Case Studies

Martin Mechanical Contractors Inc.

Celebrating 60 Years of Teamwork, Pride and Quality
  • Written by: Martin Mechanical Contractors Inc.
  • Produced by: Martin Mechanical Contractors Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

There are highly specialized niche mechanical contractors and then there are contractors that look to offer the gamut of mechanical contracting services. Martin Mechanical Contractors Inc. (MMC) aims to bridge that gap. For two generations, the family-owned and -operated company has offered the full spectrum of mechanical, HVAC, plumbing and electrical contracting services. Additionally, the company’s increasing focus on highly specialized areas – like medical and laboratory gas distribution systems and hyper-efficient HVAC systems – keeps the MMC team ahead of the competition. Throughout its evolution the company has always adhered to the values of teamwork, pride and quality in every project to deliver an end-result that leaves the client not just satisfied, but happy.

“We’ve been in business for 60 years so we’ve seen it all,” admits Jack Dunagan Jr., president and owner of MMC. Dunagan joined the Georgia-based company as a teenager and has seen MMC survive through decades of boom times when MMC could hardly keep up and leaner times when economic downturns forced the team to work that extra bit harder for work. But criers of nepotism should take heed that Dunagan only came back to the company after exploring all of his options, which his father encouraged.

“I did a lot of different things only to realize that they weren’t what I really wanted and eventually I found myself gravitating back to construction,” chuckles Dunagan Jr. When he did return, Dunagan Jr. started at the very bottom, learning the entire operation as he worked his way up to become vice president of operations and head of the HVAC department. At that point, R. Jack Dunagan Sr. and Paul Minish jointly owned the company. The company was passed down to Dunagan Jr. and his mother, Rebecca Dunagan, after Dunagan Sr. and Minish passed in 2005 and 2008 respectively.

Making an Impression

Dunagan Jr. continues to uphold the same values that have inspired six decades of growth and diversification, emphasizing the importance of teamwork, taking pride in one’s work and delivering an end-result to stand the test of time. MMC has the HVAC ability to tackle ductless systems and large installations requiring complex equipment, extensive custom ductwork and piping; these capabilities are possible thanks to the company’s 85 experienced professionals and an in-house sheet metal production facility, of course. The company can also weigh in on projects requiring anything from a chemical waste system to a multisystem electrical upgrade at a medical facility requiring multiple redundancies.

When the economic downturn hit, MMC responded to focus on projects in the healthcare sector, while maintaining long-term relationships with clients in education. MMC was selected to provide the HVAC system at the new Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center in 2010, which opened to patients in 2012. “It was a great project, because it helped the hospital consolidate two hospitals into one state-of-the-art hospital,” adds Dunagan Jr.

Nurturing Relationships

Just as the Ty Cobb project was gearing up, though, MMC was busy wrapping up the final details at the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Tate Student Center at the university’s primary Athens, Ga., campus. The student center was originally built in 1981 and quickly became the heart of the student community. By 2007 the center was in great need of additional space, so the university enlisted the help of MMC in expanding and renovating the aging structure.

The project’s total cost hovered around $58 million, financed in part by a $25-per-semester increase in the student activity fee, as the building has become the operational headquarters of the student body government and Department of Student Activities. Of that sum, $5 million was awarded to MMC to completely reroute the center’s utilities, a particularly challenging feat considering the project added 95,000 square feet to an already expansive facility. Nevertheless, MMC coordinated with adjacent facilities and university officials to ensure minimize utility interruptions and schedule the necessary ones for minimal impact to the campus.

“We have completed a lot of work for UGA in our history and we expect to continue nurturing our relationship with them,” adds Dunagan Jr. MMC was brought on to lend a hand once again in 2011, when UGA established a partnership with the Georgia Health Sciences University to form a jointly run medical school program. As a result, UGA acquired an expansive 56-acre campus, which was formerly owned by the U.S. Navy Supply Corps with several historic buildings. MMC was brought on to complete extensive upgrades to the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems to ready the buildings for student use.

Price may be the dominant buzzword in the industry these days, but MMC isn’t likely to abandon its standards for quality construction any time soon, especially as 2012 marks the company’s 60-year anniversary. “Our employees are the key to MMC’s success, and every team member is important,” says Dunagan Jr.

Even though a celebration on par with the company’s 50-year anniversary festivities doesn’t seem prudent in today’s economic climate, the Martin Mechanical Contractors Inc. team is sure to find a way of channeling employee appreciation into a legacy of quality construction.

Published on: July 22, 2013

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