M.D. Descant Inc.

M.D. Descant Inc. is keeping busy with several public school and healthcare sector projects. Vice President Chuck Descant runs the family-owned contracting company alongside his brother Don, the company’s president; Dwight, executive vice president; and Trent, vice president. Chuck Descant says the company’s hard work and low overhead, as well as its dedication to quality work and service and positive reputation in its market, have kept it going through difficult times. 

The central Louisiana-based company has seen steady growth since the Descants’ father, M.D. – the company’s namesake – established it in 1964, Chuck Descant adds. The company performs work through most of the state. 

“We’ll work all over Louisiana; we’re not particular about where we go to work,” Descant says. In addition to a main office in Bunkie, La., the company also has an office in Lafayette, La.

School Projects

M.D. Descant Inc. is in the final phases of construction of South Fork Elem­en­tary School in Denham Springs, La. Work on the $7.5 million, 62,000-square-foot school started in April 2009. The one-story school will feature administrative offices, three classroom wings, and a combined auditorium/cafeteria wing. 

The school will house a capacity of 600 students and is expected to open this fall with an enrollment of 350 students, according to the Livingston Parish Public Schools, the school’s owners.

Descant says construction on the block and brick school, which features steel trusses and a metal roof, has been straightforward with few challenges. “It’s a pretty simple job,” he adds. 

The company hired safety consultants to regularly visit the school to ensure the safety of the roughly 60 peak workers on the project. This is the first time M.D. Descant Inc. has worked with the Livingston Parish school system. 

The school is one of three Livingston Parish schools that will open next school year to serve a growing student population, according to 

the district. The school system serves approximately 23,900 students ranging from pre-kindergarten through Grade 12. “We continually strive to upgrade our schools to provide a climate that enhances learning,” the district adds.

M.D. Descant also is working on school construction projects in Grant Parish and Vermillion Parish, La. LeBlanc Elementary, the Vermillion Parish school, will open this fall; Grant Junior High School in Grant Parish started construction this year.

Clinic Project

Another major project M.D. Descant Inc. expects to complete this fall is a clinic located in Satsuma, La., for the North Oaks Health System. Work started in April 2009 on the $12.5 million, 47,000-square-foot facility.

The two-story storefront clinic features structural steel construction with metal studs, glass and metal wall panels, terrazzo floors, and Sheet­rock walls. The project has seen up to 80 workers on the site.

The North Oaks Health System maintains a 350-bed main hospital and several community health clinics in the area surrounding Hammond, La.

Like the school project, Descant says the clinic project has proceeded smoothly without delays or major challenges. M.D. Descant, as the general contractor, and subcontractors have been paying close attention to the project’s progress, Descant says.

The company maintains close relationships with all of the subcontractors it brings onto its projects, which Descant attributes to the company treating all of its associates with fairness and honesty. “We have fine relationships with all of our subcontractors,” he adds. “We don’t favor any over others.”

Staying Active

Chuck Descant says his company is happy to be working on the school, clinic and other projects in an economic climate that has not been kind to contractors. “Work now has been tighter than in years past, but we’ve been fortunate to be able to keep a tremendous amount of work,” he says.  

During the national recession, the company has shifted focus from commercial construction to school projects and increased its efficiency while keeping costs low, Descant says. The company’s flat management structure is also beneficial to its bottom line and its responsiveness to customers, as the four Descant brothers maintain control over all the company’s services, including project management.

Descant and his brothers are also heavily active in their local community and donate to a number of area charities.  “We come from a small town, so we’re all very involved in the community,” he says.  

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