Kenneth R. Thompson Jr. Builder Inc.
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When Kenneth R. Thompson launched Kenneth R. Thompson Builder Inc. (KRT) in 1982, he was just hoping to get his first project completed on time and on budget. But he eventually developed a name for himself and his fledgling business through the attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship he brought to his work in northern Mississippi.
“When I opened KRT’s doors in 1982, I realized a longtime dream of owning my own construction company,” Thompson was quoted as saying. “My first project was renovating a burned house. As most small business owners have experienced, the whole world seemed to be riding on those first few projects, and my subs and I put everything we had into it.”
The projects were a qualified success and led to increased business in the future. Today KRT employs 18 and Thompson has amassed a reputation for excellence with which his competitors cannot compete. The Greenwood, Miss.-based general contracting company offers its clients a number of services, including design-build, commercial construction and renovation, institutional construction and renovation, historical renovation, medical, churches, parks and recreation and construction management.
Relationships, Key To Success
Thompson attributes one factor of his company’s success with his ability to develop direct, long-term relationships with his clients. Emphasizing the personal approach that comes from partnering with a family-owned and -operated company, the KTB construction management team delivers the highest quality construction and the highest level of service no matter the size, budget or schedule of a project.
One of KTB’s satisfied clients is the world-famous Viking Range Corporation, one of the industry’s highest-quality professional and commercial-type kitchen appliance manufacturers. Brent Noah, Viking Range’s director of facilities, had this to say about his company’s on-going relationship with KRT:
“Viking Range Corporation has had a business construction relationship with Kenneth Thompson Builder since 1991. Kenneth and his staff have always performed quality work for Viking in a timely manner. They have met or exceeded the schedules while working without a complete set of plans and specifications. I look forward to working with them on future Viking projects. I highly recommend Kenneth Thompson and his staff to anyone needing quality construction performed on schedule.”
Thompson also attributes KRT’s attention to safety as another factor in the company’s success. The company maintains a safety director who ensures that every employee follows applicable federal and state laws to reduce project liability and, most importantly, to make sure that every employee goes home to his or her family at the end of the working day.
The KTB team has brought its sense of urgency and pride in a project done right throughout the state of Mississippi, though the firm has been particularly active in the Mississippi Delta region. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, however, Thompson brought his team’s expertise south and established an office in Gautier, Miss., to help repair damage from the devastating storm. His experience in historical restoration became a valuable asset for the region’s homes and buildings, many of which date back to the 1800s.
KRT’s work on the restoration of the oceanfront Biloxi city cemetery earned it a first place merit award from the Mississippi Associated Builders and Contractors (MABC). The merit awards honor contractors “whose work exemplifies the high degree of quality that is common within ABC membership,” according to the association.
The $300,000 FEMA-funded project involved a 40,000-square foot oceanfront section of the cemetery, the most storm-ravaged part of the burial grounds, where some gravesites date 200 years. The restoration entailed repairs to more than 200 headstones and 10 tombs, and included the installation of a new brick and wrought-iron fence facing the beachfront.
“We knew going in that Mr. Thompson had experience in restoration projects,” A.J. Holloway, mayor of Biloxi, was quoted as saying. “This project presented him a number of unique challenges, from locating and re-connecting pieces of dozens of broken headstones, to finding the correct material to rebuild them, and doing it all without desecrating nearby gravesites. He and his team did excellent work on this important job, and this statewide recognition from his peers is much deserved.”
Most recently Thompson’s company was recognized with a JT Hall & Associates Merit Award for its work on the renovation of a gymnasium at Mississippi Delta Community College. “We took the existing gym and updated the entire building,” says Thompson. “We put in new restroom facilities, concession stands and reconfigured the seating so that it would accommodate more people.”
The KTB team approach, which brings together engineers, architects, on-site foremen and laborers alike, ensures that each structure built, repaired or renovated provides the property owner with the maximum value in the most efficient timeframe. As Thompson celebrates his award-winning company’s 30th anniversary of successfully applying a hands-on approach to projects across Mississippi, he can reflect proudly on how far Kenneth R. Thompson Jr. Builder Inc. has come since he renovated that first burnt home all those years ago.
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