Western Builders of Amarillo

The partnership between Western Builders of Amarillo and Sears Methodist Retirement Systems Inc. epitomizes the benefits contractors and project owners enjoy when they maintain long-term relationships. The pair, which have worked together on retirement communities throughout Texas for more than 10 years, came together to enhance the end-result of the Meadow Lake Retirement Community in Tyler, Texas. 

Originally, Sears Methodist Retirement Systems hired Western Builders as a construction manager to deliver an 80-unit, 108,000-square-foot apartment building, a 22,000-square-foot commons area and 19,500-square-foot nursing facility on one campus in Tyler. When Western Builders began planning, the company insisted on setting aside $2.1 million of the $30 million budget as an allowance for the memory care facility.

Two months after groundbreaking – which took place in February 2009 – Sears Methodist Retirement Systems elected to use the allowance for its dedicated memory care facility. The redesign of that portion cost just more than $2 million. 

In fact, the project was delivered in February 2011 more than 5 percent under budget as well as on time. 

“There was a mutual trust there,” explains Raymond Boynton, senior project director for Western Builders. “They know that we are going to deliver on time and under budget, and by past history, we know that they’re going to pay us. They understand that we schedule work, then work the schedule.”

Rolling with Punches

While designing and incorporating a major medical facility into a retirement community two months after breaking ground is a challenge, an economic crash was more daunting to the success of the Meadow Lake Retirement Community. Boynton says the project could have started a year earlier than it did, but financing was shut down in the wake of the recession.

“Sears Methodist couldn’t get the bonds sold, so we basically shut down for a year,” he says. “We were able to maintain most of our pricing from when we estimated originally. Some subs stuck with us and held that pricing and worked with us that way.”

Once construction was under way, Western Builders and the rest of the team had to endure record amounts of rain and snow. Despite having 20 weather days built into the schedule, construction was shut down an additional two weeks. However, the construction team managed to make up for the lost time and delivered the project when expected. 

“It was one of the wettest years in east Texas records in terms of rain and snow, and it cost us around a month total,” Boynton says. “We didn’t ask for the extra days, though.”

Along with Meadow Lake Retirement Community, Sears Methodist and Western Builders have worked together to build The Craig and The Canyons in Amarillo, The Parks in Odessa, and Wesley Woods in Abilene.

Decades of Experience

Founded in 1955, Western Builders of Amarillo currently is one of the largest volume builders in the Southwest. 

“More than just years, experience is measured by having a solid reputation of consistent service, quality of construction, scheduling effectiveness and budget awareness,” the company says. “Our business philosophy ensures our clients a well-managed, high-quality construction project. We don’t compromise our client’s confidence; we create an atmosphere of integrity, responsibility, and trust that facilitates a true team commitment.”

The company boasts strong relationships with its clients, which is represented by a 90 percent repeat client rate. Western Builders delivers projects in the education, retirement, medical, retail, religious and industrial sectors.

“Our business philosophy has always been to provide our clients with the best-managed, highest-quality construction project, performed on or ahead of schedule and within all budget constraints,” the company says. “We can commit this to our clients because our team is unparalleled regarding personal integrity and abilities, company and project loyalty, job knowledge and teaming strengths.” 

The company says its premium services include estimating, scope analysis, value engineering, guaranteed maximum price development, schedule preparation and management, and cost monitoring and updates.

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