Minot Air Force Base – Graham Group Ltd.
At Graham Group Ltd. (Graham), a construction solutions provider, the people are the company. “We’re an employee-owned company,” reinforces Brian Goudge, project manager for Graham. “There are good people working here.” Goudge has been with the company for 10 years, and he boasts 15 years of experience in the industry leading Graham’s Minot, N.D., office.
Graham will operate out of the company’s Minneapolis, Minn., office for a multimillion-dollar FY12 dormitory to take shape at the Minot Air Force Base. The Graham team began work in April 2012, and is setting a completion date for September 2013.
“The most rewarding part of my position is seeing individuals come together as a team,” says Grant Beck, the current president and CEO of Graham. “It’s exciting to see the team’s combined capability exceed the sum of each individual’s strength.”
Graham Takes Shape
With over 85 years as an industry leader, Graham has been taking on large-scale projects since the company was founded. Graham began as Philip W. Graham & Sons Construction, a small, family-owned business founded in 1926. Operating out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the company began building railway stations for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The 1930s marked the onset of the Great Depression, and the company survived by focusing on government construction, schools, hospitals and other public buildings.
The small company hit a major turning point in the 1950s, earning a contract to build the Estevan Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan. The Estevan project initiated a phase of rapid growth and development for the company, as the following decades brought a steady increase in revenue and the hiring of many employees. In the 1960s the growth of the potash industry resulted in the company taking on the civil construction of mining plants and refineries.
As Ron Graham became company president in 1970, revenue grew into the $100 million range. The company continued to expand, reaching the U.S. and Canada with offices from Regina to Vancouver and Dallas to Denver. The year 1980 marked the point at which the company turned over ownership to employees and set up divisional groups in commercial, industrial, infrastructure and masonry. Entering the 1990s, the company ranked 56 among construction companies in Canada, continuing a sustained period of growth. About 20 years or so later, the company rapidly moved up the list, ranking in the top five constructions service providers in Canada.
Graham has since established 10 locations throughout Canada and four offices in the Pacific Northwest and Midwestern United States. Despite economic hardship Graham continues to grow and expand, employing over 5,000 people and revenue well exceeding the $2 billion range.
Integrated Construction Solutions
At Graham the goal is to build the customer’s vision, no matter the size or type of project. Offering commercial, infrastructure, industrial, earthworks and underground and masonry, Graham provides a wide array of services.
Currently Graham is involved with many large-scale industrial operations. These projects require a full spectrum of construction management, general contracting, laborers and subcontractors. The company also works to enable cities and towns to operate more effectively through infrastructure, designing roadways, bridges, public transit and water treatment facilities.
With a strong commercial division, Graham has experience building educational facilities, hospitals, office buildings, warehousing and distribution centers, retail outlets, hotels and casinos and many other developments. Graham knows construction is about transforming a client’s vision into a reality. The company is working to do just that at the Minot Air Force base in North Dakota.
The 168-room, $18.5 million FY12 dormitory is a bid-build project based off a previous FY09 $20.4 million design-build unit completed in September 2011. “FY12 went out as a hard bid for the Air Force Corps of Engineers,” says Goudge. “It features a geothermal heating and cooling system and will be LEED Silver certified.”
The façade of the building is comprised of brick and metal lap siding with a shingled roof, a structural steel frame, three poured concrete decks and light gage steel trusses. The facility has bio-retention ponds and basketball courts. “We are currently getting the enclosure done on FY12,” explains Goudge. “Trusses have been installed; interior light gauge studs are next. Once the east wing is closed up we will be able to get our mechanical and electrical rough-in done.”
This project isn’t the company’s first time on the Minot Air Force Base. Graham’s has a history of repeat business, including at the base. “We’ve been here since 2007,” says Goudge. “At first, we were the big bad contractor from the city. Once we established a relationship with the local subcontractors, folks were like, ‘Hey, we like working with those guys.’ The local subcontractors in the Minot area are some of the best we’ve worked with, because we’re only as good as the subcontractors we contract with.” Minot Air Force Base’s FY12 dormitory is yet another success for Graham Group Ltd.’s portfolio.
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