Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Nabholz Construction's Oklahoma Division Builds Huge Project Backlog

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Nabholz Construction's Oklahoma Division Builds Huge Project Backlog

Article excerpt

Nabholz Construction believes its Oklahoma division could become its largest within five years.

"It's unbelievable," division President Chris Burnett said of its growth. "We've got a big beast to feed right now."

Over the past four years, the Conway, Ark.-based contractor has seen its Oklahoma Division's backlog grow almost 10 times to more than $200 million, said Chief Executive Bill Hannah. As its volume doubled, the division's Oklahoma City and Tulsa staff has doubled to 110, just over a tenth of the company's 1,000-person work force.

Jake Nabholz, the division's vice president of business development and grandson of founder Bob Nabholz, pinned that growth on two sectors: education, from kindergarten to university level, and health care. In both areas the company projects continued success through 2008.

"The operation is starting to mirror the corporate client base," said Hannah, noting the company draws 30 to 40 percent of its contracts from health care clients. Nabholz attributed 30 to 45 percent to educational sources and the rest to industrial, religious and general contractor work.

That also points to continued growth, said Burnett, a 13-year company veteran who has led the division for almost three years.

Not only is 50 percent of the division's backlog in education projects, he estimated, but Burnett said several construction associations project continued strong federal and state spending in the Sooner State for the next three years.

"Probably education's going by far to be the most focused spending area as this develops," he said.

Hannah said the Oklahoma Division now accounts for 25 percent of the company's overall revenue, which rose 18.8 percent this fiscal year to $433 million. He projects around $500 million for 2008.

That 25-percent share represents more than double what the Oklahoma Division accounted for before 2003. …

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