Reynolds Construction Management

Reynolds Construction Management’s 15-year reputation for commercial and institutional contracting and construction management expertise could keep the company flourishing well into the future. With a portfolio of more than 200 projects – valued in excess of $2.5 billion – Reynolds’ work is known throughout the Pennsylvania market.

The company emphasizes honesty and fairness in its dealings in the competitive Northeast construction market, according to Project Executive Bill MacLaughlin. “The business is cyclical, and there is still a lot of work in the pipeline,” he maintains. “We are encouraging clients to continue with their construction projects because they are getting such a great discount – between 10 and 15 percent on bid day. And because we can offer such a large savings, they can take that savings and turn it into the next construction project. We are sticking with our current business model.”

Reynolds is supported by a stable client base in central and eastern Pennsylvania, where it operates offices in Harrisburg and Wayne. The firm provides a range of construction and project management services for K-12 education, higher education, healthcare, government, hospitality/entertainment, corrections, and office and transportation facilities.

A Brief History

Reynolds Construction Management was founded in 1994 by Rick Reynolds to pursue public sector construction management opportunities in central Pennsylvania. Since that time, the company has grown to become one of the larger construction service providers in the state.  

Since the early 1990s, the firm has evolved systematically. In 2006, Reynolds opened its office in Wayne, which allowed it to provide more attention to its clients throughout eastern Pennsylvania. 

Reynolds also has expanded through R.T. Reynolds, which performs general construction and general contracting roles. This division – started in 1997 – focuses on guaranteed maximum price opportunities in the higher education, healthcare, office and hospitality markets. 

Diverse in-house capabilities are the infrastructure of Reynolds. Reynolds Construction Management and R.T. Reynolds have more than 100 construction professionals on staff who provide all services in-house. The firm’s pre-construction department includes architectural, civil, structural, electrical and mechanical experts that offer input during budgeting, estimating, specification reviews, value-engineering, scheduling and phasing of projects. The construction department includes its project managers and on-site construction managers who, as a team, control the construction phase of the project. 

Consistent Quality

MacLaughlin’s many years in the construction industry have given him insight into the technical, management and social aspects of construction – not to mention the foresight to gauge where the commercial segment is headed locally. 

Reynolds’ geographic reach extends throughout Pennsylvania, although the sectors where it is most active are split between the two offices. Healthcare and education projects, for example, are more prominent in the Harrisburg region, while education constitutes much of the Wayne office’s current workload. 

Reynolds uses a local subcontractor base to perform much of the trade work on projects. Roughly 65 percent of the subcontractors the company hires are repeat, although MacLaughlin says Reynolds tries to infuse new people into the mix. “We end up using between seven and 21 prime subcontractors on our projects, and it’s very rare that someone we use has not worked on one of our projects before,” he notes. “We are not pro-owner or pro-contractor – we are pro-job,” MacLaughlin says. “A successful job is one that is on time and on budget.”  

MacLaughlin points to Pennsylvania’s strong economy as part of the reason for the firm’s stability. “We are not losing jobs to a large extent like some areas of the country,” he says. “There are a lot of healthcare, financial and educational institutions in the area. We’re not seeing a lot of new build, but we see a lot of gentrified buildings needing replacement, repurposing or renovation.”

School’s In Session

Approximately 80 percent of Reynolds’ current portfolio consists of renovation or new build projects with local school districts. “Part of the reason for this is that the many schools have simply aged beyond their useful life – they are entering the 40-year-old mark and, with increasing student populations, they have to address this,” MacLaughlin explains. In preconstruction and during the project, Reynolds keeps close control of quality and the schedule to make sure the project is delivered to meet the end-users’ needs. 

“The big part of preconstruction is watching the clients’ budget closely,” he says. “It’s cheaper to move a line on a piece of paper at this stage than it is moving walls around in the field.

 “We spend a lot of time engaged with the owners, and even though it’s public work, we spend a lot of time getting involved with the daily operations of our clients to see how their model of education works,” he says.  “We also run a full-time business development department not only to help us prospect, but to help with things like community newsletter updates for our clients or other public relations that might help taxpayers understand what is going on in their school district or on other projects.” 

MacLaughlin’s team is involved with two impressive renovation projects for two high schools: the Neshaminy High School and the Marple Newton High School. Both projects involved three-year, $60 million-plus contracts for the replacement of the existing high school. Reynolds essentially built the new high schools adjacent to the existing, fully occupied campus, followed by the demolition of the old structure. The Neshaminy High School was completed in September 2009 and the Marple Newton project broke ground in October 2009. 

“To not disrupt the learning environment, we had to start planning things months and months ahead of time,” MacLaughlin notes. “A building cannot be designed in a vacuum. We get the school administration involved and we put at least two full-time supervisors on the site.”

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