Russell Construction of Alabama Inc.
Steve Russell believes the strengths of his construction company, Russell Construction of Alabama Inc., stem from the ability to adapt to a multitude of different sectors. “We have been flexible over the entire course of the company’s history and done quite a bit of different construction,” he says. Steve founded his company in 1983, and, as president of the company Steve continues to put his 30 years of industry experience to use, guiding the company from its Montgomery, Ala., headquarters and Niceville, Fla., branch office to operate efficiently throughout the Southeast.
Russell Construction works primarily in Alabama, Mississippi, northwest Florida and Georgia, plus occasionally in North Carolina and South Carolina. And, throughout the region, the company has found its strength in specific sectors, including commercial and residential. “but it’s our focus on churches and hospital work has been the thing that has consistently provided work for us,” Steve says of his company’s niche.
Russell Construction’s 22 employees specialize in construction management services with an expertise in the design-build construction approach. The company is capable of taking on general contracting and can offer help for its clients, taking a project from start to finish and all phases in between, including: design, site location, zoning, building code compliance, financing, budgeting and the actual construction process.
Renovating historic buildings and taking on challenging projects with unusual features are Russell Construction’s specialties. It is known for its ability to excel under scheduling pressures and on precarious sites, backed with a motto that every effort should result in “Quality Every Day, Not Everyday Quality.” To prepare its employees for such situations, Russell Construction holds special training courses to ready its professionals for specific jobsite requirements, including the ability to work during and around the operating hours of a live facility. Most importantly, Russell Construction knows how to deliver these atypical projects finish on-time and on-budget.
Despite the company’s $12 million annual revenue, Russell Construction faces market challenges due to the recession. To overcome these challenges, the company has begun to “do more federally funded work,” Steve indicates.
These federal projects, along with Russell Construction’s usual niche of projects, benefit from the company’s in-house capabilities. “For hospitals we do demolition, carpentry, sheet rock and acoustical ceilings,” explains Steve. “On green field jobsites, we are a management contractor.”
Only about 10 to 20 percent of the company’s work is bid out, while the rest is completed internally. When working with subcontractors, Russell Construction “pre-qualifies them, and, depending on how far from home we are, we use different people,” Steve shares.
Working Despite Challenges
Despite the company’s flexibility and pre-existing relationships with subcontractors, Steve is kept awake at night by “the things we can’t control right now. The lending environment is something we can’t control, and we’re a design-build contractor so our customers have a hard time getting money sometimes. This means we’re doing things we had to do years ago, which is put together multiple funding sources for projects to help our customers find money,” says Steve.
Despite these added speed bumps, Russell Construction has several projects currently underway. “We’re starting projects for Baptist Health, New Hope Baptist Church, Star Baptist Church, and renovating floors two through six of Baptist Medical Center South,” Steve lists.
Steve hopes more projects will begin popping up as the economy stabilizes. “I think the economy is improving. It’s not an overwhelming improvement, but it does seem to be a little bit better, though whether it will be long-term or not I don’t know. Without the federal input right now I don’t think this would be occurring,” he maintains. “I think if they had not stepped in, half the people still in business in the construction industry would be out of business.”
Russell Construction is one of the companies holding strong. Based on its expertise in numerous areas and solid reputation in religious facilities and medical centers, the company will continue pushing on. As the economy recovers, Russell Construction of Alabama Inc. will be able to return to its pre decline position, offering its highly specialized services throughout the southeastern United States.
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