crews

2015 GS was running 5 main underground crews and 3 mini or support crews.


The Collapse in Oil Prices

In 2016 revenues were cut in half from 2015 due to the collapse in oil prices and did not recover to 2015 levels until 2018. Again, GS stayed profitable and didn’t have to let go any of its permanent or key employees.


7 Underground Crews

In 2017, GS began running 7 main underground crews.


Reconstruction and expansion of our Office


The COVID19 Pandemic

During COVID GS managed to maintain and grow business throughout the pandemic and keep everyone employed.