Case Studies

Centurion Construction Company Inc.

A Steady Ship Through Rough Economic Waters

The idea behind Centurion Construction Company Inc. (Centurion) is simple: provide the highest quality construction on time and within budget. Based out of Raleigh, N.C., the firm has been living up to that idea since its inception in 1980. Consistently setting the bar for quality construction across North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina for 30 years has earned Centurion the distinction of being one of the finest firms in the mid-Atlantic.

Marshall Gurley Sr. founded the company and today still sits as CEO. Gurley’s steady hand has ensured the firm’s steady growth from a handful of employees to close to 100. Throughout the expansion, Centurion never lost sight of the small-business principles it was originally founded upon. These vital components include always meeting and exceeding the wishes of the client, finishing a project on or ahead of time, within budget and in the safest way possible.

Serving the Major Marketplaces

Because the company has lived up to those standards for over 30 years, Centurion now performs a number of services across a wide swath of markets. The firm has extensive experience in general contracting, design-build, construction management, project management as well as the preconstruction services that include estimating, value engineering, building information management analysis, sustainable construction, design consulting and subcontractor and vendor selections.

“We have certain types of construction and markets that we specialize in, but we are always active in five or six of the eight major markets. We remain active in life sciences and advanced technology and research related projects,” says Gary Wright, executive vice president of Centurion. “We’ve done an awful lot across the commercial, institutional, educational, corporate, office and retail sectors.” In addition the firm continues to work within the healthcare, religious and warehouse/distribution sectors as well as on other public sector projects.

Currently one of the more active markets is the multifamily market, which includes market rate apartments to low-income affordable projects as well as senior communities and student housing. Centurion has over $100 million under contract for several projects within this marketplace with private developer clients.

The company has also expanded resources to continue its growth for work in sustainable construction. Staff members have worked within LEED guidelines and are well versed in the ‘green’ building movement. On every project, Centurion employees strive to make everything as environmentally sustainable as possible.

Cornering North Carolina’s Education Market

Centurion is currently working on a number of interesting and significant projects. “We actually are just completing the new Chefs’ Academy facility in Morrisville, N.C. It’s a culinary institute that started in Indianapolis, but it opened a second location here.” The architect on the project is Rowland Design, and once completed it will be a 24,000-square foot, single-story training facility complete with three full culinary kitchens, classrooms and offices.

In addition to the culinary institute, Centurion is active within the community college marketplace of the region. “We’ve completed projects for Johnston Community College. Over time we’ve done a few buildings for them. We have also been working on the Beaufort Community College campus as well as Pitt Community College,” continues Wright. “Overall the community college system within North Carolina is a good marketplace. It’s growing, and they have real needs for new and renovated facilities. We are able to stay busy with those types of projects, the institutional and higher education ones, largely because much of the overall commercial and retail sectors have been very slow.”

While higher education related work has taken up most of Centurion’s energy and time recently, one of the company’s more recent and larger projects was construction of the new Cleveland High School in Johnston County. “That was significant because it was a $30 million project,” Wright says. Designed by Hite Associates, this Clayton, N.C., high school is 303,269 square feet and is a masonry and structural steel multi-building complex with brick veneer.

Fostering a Safe Work Environment

None of these projects would be possible, however, without the company’s overarching commitment to providing a safe work environment. Centurion has won numerous awards for its unparalleled record of safety. The company employs a full-time safety director who conducts unannounced safety inspections on each project at least once a month. The firm has continued its investment in technology to track the training received by each employee. This ensures that on each project site every worker has the appropriate level of safety training.

Safety ties in with the original premise of the company, and that is to perform high quality work in a timely manner. “That commitment to quality has led to success beyond just finances,” states Gary Wright. “As a company we enjoy a great reputation and benefit from many long lasting relationships and that all stems back to our founder, Marshall, which is where this story started.”

After 31 years, Centurion continues to grow and expand. However, its founder and current CEO, Marshall Gurley Sr., makes sure that no matter how big the company gets, Centurion Construction Company will never lose sight of the principles that got it there.

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