City Construction Company Inc.
City Construction Company Inc. (CCC) has been providing diverse new construction and renovation services in West Virginia for more than 49 years and four generations. Oral Henderson Jr. founded the business in 1965 and operated the business for several decades with his five sons, Bud, Ron, Mark, Brian and Scott. Oral is still involved in the business, but his son Oral “Bud” Henderson III currently serves as CEO. Grandson Beau Henderson is the company’s vice president and has been working for the family business for 10 years.
CCC is a commercial general contractor doing public and private work. The business also has a residential construction and renovation division and a commercial window retrofitting division. With approximately 50 employees, the company’s geographic footprint varies by division. The team performs commercial general contracting work all over West Virginia, while residential work is more local with projects within a 100-mile radius of the company’s headquarters in Clarksburg, W.V. Furthermore, CCC’s window division has the largest footprint, serving all of West Virginia and the surrounding states.
An evolving business
The company originally started in the residential market as City Window and Construction Company, which is now operated as an arm of the main commercial business. The window operation ranks in the top five retrofitting window installation contractors in the national region. This division is focused on retrofitting existing facilities with new windows. Projects have included schools, state buildings, office buildings and others. The main component of the business specializes in commercial, federal, state and industrial general contracting.
The Henderson family has built a recognized brand in the area. “City Window and Construction makes up the visual aspect of the company,” says Beau. “People recognize our bright red trucks that cruise through town, so our residential and window work is probably what we are best known for. Despite that, our commercial general contracting business is the largest volume of our work. CCC is the largest school contractor in West Virginia and has completed well over 150 projects.”
Across all divisions, CCC performs approximately 30 percent of its work in-house. The team performs all its own window installation. For commercial and residential construction, the business performs project management, concrete, foundation, carpentry, site development, door installation, woodwork and storefront work. For the rest, CCC relies on a network of reliable subcontractors, including all mechanical, electrical and plumbing, as well as other specialty trades.
A growing portfolio
Over the years, the CCC team has been involved in hundreds of diverse projects. The commercial sector has been growing rapidly in recent years and the company’s portfolio is growing. In 2013, CCC constructed two sets of West Virginia Department of Highway rest areas. “These were $7.5 million rest stops,” Beau recounts. “We also completed a state welcome center coming in from Maryland to West Virginia. The welcome center was completed in 2009.”
Beau goes on to note that the company is currently working on two design-build public schools. “We are the first in the state to do a public school design-build delivery instead of a design-bid-build approach, which is typical,” he details. “We are building a middle school and an elementary school where we teamed up with an architect/engineer and put out a design and price at the same time. Both schools are set to open in January 2015.”
Some of the more memorable projects Beau recalls have also been over the last few years. CCC is currently completing the largest single project in company history. The $20 million middle school in Fairmont, W.V., will offer 110,000 square feet of educational space. The company is utilizing non-traditional products in the school, which will make it a state-of-the-art facility.
Another first to the nation is the cross laminated timber (CLT) school being built in Franklin, W.V. “Although the CLT system is only available and predominant in Canada and Europe, it is our desire to spark a new native wood manufacturing industry to West Virginia and the states,” he continues. “The entire CLT building of 46,000 square feet will be completed in less than 12 weeks.”
A steady flow of work has helped keep CCC in the black throughout the recession and into the recovery. The company’s diverse business model allows the divisions to balance each other out. “The recession didn’t hurt us as bad as other places,” Beau recalls. “Nothing spiked and nothing plummeted. We try to stay consistent and chase work even when we are busy. We want to keep our name in the marketplace. I think we are bidding more now than what we normally would have a few years ago.”
To keep clients coming back and to perpetuate a reputation of reliability, CCC operates on a simple philosophy: the Golden Rule. “We treat our clients, our subs and our suppliers how we want to be treated in business,” says Beau. “Our subs want to work for us. We treat our partners well and pay them well. Our word is our bond. We have great relationships with our employees, as well.” CCC’s average employee retention is in excess of 20 years.
Relationships are the backbone of the business. Repeat business will help CCC continue to move forward into new markets while maintaining consistent quality. Beau says his team is not looking for any major growth and sees steady and consistent work enduring over the next one to two years. “Too much work can be worse than not enough,” he notes. With a level-headed approach to the construction business, City Construction Company Inc. is building on a family legacy with a reputation synonymous with quality and integrity.
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