Member News – February 2021
Oak Contracting celebrates its 50th anniversary
It takes more than common skill, hard work and luck to weather the challenges of the construction industry and the inevitable cycles of the economy. So Oak President Doug Eder pauses with pride when he talks about the people and the philosophy that have enabled his company to reach its 50th anniversary.
“We call our people Oakies. We mentor new people on the Oak way of doing things. And the fact that we have very little turnover seems to be testament to the philosophy we follow,” Eder said.
That philosophy includes treating employees like family and doing everything possible to make project owners happy. It evidently reduces client turnover too. Ninety-five percent of Oak’s business comes from repeat customers.
Specializing in K-12 construction, Oak has made a practice of dedicating teams long-term to individual school systems. Its Frederick County team, for example, has been in place for 12 years.
“We build up a working relationship with owners so they know that with our people on a project, there is no learning curve. There is a shorthand in conversation because we know what each other is talking about,” Eder said. “We try very hard to be a trusted part of their team so that when my people speak, it is actually the owner speaking.”
Those relationships have ensured that throughout its 50 years in business, Oak has had a school project in construction every year. To date, Oak has completed 116 K-12 public schools. Those have included ground-breaking projects such as the Wilde Lake Middle School in Howard County – the first net zero public school in Maryland and the first public school in the state to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
Along the way, Oak has also completed projects for private schools, higher education clients, religious organizations and healthcare facilities. It has also embraced BIM, LEED, advanced HVAC systems and other new construction technologies.
“I am interested to see how construction evolves from here and what the generations coming behind me do to continue Oak’s legacy as the premier school builder in the state,” Eder said.
BC&E welcomes new member
Headquartered in Aberdeen, Petrie Construction is a full-service general contractor and construction manager active in all facets of commercial construction nationwide. Its services include design/build, green building, LEAN and self-performed work. Its clients include Marriott, the Ritz-Carlton, AMC Theaters and Walgreens. www.petrieconstruction.com