COLUMBUS — Darrell Burrows doesn’t get hung up on titles.
At a company like B-D Construction, he knows it takes commitment from every employee — from the owners to the workers out in the field — to be successful.
“Everybody has their place and everybody has their duties,” Burrows said.
“It has to be a team effort.”
B-D has prided itself on this mentality since the company started in 1963 and quickly developed a reputation as a quality builder.
Now, the company’s fingerprints are all over the community and across the Midwest.
B-D Construction has taken on projects at the city’s largest manufacturing plants and replaced sidewalks at local residences.
Diversity is one thing that makes the company stand out.
“We have to be diversified,” said Burrows. “We can’t hang our hat on one type of construction or one type of owner. There’s always peaks and valleys.”
“We can’t control the peaks and valleys, but we can control the type of work that we do,” he added.
The business, located at 2154 E. 32nd Ave., will take on just about any type of industrial or commercial project, whether it involves conventional construction, pre-engineered metal buildings or a combination of the two.
“We’ve worked in most, if not all, of the manufacturing plants around here,” said Burrows, who bought the company from Bill Dreifurst about three years ago along with co-owners Bryan Kearney and Chris Langan. All three owners were working for B-D Construction when they decided to buy the business.
In addition to industrial work for customers such as Becton Dickinson and Archer Daniels Midland, the local contractor has recently taken on projects that include expansions at Elkhorn Valley Schools in Tilden, Leigh Community Schools and Cross County Community Schools near Stromsburg, a remodel and addition at the Columbus Menards and construction of a community center in Pender.
B-D Construction led the $3.35 million conversion of the former Columbus High School into a facility for middle schoolers — a project completed in fewer than 120 working days — built the new Butler County Community Center in David City and handled the steel work for the Rasmussen Fitness and Sports Center on the Creighton University campus in Omaha.
Other notable projects include the Eye Physicians and Gene Steffy Ford buildings in Columbus, numerous restaurants, Columbus Community Hospital Child Care Center and an expansion to the hospital's medical offices.
“I like to tell people the sky’s the limit,” said Burrows, who joined B-D as a draftsman in 1983 before working his way up to general manager and now president.
The construction business tends to be cyclical, he said, so B-D strives for balance between conventional construction and working with pre-engineered facilities — mainly Behlen buildings with Chief, Nucor, Sentinel, Mesco and other brands sprinkled in.
There aren’t many projects that end up looking the same.
“We don’t build the same thing twice usually,” Burrows said. “I wish we could, but it doesn’t seem like we do.”
Sometimes the local contractor’s work doesn’t involve buildings at all.
B-D Construction is wrapping up a lengthy project along the Loup River levee to upgrade the 5 1/2-mile-long earthen dike so it meets federal standards.
Burrows said the goal is to give clients “the best bang for their buck.”
In David City, this means working with some volunteer labor and donated supplies to help the golf club rebuild its clubhouse after the previous building was destroyed in a fire.
There are increased federal regulations to follow on the job site these days, but Burrows said the dedicated workers keep things running smoothly.
“We’ve got some good guys in the field, we really do,” he said. “We’ve got a nucleus of good workers in the field that we’re always looking to add to for the right people.”
B-D Construction has added about 10 employees this year, taking the total workforce to around 65.
Burrows expects a strong Midwest economy to support further growth over the next year or two.
That will be the focus moving forward along with ensuring the B-D name remains tied to quality work.
“It’s one thing to gain a good reputation,” Burrows said. “It’s a whole nother thing to maintain it and improve on it. But that’s what you have to do. You can’t let that falter.”