Islands Mechanical Contractor Inc.

After working as a division of the construction firm W.W. Gay Inc. for about 10 years, Islands Mechanical Contractor (IMC) Inc. had developed a strong reputation for quality government work and spun off to become its own entity in February 2001. It started as a relatively small operation, but its business nearly tripled after just a year on its own.

“We were doing a lot of work for the federal government, and then 9/11 happened,” President and CEO Ronnie E. Chason explains. “We worked closely with the military in the aftermath of that. It was good to be a part of that very important work and have a chance to prove ourselves.”

Based in Middleburg, Fla., IMC provides federal customers – primarily various divisions and military factions of the U.S. Department of Defense – and private-sector clients with design/build, general construction and demolition services, as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing contracting. With satellite offices in Anguilla; the Virgin Islands; Guam; and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, IMC is capable of meeting clients’ needs in many geographic locations. “We follow our clients where they need us,” Chason stresses. 

Complete Transparency

Much of IMC’s recent work has been far away from its Florida home, but Chason stresses the company’s quality standards remain consistent, regardless of the project location or type of work it’s performing. 

To ensure “safety is always No. 1,” Chason says, all IMC employees go through OSHA courses and 385-1-1 training as needed.

“In regard to quality assurance, we implement a number of procedures for the different management disciplines to perform on the job sites,” he says. “All of our clients, especially the military and federal government, have extremely high standards, and we work hard to meet them.”

Some of IMC’s recent work includes:

  • Installation of a heat recovery boiler at the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority in St. Croix – Under its $23 million contract, IMC was charged with transporting, setting and installing the boiler. To keep the boiler sections off local roadways, IMC shipped the boiler to a large port, transferred it to a smaller barge and transported it to the site. IMC worked with local contractors to install the foundations, set the boiler and complete the necessary piping, and it completed the project in December 2009. 
  • Design/build work at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay – IMC has been performing various jobs at this location since 1992. In March 2009, the company completed a one-year, $2.3 million contract to convert a two-story building into housing. IMC stripped down the existing building to its structure and rebuilt it with metal-stud walls and new plumbing, air conditioning, roofing, windows, doors, fire alarms and sprinkler systems. In a $1.5 million contract that the company completed earlier this year, IMC used design/build to replace the air-conditioning system in the main gathering facility on the base. The company installed a high-efficiency air-cooled chiller, new air-handling units and 100 percent outside air units. The system uses a new computer system to control the space’s temperature and humidity.
  • Contracting for the CuisinArt Resort & Spa in Anguilla – IMC began its work at CuisinArt by providing the air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical work for an expansion of the resort’s spa, but it stayed on to construct new ocean villas, the Tokyo Bay restaurant and a new central chilled water plant. 

“We partner with each client throughout the project because we want our clients to get more than what they’re paying for,” Chason explains. “Time is the biggest factor to our clients, so we strive to go above and beyond.”

To exceed its clients’ expectations, IMC analyzes its projects from start to finish to determine how it can save time. For all its customers – especially its government contracts – IMC strives to be as transparent as possible in its work and reporting. Chason says IMC demonstrates “100 percent transparency all the way through” by including photographs and video of its work in its record of the project.

“If we are working in a location where the client isn’t on-site with us, we use remote satellite connections to video conference with them,” he says. “This is all part of keeping them informed of what we’re doing and being transparent. It brings a lot of repeat customers back to us, and we attract new clients by showing them the videos of what we can do.”

A Good Plan

The slow economy has not affected its capabilities. Chason stresses the company focuses on quality “from concept to completion,” and that includes the ability to perform turnkey projects. In fact, when working in the Caribbean, IMC self-performs the majority of its work.

Furthermore, Chason travels to each project location himself to recruit the best workers. Once on site, IMC handles all project logistics itself, such as procuring the building materials, and securing food and supplies for its workers.

“We are 100 percent self-contained when we go to remote areas, which helps us to control quality and deliver jobs quickly,” Chason says. “By doing all the work ourselves, we can accomplish a task in two-thirds of the time it would take subs to do it, and clients appreciate this. We can dispatch a team within 24 hours anywhere in the Caribbean if a client needs us, and this is of great value to them.”

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