Islands Mechanical Contractor Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
The year 2013 marks 21 years in business for Islands Mechanical Contractor Inc. (IMC). Since 1992, the full-service general contractor has been supporting federal and private sector clients across the southeastern U.S., Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean. “We offer a broad range of design-build, LEED-certified construction, general construction and demolition services, but large scale renovations and energy upgrades are IMC’s forte,” reveals Dezra Sweeney, program manager for IMC.
The Florida-based contractor originated as a branch of W.W. Gay, a construction company based in Jacksonville, Fla. In 2002 a small group of managers, including Ronnie Chason, president of IMC, as well as Robert Turnage, CFO, purchased the company. After years of growing IMC under W.W. Gay, remaining partners Chason and Turnage nearly tripled business under their new-found leadership.
Chason and Turnage diversified IMC’s capabilities and entered the federal market. Today, IMC provides federal customers – primarily various military factions of the U.S. Department of Defense – and private sector clients with design-build, general construction and energy efficiency upgrade services. The company also self-performs mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection with a teaming partner.
Running On Island Time
IMC remains true to its name, serving the islands of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico and meeting the needs of clients in many geographical locations, spanning from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Jamaica and beyond. “We serve the southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean,” reveals Sweeney. “In the past, we’ve done projects as far north as North Carolina and all the way down to the Florida Keys. We are presently working in Alabama, for the Alabama Air National Guard, on an energy upgrade project.”
While IMC is based in Middleburg, Fla., the company also utilizes a highly active office at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO). Other islands IMC has worked on include: Anguilla, Curacao, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Belize and Aruba. In fact, the majority of IMC’s work takes place outside of Florida.
“Having an office in GTMO has been a huge benefit for us,” explains Turnage. “There isn’t much there IMC has not touched or been involved in on the base during the last 20 years. We are on an Indefinite Quality, Indefinite Delivery [IDIQ] Multiple Award Construction Contract [MACC] at that location.”
IMC works with federal sector clients on government contracts. “We know the procedures for assembling and submitting the required documentation, as well as progress and closeout documentation,” the company’s website reads. “Our experience allows us to navigate each project through the proper channels, ensuring greater efficiency and minimal delays. We have successfully completed numerous projects for the military.”
The company has two divisions: industrial contracting and government/private commercial contracting. “Our government arm is highly experienced,” adds Sweeney. “Our list of successful government projects is extensive.”
Ranging from fire station renovations to elevator replacements, IMC works hard to ensure each customer receives the construction product per the plans and specifications. “We plan our work and work our plan,” explains Chason.
In 2009 IMC delivered a $16.7 million design-build Migrant Operations Facility. Building a staging facility in the event of mass migration, IMC managed the design-build construction of a mass migration facility on the leeward side of the U.S.N.S. Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The project included 26 concrete tilt-up panel latrines, three pre-engineered buildings, two K-span warehouses, a 300,000-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant, three lift stations, as well as all the related underground water and electrical infrastructure.
And IMC’s more current GTMO resume continues. “We were recently awarded a $10 million solar array and LED lighting retrofit project and have just completed an airfield relighting project,” adds Sweeney. “The airfield project received great reviews on the navigational aids and lighting installed by the GTMO team. Additionally, they were able to complete the project without hindering airport operations.”
At home in Florida, IMC’s industrial division also plays an active role in the industry. “One of our most notable projects on the industrial side is a new air-gas plant for Matheson Tri-Gas Inc. [Matheson] in Lakeland, Fla.,” details Sweeney.
The gas plant for Matheson, a New Jersey-based company, will be the second-biggest user of electricity in the city. The main function of the massive plant is to liquefy nitrogen, oxygen and argon and sell the products to area businesses.
“The 160-footlong multistory cold-box tower, which was constructed in Japan, was shipped to Port Manatee, transported to Lakeland and installed via a 600-ton capacity crane,” reveals Sweeney. “Overall, it was an impressive job to pull off, due to the logistics of moving the 186 ton cold-box from the port, across three counties and to its final upright installation on its foundation.”
The project has earned IMC well-respected industrial standing. “We have just completed our ASME Code Welding Compliance Review and we are looking forward to pursuing projects in the works, both here in Florida and in the Gulf Region,” adds Sweeney.
Making a Comeback
With the recession bringing other construction markets to a halt, Sweeney explains that some traditionally residential contractors flooded the government market. “We’re a small business and most of our work is for the military,” she shares. “Now that multifamily work is coming back residential contractors will slowly leave the government market, because that’s just not their niche, which is good for us because we will not have to bid against 50 other companies for every job.”
As the company begins to come back from leaner years as a result of the economic downturn, a history of expertly executed projects has earned IMC a solid backlog. “We were awarded several contracts at the end of FY2013,” explains Sweeney. “We hope the economy is starting to improve and we are looking forward to a successful new year.”
Sweeney adds that IMC’s team and many years of industry experience make the difference for the small business. “The longevity of our employees sets us apart, we’re well versed in what we do,” she says. Islands Mechanical Contractor Inc. continues to win bids based on experience, supporting and building necessities for the nation’s armed forces and commercial industry.
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