Coffee Chat with Scott Sage, Sr Construction Manager

As part of our Coffee Chat series, a Capstone employee will be interviewed each month and featured in our monthly newsletter, The Erudite. For the September issue, the editors of The Erudite sat down with Scott Sage. Scott joined Capstone in 2018 to manage the construction of the Student Housing West Project that is being developed in partnership with UC Santa Cruz. 


Scott Sage, Sr Construction Manager

Purdue University, 1990

Bachelors, Construction Management and Contracting


Where are you from originally?

I grew up in the Chicago suburbs.

Did you live in on-campus housing? What was your dorm like?

Yes, for 2 years. My first year, I lived in a dorm called McCutcheon Hall built in 1963. It was a traditional, double occupancy unit with a community bath down the hall. My second year I lived in an apartment that was on-campus. It’s amazing to see how student housing is really different now from what I lived in when I was on-campus. The student housing that we build now is so much improved from the dorms in the 1980’s / 1990’s.

Favorite class from college?

Definitely, surveying. I had 4 years of surveying. The class was exciting because we got to be out in the field with the equipment and actually doing the surveying. It was my first exposure to seeing that there’s actually a method and a science into how this (building buildings) is done.

Some other favorite classes were Soils and Construction Means and Methods where I learned about geotechnical engineering, different types of concrete formwork, formwork design engineering, and steel erection. At the time, that class was really eye opening to see that there’s all of these buildings around and then learn what goes into making them. If you’re going to build this building how are you going to do it? By what materials, methods, and sequence? It was exciting to learn about the engineering and the science behind it.

Is there a podcast that you are listening to right now or book that you are reading?

Yes, I don’t ride a road bike but I’ve just been enamored with Tour de France. I’ve been watching the Tour de France, every year since 2000. Now, I am listening to the podcast, The Move, by Lance Armstrong which breaks down the 21-day race daily. Previously, I didn’t know anything about competitive team cycling, but several years ago I read Lance Armstrong’s book, “It’s Not About the Bike”. So, I read about the strategy behind team cycling dynamics and the competition. I am also currently re-listening to the audio book “The Blue Mind” written by an acquaintance of mine that documents the scientific research into well- being and mental health benefits through nature and water, including the ocean.

What do you do in your free time or are you an active member of any organizations?

I like to spend time outdoors whether it’s backcountry skiing in the Sierra’s, mountain biking, or enjoying time surfing. I also enjoy volunteering for various programs in the Santa Cruz community sharing the healing powers of the ocean, serving veterans and special needs children.

What do you enjoy most about working on college campuses?

Lantana Hall at ASU Poly was my first project that I was able to participate in the construction and turnover process, since joining Capstone. Since we recently completed construction on Lantana Hall, I was able to be there on-site for the first move-in for the new building.  I’ll say that going through the construction phase with the various Capstone partners, it’s pretty awesome to see the Capstone process and team. Capstone really gives the best product out there and best value for the university. I really got to appreciate the move-in weekend process. Myself along with David Morrisey and William Davis and our contractor response strike team were all there on-site for move-in to be available for any warranty work that popped up.  I sat at the front desk that Sunday to direct traffic and help address any warranty issues with the strike team. I really enjoyed getting to interact with the students and their families. You could see that they are working hard, have a story and a goal, and are so excited for their college experience. We really do help these young kids who are embarking on their college journey. On several occasions we were congratulating the families as they dropped off their students.  It was pretty great to see all of the excitement.

Is there anything else that you want to add or closing thoughts?

Coming from a construction company, I am really amazed with the Capstone approach. From leadership, down. The company tries to always treat partners fairly and at the same time provide the best quality of product. In the last 6 months, I’ve had the opportunity to interact more with the other groups within the company and I’m just really excited to be a part of a company dedicated to doing the right things in the right way. As an example, I was able to participate in the ASU Downtown design through financial close debrief earlier this year, and more recently a Construction mid-point state-of-the-project review where we had open discussion about how the team was performing, where can we improve, and celebrating our success really spotlighted the collaborative approach and striving for all partners to be successful.  I feel like I am in the right place. Things get busy but it’s inspiring and makes you want to work hard for what we do.