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Tyler Construction, Modular Technology Team Up for Lock Up

Wed July 12, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Diane Jowers

Tyler Construction Company Inc. is the prime contractor for the new $5-million, 3,780 square meter (42,000 sq. ft.) Department of Juvenile Justice Detention Facility on Shivers Road (off Broad River Road) in Columbia, SC.

“We started preparing the site in January of this year and expect to complete the job in early 2001. The footings have been poured, and columns are going up quickly now,” said Tyler Job Superintendent Randy McLean. More than 450 metric tons (500 tons) of dirt were excavated for a sedimentation pond to receive all of the water and silt drainage from the work area. The “pond” will be refilled when the detention facility is completed.

B.C. Construction Company of Gaston, SC, is erecting the steel columns for the building’s frame. Atlantic Coast Mechanical Company of Columbia, SC, is doing the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning work. O.C. Electric Company, also of Columbia, is responsible for the electrical portion of the project. Wilkins Wood Mace Associates LTD of Florence, SC, is the architectural and planning firm for the project.

The detention building will contain pre-fab cells from Mark Solutions Inc. of Bloomfield, NJ. This company constructs modular correctional and health care facilities that come complete with plumbing, lighting, and basic furniture. The cells are stackable and have an install rate of 40 per day.

“We checked out 12 Mark Solutions cells that were recently installed in a facility in Saluda, SC, and we realized that using them would save us a lot of time and work,” said McLean. In addition to significantly decreasing the plumbing and electrical work that Tyler Construction will have to complete, the pre-fab cells completely eliminate the need for block laying.

Tyler Construction Company Inc. is a general contracting and engineering firm located in Columbia, SC. The company, established in 1979 to build commercial and industrial structures, has 45 employees; five of them work in the Rabon Road offices and nine are job superintendents. Walt Tyler is company president, and his son, Charles Tyler, is vice president. Greg Tyler is the project manager for the Department of Juvenile Justice Detention Facility. The company owns most of the equipment that it uses, but also rents from local companies, including Neff, Hertz, and Prime Rentals.

The company completes 30 to 40 construction projects each year, resulting in annual revenues of more than $12 million. “Volume was only $600,000 in 1980, but we have sustained a steady growth pattern,” said Charles Tyler. There are 10 projects in progress now, and most of them are in the Columbia area. “A great deal of our work is for federal, state and local governments, especially the military,” said McLean. He has been with Tyler Construction for 13 years and enjoys his work. This company is owned by some of the finest people that I have ever met. They really care about the quality of every job and about everyone involved in a job getting a good deal,” he said.

McLean is especially proud of a recent project for the city of Columbia. He was project superintendent for the complete renovation of a four-story, 85-year-old building that had cells “right out of the Old West.” The renovation and the construction of a $3.5-million addition to the city of Columbia Justice Administration Complex took more than a year. The complex now has a new main entrance on Washington Street in downtown Columbia. “It is a beautiful building with a pleasant atmosphere, not at all what people expect when they have to go to a police department,” said McLean.

Tyler Construction has built First Citizens Bank branches in Lancaster and Lexington, SC, and in the Forest Acres and Sumter Highway areas of Columbia. Tyler’s work for BellSouth Telecommunications includes central offices near Columbia Metropolitan Airport and a generator and storage warehouse on the Charleston Highway.

Other projects include a fuel cell hangar at McEntire Air National Guard Base near Columbia (a $1.6-million job), a $3-million battle simulation building at Fort Jackson’s National Guard Armory complex, and renovations to Satchelford Elementary School and Grace Baptist Church in West Columbia.

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