“I couldn’t speak a word of English…”
This week, we are spotlighting a Superintendent with more than 35 years of experience on projects ranging from interior renovations to high-rise construction. Tocci appreciates his expertise in field management and dedication to every project. His admirable story moves from a humble beginning into a life marked by constant improvement. We are proud to spotlight the one and only Sid Massaro.
What are you up to?
These days, he’s on a modular design-build project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Natick, MA. It is split between two sites – Heritage Lane with 28 replacement housing units, and General Greene Avenue with 19 townhomes. He says: “This project will provide safe on-base housing for USACE families, so I’m very proud to be a part of this team.”
How did you start in construction?
As a young man, Sid graduated from the Wentworth Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Civil + Highway and began his career with private and public projects, like high schools, fire houses, and police stations.
What is your favorite project with Tocci?
He readily notes that it’s Togar Suites (Ave Union, NJ), a multi-unit residential built around a courtyard and pool with large windows providing apartments a clear view of the water fountain.
Sid says it has a special place in his heart because of the people he worked with there: “They were knowledgeable, cooperative, and understanding, and I still talk to some of them today. This project was especially memorable because the property was extremely close to the commuter railroad lines, and we had to build a 40-foot retaining wall between the property and the edge of the train tracks. I enjoyed that.”
What project was foundational to your career?
“My first full-time job out of Wentworth was on the John Hancock Tower in Boston, from 1969 to 1973. I learned about different construction disciplines and how to overcome obstacles… like 500-pound windowpanes falling out.”
Any advice for people entering the industry?
“Try to listen to the older generation, because I can assure you, they’ve done this before and learned from their mistakes.”
How do you spend your time when not on the jobsite?
“I’m with my family, including my seven grandchildren, or travelling to my home in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It’s an hour and a half from Rome going towards the Adriatic Sea, and with an elevation of 5,000 feet, the air is nice and brisk. I love it because I was born there and I have many living relatives, like cousins and aunts, still there.
“It helps that Mr. Tocci’s family is from this region as well!
“But really, I can reconnect with my past there, since I came to America in 1958 after being on a boat for 13 days. Back then, I couldn’t speak a word of English, and I remember looking up in New York harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. I can look back now and be thankful for everything that brought me to this moment today.”