Case Studies

Mid-City Electric Co.

A family mindset fosters repeat relationships and 54 years
  • Written by: Molly Shaw
  • Produced by: Mid-City Electric Co.
  • Estimated reading time: 6 mins

For more than 50 years the hallmarks of Mid-City Electric Co. (Mid-City) have been hard work, dedication and integrity. These principles shine through the electrical contractor’s people-based culture.

“We live and breathe it,” says Brian Dew, second-generation president of family-owned Mid-City. “We’re fortunate to have a lot of quality, hardworking people that truly believe in making the customer’s priority their priority. Our focus is making sure the customer is satisfied and successful, because we’re looking for a continuous relationship.”

Brian, who was born and bred in the family business, along with his three siblings, says that’s what makes it all worthwhile. “When customers call you wanting to do business and ask how they can do more business with you, it makes you strive to do better every day so you can keep exceeding their expectations,” he explains. “It also creates an enjoyable work environment.”

Family first

Building a family-centered atmosphere has been Mid-City’s goal since its inception in June 1960. “We were founded by my father, Jim Dew, and his partner, Jack Kempton, 54 years ago,” recounts Brian. “Basically, they founded the company on the golden rule principle – treat others the way you want to be treated – and we’ve held fast to that theme throughout our history.”

Jim and his partner started from scratch, building houses to gather enough capital to launch Mid-City. “Years back, my father started a succession plan of transferring ownership of the company to myself, my brother Steve, sister Mary and brother Denny,” Brian explains. “With the recent retirement of our oldest brother Steve, it’s just the three of us now.”

When Jim was ready to pass on Mid-City to his children, he knew the company was in good hands after schooling each of them in the ins and outs of the business. “We were raised in the business,” recalls Brian. “He started me out by painting the fence and trailers as a young boy, basically learning by doing. I worked my way through the company from the warehouse to purchasing, project management and estimating and now president.”

“We’ve grown into a $50 million company,” continues Brian. “That’s been about our average volume over the last several years. We’ve completed a lot of large hospital projects, which we’re most notable for, and we do a lot of service and small projects, as well. We also have a fully staffed technologies division in addition to our electrical side.”

Mid-City Electric Co.

Serving central Ohio

Based in Columbus, Mid-City has become one of central Ohio’s oldest and most reputable commercial electrical contractors with a staff of fully trained and highly experienced electricians. “We routinely have a combined field and office staff of over 240 people, but that number fluctuates as needs arise,” shares Brian.

Mid-City’s experts offer a full range of electrical and teledata construction services, supporting the health care, industrial, manufacturing, retail, education and government markets. The company’s expertise ranges from generators, high voltages substations, ATS and UPS equipment, temporary power and lighting, lighting retrofits, data centers and any other electrical need.

From complete hospital campuses and research facilities to routine service work, customers also call on Mid-City for design-assist, CAD and BIM solutions for the most complex scenarios. Mid-City works in collaboration with architects, engineers, construction managers and most importantly, the owner to drive value. From conceptual design to power systems analysis to equipment review, design development, system and cost analysis and procurement, Mid-City delivers a more complete solution.

A massive undertaking

Mid-City was selected for the most major design-assist and BIM role in the company’s history in conjunction with Turner/Smoot Construction on the Nationwide Children’s New Main Hospital (Nationwide Children’s) project.

“The total project budget was $430 million with a $38 million electrical portion – by far, the largest, most significant undertaking and accomplishment for us to date,” reveals Brian. “We’ve had a relationship with Nationwide Children’s for more than 30 years and we’ve done work fairly steadily over this period of time, but this project is the largest we’ve completed.”

This massive job consisted of 13 stories and 732,000 square feet of new construction. “The project is now home to more than 299 hospital beds, including 50 ICU beds, 46 nurse stations, a two-story lobby atrium, four pharmacies, child life playrooms on every floor and much more,” expands Brian.

The high profile, high impact, community-focused project was set on a strict timeline as the hospital awaited occupancy. Installing the main electrical service, conduit and feeder cable reached nearly 32,000 feet and 170,000 feet – a vast amount of conduit requiring precise execution.

“The hospital’s radius design has extremely strict tolerances,” tells Brian. “Our team was responsible for installing vast amounts of equipment, including 250 pieces of large electrical switchgear, which consisted of transformers, motor control centers and switchboards, throughout the project. Mid-City also performed system installations, including nurse call, security, paging, med gas alarms, access control, security, CCTV, area of rescue, PA system and graphic lighting displays.”

Using a Trimble Total Station to maximize efficiency, Mid-City’s foremen were able to precisely plan for and expertly install the project’s mass amount of conduit. “To meet the challenge of the hospital’s radius design, the conduit has a three-degree bend every 15 to 20 feet, which was carefully measured and angles uniformly spaced to ensure a flawless appearance,” tells Brian.

As the main electrical contractor, Mid-City worked closely with the engineer to bring construction means and methods to the table and achieve the best workable design. “The construction and design intent had to match and we also analyzed serviceability and maintenance so the facility works for Nationwide Children’s down the road,” explains Brian.

The go-to team

The new main hospital officially opened its doors to patients June 20, 2012. “While we were working on Nationwide Children’s, we were consecutively delivering the hospital’s third research building,” adds Brian.

He admits things got a little tight at points for Mid-City, but all in all, the company was able to deliver both projects on time and on budget, while receiving two Builder’s Exchange Craftsmanship Awards for their work. “It was very gratifying to see what we could accomplish,” says Brian. “It wouldn’t have been possible without our dedicated team.”

Brian says Mid-City’s success comes back to a high-quality workforce, always willing to make the customer’s priority, their priority. “It’s a matter of always keeping your workforce up to speed, in pace with trainings and what’s going on in the industry,” he adds. “The National Electrical Contractors Association [NECA] Central Ohio Chapter has been a huge resource for us in this sense.”

Brian is also a board member of NECA’s Central Ohio Chapter and has served on committees for the last 13 years; he says the association offers the leverage a contractor like Mid-City needs to contend in today’s highly competitive environment. “Conventions, trainings and meeting with other contractors all offer great insight,” he adds.

Success is relative

“For us, it all comes back to family,” Brian assures. “That’s the reason my father started the business – to take care of his family – and he still comes in to work every day, because he loves to.”

According to Brian, just like many of his employees’ children who have followed in their parent’s footsteps in choosing to spend their careers with this business, seeing his sons working for Mid-City brings him great pride and satisfaction. “What better testament to how our employees feel about their job, and this company, than seeing their sons and daughters come to work for us too,” he says proudly.

For Mid-City Electric Co., maintaining a 54-year reputation as central Ohio’s trusted electrical contractor starts and continues with family and people-centered business.

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Spring 2018



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