Dustin Ronci installs wire.

Santon electricians help breathe new life into historic Youngstown building

Once a social spot for live entertainment in downtown Youngstown, the Gallagher building, formerly known as Cedar’s Lounge, is undergoing some work.

Helping lead the electrical component of the project are two residential journeymen electricians with Santon Electric: Eric Inskeep and Dustin Ronci.

Working in the structure, which was built in 1904, both Inskeep and Ronci are putting their skills to the test.

Stacked on four floors, 45 one-bedroom and micro-units are being built, along with restaurant and dining area on the first floor, said Brian Angelilli, founder and president of GreenHeart Companies, LLC.

“It’s a puzzle sometimes trying to figure out how to get the wire from one place to another,” Inskeep said.

Eric Inskeep installs wire.

Eric Inskeep, a residential journeyman electrician, works on the Gallagher building in downtown Youngstown.

“Some of the rooms are different,” leaving the electricians to use some critical thinking on running the wire, he said.

Sometimes in new dwellings it’s easier to manage but upcycling the building means keeping the integrity of the aged wood and other components.

Idle hands? Not these guys

Both Inskeep and Ronci got their start in the electrical industry after attending college and deciding it wasn’t for them.

“I wanted to hop into something and get my hands dirty, ready to work,” Ronci said.

Inskeep echoed the statement, adding he “wanted to start” his life and at the suggestion of his father-in-law and brother-in-law, he applied for an apprenticeship.

Rebuilding Youngstown

Besides enjoying work, Inskeep and Ronci like being part of Youngstown’s overall renovation.

“There’s been a lot of progress downtown,” Inskeep said, adding the Gallagher building is the oldest he’s worked on.

Dustin Ronci installs wire.

Installing wire for apartments in downtown Youngstown is Dustin Ronci, a journeyman electrician with Santon Electric.

For Ronci, not only does he enjoy the historical component of the job, but also the proximity.

“Working downtown, it’s nice because I don’t have far to travel. It’s always great to have work close to home,” Ronci said.

Usually, he has at least one other person to work with at the Gallagher building, but sometimes he’s joined by a pigeon or two as they fly in and out of open windows.

Santon Electric is a member electrical contractor of NECA-IBEW Electricians, an association of IBEW union locals in Youngstown and Warren and signatory Mahoning Valley NECA electrical contractors.