Case Studies

G.W. Mitchell Construction

Shaping the San Antonio landscape with quality general contracting for 95 years

G.W. Mitchell Construction has been a standout name in general contracting since 1921. Now in the hands of third and fourth generation family members, G.W. Mitchell has overcome many obstacles, surviving the Great Depression and growing through the 2008 recession while building a reputation for quality service. Serving greater San Antonio and South Texas, G.W. Mitchell has been involved in many notable landmarks and has completed numerous corporate, educational, health care, historic renovations, municipal, religious, residential and retail projects over its 95-year history.

G.W. Mitchell Construction

A well-known name in San Antonio

After serving as an officer in World War I, George W. Mitchell established G.W. Mitchell General Contracting in San Antonio in 1921. He got his start building small family homes, but quickly moved up to larger custom homes and commercial projects. After World War II, G.W.’s three sons — George, Bob and Melvin — joined the company and the business incorporated as G. W. Mitchell & Sons Inc.

In the 2000s with G.W. long out of the picture, and Melvin the only active son in the business, the company began doing business as G.W. Mitchell Construction.

G.W. Mitchell made its mark on San Antonio, completing many iconic buildings and landmarks, including the Atkinson Residence, which is now known as the McNay Art Museum; many of the buildings at Trinity University (including Laurie Auditorium); multiple projects at the Alamo Cement Quarry and many other fine residential and commercial projects.

The second generation became known for La Villita Assembly Building; the South Texas Medical School (known today as the UT Health Science Center); the project of raising the roof on the original Hemisphere Arena and many other commercial and industrial projects.

The third generation’s more memorable projects include: the Clear Channel World Wide headquarters, Alamo Heights United Methodist new campus, Oak Hills Church new campus, and a unique basement excavation under a building on the Alamo grounds.

Attracting top talent

Today, the third and fourth generation carries on the company name. Melvin is chairman of the board, Bill Mitchell is president, Lane Mitchell serves as vice president, Andy Mitchell is chief financial officer, Andy’s wife Leah Mitchell is comptroller and Bill’s daughter Erin Clementson serves as director of business development.

In addition to this executive leadership, G.W. Mitchell has over 40 employees, many who have served the company for decades, and is quickly adding to its roster of top talent. “To keep pace with projects and growth we have nearly doubled our number of employees since 2013,” says Lane. “We have a long-running reputation in San Antonio; people want to work here.”

After making a strong start in the residential market, G.W. Mitchell now serves primarily as a commercial general contractor with a strong knowledge base in many sectors. From its head office in San Antonio, the firm provides pre-construction and construction services, including conceptual estimating, master project scheduling, site planning, value engineering, permit coordination, on-site supervision, project cost control, progress reporting and more.

Key project collaboration

As a project enters the construction phase, the G.W. Mitchell team maintains the momentum of the project by coordinating closely with the clients, designers and subcontractors using a collaborative approach. This infrastructure allows Mitchell to resolve any issues quickly and accurately, which helps keep construction on schedule and on budget.

A prime example of project collaboration and G.W. Mitchell’s management expertise is seen in the Gates Mineral Office Building — an 8,000-square-foot high-end custom office building in the northeast side of San Antonio. “The project was an extreme exercise in layout and execution,” says Lane.

From the ceiling made of Sinker Cypress to the 1600-grit diamond polished concrete floors embedded with glass and decorative aggregate, to the banded stone walls or the custom kitchen furniture made of our reclaimed oilfield equipment parts, the Gates Mineral Building is a testament to the imagination of the owner, creativity of the design team and the high-quality construction effort and attention to detail put forth by the G.W. Mitchell team.

“The design reflects the oilfields and the work that goes on there,” says Lane. “If you look at the stone walls, you’ll see they are progressive lays of stone with shale in between each layer. The custom carpet runners reflect a geotechnical map of an oilfield and all of the furniture in the building is made from restored materials.”

G.W. Mitchell coordinated the fabrication and installation of a high-end custom furniture package, crafted in blued steel and rare hardwood species. “There are some massive barn doors which open to the conference room with ball bearing slider wheels on top of tracks. These doors are made of salvaged pine from an old building located down town San Antonio,” says Lane.

“The Sinker Cypress ceiling is a good example of our coordination efforts,” he goes on. “All of the backer boxes, lighting and security devices were in place before the Sinker Cypress boards were installed so everything that came through the boards had to be centered. There was little room for error. All of our cuts had to be on point. Our superintendent and field staff worked with subcontractors to lay all those measurements out.”

This showcase project has won Outstanding Construction awards from AGC San Antonio and ASA San Antonio, and a Golden Trowel Award from the San Antonio Masonry Association. This is just one of the many awards G.W. Mitchell has claimed over the years.

The company has also captured multiple awards for General Contractor of the Year, Outstanding Construction Awards, Project of the Year Awards, LEED accreditation on multiple projects, safety awards, historic preservations awards and an ENR Regional Award for Merit.

As G.W. Mitchell Construction builds on nearly a century in business the family-owned company continues to shape San Antonio and forge long-lasting relationships with clients, architects, engineers and subcontractors.

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