Construction Giant Finds Thriving Market

A Missouri-based construction company, working in Oklahoma for the past 25 years, has made a permanent move to the state.
J.E. Dunn Construction Co. of Kansas City, Mo., has a clear understanding of the Oklahoma market and has made a seamless transition as the company cemented clients, partnerships and subcontractor relationships over the past quarter century, said Sherri Gordon, Dunn spokeswoman.
“One of the main reasons for our on-going success is our ability to deliver a comprehensive construction cost model early in the programming/design development phase of a project,” Gordon said.
“With our estimating program, an extensive cost history data base and an in-house mechanical/electrical division, our initial cost estimates allow the project team to identify potential cost, schedule and quality issues before work begins in the field.”
Dunn was ranked as the fifth largest general building company in the U.S. in 2006 based on ’05 revenues of $2.3 billion.
Since the early 1990s, Dunn has made several acquisitions across the U.S., growing the company until today it is known as the J.E. Dunn Construction Group. There are six operating companies supporting 17 offices from Orlando to Seattle, from Phoenix to Charlotte, N.C.
Being close to Oklahoma has allowed Dunn to take advantage of the opportunities such as rural county hospitals and various university projects, Gordon said.
“These have been a perfect fit since our top two project markets are health care and higher education,” she said. “With a strong Midwest market, the company was well-positioned to open and staff an office in Oklahoma.”
Dunn is seeing opportunities in all sectors of the construction market — including health care, higher education, sports and entertainment.
Generally most construction markets have been fairly strong for the past 10 years, Gordon said.
Construction in Oklahoma, like the rest of the Midwest, is booming.
“As you would expect, the Midwest construction market is fairly stable which has allowed a steady, consistent amount of work to occur in many states, including Oklahoma,” she said. “Overall, we have seen strong construction markets in the areas of healthcare and higher education.”

Dunn has a $100 million backlog of projects across the state. The projects include:
? Warren Place Office Complex in Tulsa
? University of Tulsa HA Chapman Stadium Addition and Remodel
? Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City
? SYSCO Food Service of Oklahoma in Norman
? University of Oklahoma New Aquatic Facility and New Utilities Plant in Norman
? Atoka Memorial Hospital
? Drumright Regional Hospital
? Okeene Municipal Hospital Addition and Remodel
The University of Tulsa Chapman Stadium addition and remodel includes a 26,500-SF press box and suite tower with 22 suites, enclosed club and 400 club seats.
All work will be completed prior to TU’s football season later this year, Gordon said.
Dunn started work in December on the H.A. Chapman Stadium renovation and addition at the University of Tulsa.
Dunn is renovating the 35,000-seat football stadium at TU that includes the demolition of the 10,000-seat grandstand, concrete repairs of existing bowl, new entry plaza, new restrooms, concessions, seating, scoreboard and field lighting.
Industry Trends
John Ernest Dunn founded his construction company in 1924. The small, family-run residential contractor has grown into a multi-billion-dollar company by adapting.
Most trends revolve around streamlining the construction process, Gordon said. Dunn incorporates technology, sustainability and integrated project delivery into an ability to maintain a budget and stay on schedule.
Because the world is paying more attention to the environment than ever before, it makes sense that the design and construction industries utilize sustainable practices in their area of work, she said. ?

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