Buckeye Construction Company Inc.: Developing Infrastructure in the Carolinas
- Written by: Buckeye Construction Company Inc.: Developing Infrastructure in the Carolinas
- Produced by: Buckeye Construction Company Inc.: Developing Infrastructure in the Carolinas
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Garry Mease founded heavy utility construction company Buckeye Construction Company Inc. (BCC) in 1986. BCC quickly became a success due to the quality of work that the company continues to produce today, as well as for its attention to safety. BCC is based in Canton, N.C., from which it grew to 125 employees averaging between $20 and $25 million in revenues at its height. “Because of the slowdown, we were forced to cut our staff to 65 employees to remain competitive,” says Mease. “In recent months however we’ve started seeing an uptick in municipal spending. I believe that 2012 will end up like 2011, because the towns and cities that we work with set their budgets in previous years but when they set their 2013 budgets in June or July.” Increase in Project Radius Helps Offset Economy Mease has expanded BCC’s base of operations in order to stay active in the interim. BCC now includes projects as far south as Atlanta, west Tennessee and up to North Carolina’s border with Virginia. “The majority of the work that we have been performing for the past half year is what we call out-of-town work,” continues Mease. “It’s all work that is more than a two-hour drive from our base in Canton.” The heavy utility contractor currently offers clients a variety of services, including: water and sewer line construction and repair, concrete work and wastewater treatment facility construction and repair. “For a long time we only worked on water and sewer lines,” says Mease. “We added the concrete and wastewater treatment facilities about six years ago in an effort to diversify our business.” Crews from BCC completed one of the company’s largest projects to date for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Utility District (CMUD). BCC completed two portions of the nearly $28 million project, which called for the construction of approximately 52,800 linear feet of 12-inch to 48-inch gravity sewer, in addition to 5,120 linear feet of 24-inch force main and one pump station to serve the Reedy Creek and McKee Creek Basins. The project begins at the confluence of Caldwell Creek and Reedy Creek and runs west to the Mecklenburg County line along Reedy and McKee Creeks. The Reedy Creek portion of the project within Cabarrus County consists of four separate construction contracts: Reedy Creek Pump Station; Middle Reedy Creek Interceptor; Upper Reedy Creek Interceptor; and the Reedy Creek Force/Gravity Sewer. BCC successfully bid on the construction of the Middle/Upper Reedy Creek Interceptor and completed the project in October 2010. Mease says that the company has remained active throughout the downturn because of the relationship that he has developed with tribal officials in Cherokee, N.C., which is home to the eastern band of Cherokee Indians. Keys to Success “We’ve done a lot of work with the Cherokee Tribal Utilities Department and they have us out there often,” reveals Mease. “We used to do a lot of their sanitation work but they recently completed a $650 million expansion to their casino, and we were tapped to provide nearly $6 million in utility work on the project.” Mease attributes another reason for the company’s success to the loyal cadre of employees that BCC has cultivated over the years. “I have a great group of guys working for me,” continues Mease. “Some of them started with me back in ’86 when I founded the company and they’re still here. Everyone knows that I’m accessible to all of my employees and they are a large part in why we’ve done well.” The one variable to the company’s future success that Mease cannot control is one that affects nearly every industry in the United States. “The cost of fuel is rapidly becoming our number one concern,” says Mease. “We’re heavy contractors and one of our excavators can easily consume up to 75 to 80 gallons of fuel daily. Run three or four of those machines on a project and the fuel costs can quickly cut into your profit margins. If fuel hits $4.25 gallons like some people are estimating, it’s going to hurt the recent upturn in the economy.” Mease’s nearly 30 years in the industry keeps him cool, calm and confident that if fuel does increase, BCC will find a way to work through it. Besides, Mease and the company have survived much worse in the past. Garry Mease and Buckeye Construction Company Inc. will continue to rank as one of the most highly regarded heavy civil contractors in the Carolinas.
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