There’s never a blade of grass out of place, it seems, at the Mac Testing & Consulting facility on the corner of Maple Avenue and Reckless Place.


The green-shuttered white building, the verdant lawn and the flowerbeds surrounding the educational services company are always impeccably groomed. The only incongruity there is the Georgia Bulldogs flag hanging out front.

What’s amazing to us is that this uber-put-togetherness remained the case all summer, as the building went through major renovations, including the addition of new rooms upstairs.

From what we could see, not a flower stem was broken in the process. There wasn’t a scrap of busted sheetrock or clump of sawdust left in the grass. That cantilevered portion you see in the picture? That’s new, and we never saw a bit of debis in the bushes beneath it.

To any homeowner who’s ever endured the daily hell of gypsum dust everywhere, tire-gouged lawns and the mud, mud, mud that goes with remodeling work, the Mac site is the unattainable ideal, the Martha Stewart of makeovers.

Of course, this was not the result of pure luck. School founder Dr. Jean D’Arcy Maculaitis—’Dr. Mac’ to all—and her husband, Anthony Tamburello, simply wouldn’t have it any other way. They live upstairs from the business, which continued to operate throughout the project. And they insisted that their standards of professionalism be met.

Which meant that the site wasn’t cleaned up only at the end of the job, or even the end of each phase, but every day.

Dr. Mac says she achieved this goal in part by telling the contractors she worked with, “If it’s not cleaned up, I’m not writing the checks.”

Not that she’s a martinet. Dr. Mac—a mother of nine children, now all grown—says she likes to foster a “hugging, squeezing, let-me-show-you” atmosphere of learning, and selected only tradespeople she felt were fully on board with her aim of keeping the place as spotless as possible.

It helped, too, that she and her husband have done this sort of thing before. When they bought the building in early 1998, it was in a terrible state, and they “rebuilt it from the inside out,” she says.

Mother, educator, author of numerous books; perhaps Dr. Mac could add “home renovations consultant” to her resume and start charging for advice on how to have it your way.

E-mail this story