According to a recent survey commissioned by the Association of University Directors of Estates, 67 percent of student-responders see facilities as a critical factor in their choice of college. Keep in mind that only 47 percent agreed that they would enroll in a university solely because of its reputation. The results of the report simply highlight what many university administrators are already keenly aware of:  the importance of building and rebuilding technologically-updated and student-centered educational institutions. The report cements the value of change and innovation as universities create ideal spaces for learning. Transformation and renewal, however, involve meticulous planning especially when it comes to the construction of sustainable, durable facilities that will support and respond to the growing, constantly changing demands of campus modernization.

And if you are a university administrator, and you already know much of this, then you will also know that this is where the top higher education general contractors come in.

We have come up with the list you need, and we’ve found the perfect firm operating out of each state. These firms are literally building the shape of American higher education by introducing technology, sustainability, and genius engineering. These companies were chosen based on their decades of experience, notable works, service coverage, industry-related milestones, affiliations, and professional accolades. You’ll want to read about the firm in your home state, of course, but you might want to read about firms in adjacent states as well as you search for the firm that will be the best fit for your university. 

If you are thinking about building a university campus, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.

Choose your state


BL Harbert International

820 Shades Creek Pkwy. Suite #3000, Birmingham, AL 35209

In 1949 brothers John and Bill Harbert, along with Ed Dixon, established the original Harbert Construction Company. The firm began exploring different construction markets, building a reputation as a quality company that can build anything, anywhere in the world. BL Harbert International was finally conceptualized in 2000, and since then, it has completed more than $5 billion worth of construction projects in 42 countries and counting. 

While its scope of services and area coverage make the firm one of the most diversified companies in the world, quantity is not the only factor that makes it the best. A majority of the firm’s projects are designed according to sustainable and green building methods. The firm is ranked the 23rd green contractor in the U.S., according to Engineering News-Record (ENR), and won first place for its green government office buildings. For the company, sustainable construction goes beyond just meeting certain requirements. Supported by over 45 LEED-Accredited Professionals, it has constructed projects through methods that have effectively reduced its impact on the environment without compromising quality. In the U.S., the University of North Alabama, Auburn University, and the Alabama School of Fine Arts are some of the firm’s biggest clients. 

One of its notable projects is the North Alabama Science Technology Facility, a multiple-story, 160,000 square foot structure that houses research facilities, faculty offices, conference rooms, classrooms, dining areas, computer laboratories, and lecture halls. 


Cornerstone General Contractors

4040 B St. Suite #200, Anchorage, AK 99503

C. John Eng, a former president of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska (AGC), founded Cornerstone General Contractors in 1993. Under his leadership, the firm offers services in Anchorage, areas in the Southeast, the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, and the western coast of the state. As a firm established to offer an all-Alaskan general contracting option, the company has produced landmark projects in the state’s major industries, such as education, government, healthcare, industrial, and residential housing sectors. 

AVTEC Dorm in Seward, AK

Over the years, it has earned recognition from the field’s most respected organizations not just for its quality of work but for its dedication to safer workspaces for its employees. The firm is a recipient of the 2019 Alaska Governor’s Safety Awards of Excellence and the AGC National Safety Excellence Finalist. In 2018, it won the annual AGC of Alaska Excellence in Construction Award and the Alaska Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence.

One of its featured projects is the Alaska Vocational Technical Education Center (AVTEC) Dormitory Replacement. The building, located in Seward, was a recipient of the 2014 AGC of Alaska Award, under the Meeting the Challenges of a Job Between $5-15M category. Together with Nvision Architecture, the firm implemented a 120-bed modular dorm encompassing 35,500 square feet. The structure houses single and double occupancy rooms, en-suite bathrooms, main entry, offices, lounges, recreation rooms, and an arctic vestibule connector. 


DPR Construction

222 N 44th St., Phoenix, AZ 85034

Doug Woods, Peter Nosler, and Ron Davidowski are the three industry leaders that founded DPR Construction in 1990. The firm is a technical builder that has consistently been ranked among the top 50 general contractors in the country since 1997. The company focuses on multi-million dollar construction services but it is also equipped with the resources to handle smaller projects. 

Higher Education is one of the firm’s primary markets. Relying on its broad-based technical experience, the company has been helping universities come up with the most ideal, cost-effective strategies to maximize the results of every construction, renovation, or upgrade project regardless of its size or scope. Through the use of the latest modeling technology and integrated lean techniques, the company uses innovative solutions to meet and exceed client and industry expectations. Many of the firm’s higher education projects have been recognized by the industry’s biggest award-winning bodies, receiving ENR, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognition, to name a few.

Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute is one of the firm’s most memorable projects. The structure is 347, 000 square feet and houses laboratory and office spaces that meet the stringent demands of the industry. The facility was also designed to suit the school’s programs and cutting-edge research for different technical and scientific areas such as neural rehabilitation, genomics, nano-scale bio-optics, bioscience, molecular biophysics, and more. The project received a LEED Gold Certification for Building A and a LEED Platinum Certification for Building B. 


Baldwin & Shell Construction Company 

1000 W Capitol, Little Rock, AR 72201

Baldwin & Shell Construction Company was created in 1946 to represent the experiences and industry-related expertise of its founders, P.W. Baldwin, Olen Cates, and Werner Knoop. The three conquered the biggest challenges of Arkansas’s construction arena and dominated the field by combining the best of what they had to offer: Baldwin as a veteran builder, Knoop as a civil engineer and business manager, and Cates as a respected figure in construction management. Today, Scott Copas, the President and CEO of the company, heads the firm as a leader known for being organized, honest, and focused. Just like the founders, Copas is an influential leader and member of esteemed organizations including the Task Force to the Joint Committee on Educational Facilities for the State of Arkansas.

The firm is a multi-awarded, multi-affiliated organization that has been constructing notable establishments and structures in the region. The Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Institute of Construction Management, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and the AIA are just some of the many industry giants that have recognized the company’s high-caliber services.

Steven L. Anderson Design Center at the University of Arkansas is one of the company’s most notable addition and renovation works in the higher education market. In 2014, the LEED-certified 94,800 square foot structure won the AZ Award Best Commercial/Institutional Architecture, Architects Newspaper’s Building of the Year,  AIA Design Award, Member Choice Award. In 2018, it also earned the much-coveted AIA Honor Award.


CW Driver

468 N Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107

Supported by a total of 30 LEED-accredited professionals, CW Driver is a multi-faceted company that has been providing general contracting, design/build, and construction management services in the Western United States since its founding in 1926. The firm is one of the oldest companies in the state, holding a license number of 102.

As a contractor that serves the higher education market, it has completed over $2.2 billion worth of education facilities in the past decade. California State University (CSU), Biola University, Chapman University, and Vanguard University are just some of the many institutions that have trusted the firm with their state-of-the-art construction projects.

Its project for CSU Northridge Valley’s Performing Arts Center has won the 2011 AIA Los Angeles Design Merit Award and the AIA San Fernando Valley Best Project Team Award. In the following year, the Los Angeles Business Council has chosen the firm for its Awards of Excellence, Civic Category. For the firm’s University of California (UC) construction of the university’s East Campus Office Building, it earned the 2012 Award of Distinction, West Pacific Region, given by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).


Golden Triangle Construction

700 Weaver Park Rd., Longmont, CO 80501

Golden Triangle Construction has been an active player in the industry since its founding in 1977. The firm is a full-service commercial general contractor that serves a wide variety of markets, including industrial, financial, Pre K-12, parks and recreation, and higher education, to name a few. Corporate, safety, and project awards decorate the firm’s extensive portfolio. In 2018, the firm was chosen as the General Contractor of the Year by the American Subcontractors  Association in Colorado. In the same year, the firm won the Ace Silver Award for Best Building Project, $10-40M category for its Aim-Greeley Campus project.

Aside from quality-oriented and cost-effective building methods, the company is an advocate of the industry’s green movement. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, most of the firm’s completed and on-going projects are designed to meet LEED certification standards through incorporating green building practices and eco-friendly solutions from start to finish.

Under the leadership of Jeff Nading, the company’s founder and principal, the firm was able to win contracts for higher education buildings from the state’s biggest institutions. Regis University’s Clark Hall, for instance, is an 82,291-square foot general academic office building that the firm recently completed. The structure has a state-of-the-art facility that houses the university’s College of Professional Studies, the school’s radio station, as well as the Department of Disability Services. Just like many of its construction projects, the building was designed and built to meet the LEED Silver standards.


Downes Construction Company

200 Stanley St., New Britain, CT 06051

Founded in 1934, Downes Construction Company now runs under the leadership of its third generation principal, John Downes III. The firm’s many years of service have seen a continuously growing clientele, boasting a high percentage of repeat customers since its founding. The firm’s services include general contracting for several markets, such as healthcare, public safety, museums, corporate, transportation, K-12, and higher education, among others. 

For years, the firm has been an influential university contractor that has won numerous awards from the industry’s most respected organizations. Its work for the University of Hartford Handel Performing Arts Center won the 2010 Connecticut Real Estate Exchange Blue Ribbon Award under the Adaptive Reuse category. In 2009, the firm earned two major awards from the AIA and the United States Tennis Association, for the University of Hartford Handel Performing Arts Center and the Cullman-Heyman Indoor Tennis Center at Yale University, respectively. 

The company’s work for Tunxis Community College is one of the firm’s biggest accomplishments. The modern 30,000-square foot new construction and 21,000-square foot demolition project is located in Farmington and is one of the state’s twelve colleges in its community college system. 


Bancroft Construction

1300 N Grant Ave. Suite #101 Wilmington, DE 19806

Construction management, general contracting, design-build, preconstruction services, virtual design, and construction: these are just some of the firm’s major service offerings. Depending on the size and scope of a project, the firm will customize its approaches to achieve a more cost-effective project and to satisfy the technical and practical demands of its clients. The firm serves a wide variety of markets that require more strategic building and engineering methods. 

Companies from the healthcare, science and technology, education, cultural, historic renovation, and even hospitality and residential market sectors have chosen the firm for its sustainable designs and its team of certified professionals. Many of the firm’s projects for these industries have earned accolades, including multiple wins for ABC’s Excellence in Construction Awards, Governor’s Safety Awards, and the ABC Smart Growth Awards.

Initially established by Stephen Mockbee as Stephen M. Mockbee Builders in 1975, the firm developed into a leading firm that now serves the Mid-Atlantic United States including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Many of its projects in the region are architectural giants that played a huge part in the public academic infrastructure. Examples include the Delaware Technical Community College, the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences and the same university’s Cyber ISuite.



500 W Cypress Creek Rd. Suite #100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Since their inception in 1968, Pirtle Construction has received a long list of industry accolades. ENR, AIA, ABC, the Construction Association of Florida, and the National Association of Minority Contractors, can vouch for the company’s outstanding quality of service, commitment to safety, its involvement in the community, and its contribution to local businesses.

Mike Geary is the company’s president and heads its daily operations. With his leadership, the firm has the manpower, the resources, and strategically located offices in Central and South Florida to handle a wide variety of markets such as arts and recreation, automotive, municipal, public safety, hospitality and retail, and education. However, the academic market has several of the firm’s biggest contracts, with seven different higher education clients and nearly 80 higher education projects.

For the past 51 years Pirtle Construction has focused on the construction of educational facilities in Florida. Their projects win awards for quality, exceed standards for safety, and are at the forefront of cost efficient, sustainable construction. University of Central Florida’s Trevor Colbourn Hall, for example, is the firm’s most recently completed higher education project. Named after UCF’s second president and home to over 26 different departments and programs, the new Trevor Colbourn Hall building is a long awaited addition to the University’s main campus. Designed to be highly efficient, the new LEED Gold building incorporates 21st century learning with new generation of state-of-the-art collaborative learning spaces along with a smart classroom lighting and sound systems, while maintaining energy efficiency.


J.M. Wilkerson Construction

1734 Sands Place, Marietta, GA 30067

Through advanced planning and teamwork, J.M. Wilkerson Construction completes a number of highly complex construction projects in the region. Headed by James Wilkerson, the firm’s team of architects, engineers, and subcontractors can efficiently answer to the technical and engineering demands of the industry’s most demanding market segments, such as commercial, environmental, industrial, religious, and educational.

The firm’s works from its major clients have won it a long list of respectable accolades for their design, construction, and renovation excellence. In 2018, for instance, it earned the Atlanta Urban Design Commission Award of Excellence for one of its high-rise renovation projects. The same building also secured first place for the 2017 AGC Build Georgia Awards. These are just some of the accolades that the firm has gathered over the years, many of which can be traced back as far as 1996. 

While the company is a known engineer and renovator for the region’s most sophisticated industries, its higher education projects should not be overlooked. The firm’s Chemistry Annex Building at the University of Georgia in Athens is a general contracting project characterized by a unique geometry—one of the biggest design challenges that the firm has overcome. The building was constructed to house the school’s Computational Quantum Chemistry section and the Computational Center for Molecular Structure and Design. The project was awarded the 1997 American Concrete Institute (ACI) First Place award under the Mid-Rise category. 


Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd.

500 Alakawa St. Room #220E, Honolulu, HI 96817

Founded in 1962, Ralph S. Inouye Co. has played an integral part in Hawaii’s construction industry. Over the decades since its establishment, it has been the choice builder for the federal, state, and city agencies, taking part in the growth and development of a diverse range of commercial and private building, renovation, and engineering projects in the region. 

Its successful years of operations have allowed the firm to advance its reputation not just as a trusted builder but also a multi-awarded enterprise. Some of its most recent wins came from its design-build, construction, and renovation work. For instance, in 2010, the firm won the BIA Hawaii’s Build Hawaii Merit Award for its Construction Training Center of the Pacific project. During the previous year, it was recognized for its Roosevelt High School Auditorium Renovation and won the Build Hawaii Award of Excellence prize.  

The Hawaii Baptist Academy Science and Technology Building is one of the firm’s most notable contracts for the academic market. The facility was inspired by contemporary architecture with details that embrace the warm, minimalist styles of a modern structure. Its higher education project for the University of Hawaii’s School of Architecture is another notable work. The project involved a three-story building that houses lecture rooms, administrative buildings, and classrooms.


Petra Inc.

1097 N Rosario St. Suite #200, Meridian, ID 83642

Petra Inc. offers its construction expertise throughout the Western United States and leads the region’s preconstruction, general contracting, and construction management services sector. The firm is composed of 120 professionals, each of whom belongs to specialized teams. Together these teams deliver what only the best in the industry can offer: commitment to customer service and construction excellence. 

Jerry Frank, the company’s CEO, believes that a “successful company is a team, not an individual.” Following this philosophy, he assembled a group of industry veterans and certified professionals that are well versed in every aspect of commercial construction. Combining Frank’s 40 years of experience in the field and his team’s impressive background, the company secured its place in the industry’s most respected organizations. The company is a member of the Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) Idaho, the NAPA Chamber of Commerce, and it has an OSHA certification. 

One of the firm’s most memorable projects is Boise State University Plaza. The project involved a three-acre wide reconfiguration of the school’s administrative building entrance and an open space that leads to a parking lot. To complete the project, functional details like sidewalks, curbs, and drainage were added. The highlight of the project was a 14 by 12 feet, 3-foot thick stainless steel “B” that easily becomes center stage for university-related functions.  


W.E. O’Neil

1245 W Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

W.E. O’Neil is a multi-awarded and nationally-ranked construction company that started in 1925. Over the years, it has gathered many industry recognitions that include several Cisco Project of the Year Special Mentions, ENR Best Renovation awards and ranking spots, DBIA Project of the Year awards, and the much-coveted AIA merits. Today, the company is one of the most in-demand builders in sustainable, innovative, and technologically-advanced construction. 

The company has been operating for four generations and has gathered over 90 years of building experience. Its current principal, William O’Neil, started out as a full-time employee in 1967. From being a layout engineer, he took on many roles that helped elevate his status in the company. After many successful leadership roles, he finally became the chairman of the board for O’Neil Industries. 

As a reliable firm that has established a stable reputation in the industry, almost 80 percent of its client pool is composed of repeat customers. Many of these clients come from the country’s most demanding markets, such as the advanced technology sector, aerospace, academic, entertainment and recreation, healthcare, and hospitality. 


Larson-Danielson Construction

302 Tyler St., La Porte, IN 46350

Larson Danielson is a design-build commercial general contractor that specializes in pre-construction planning, state-of-the-art construction management. It is also proficient in a number of skilled labor services in several construction trades, including healthcare, retail, corporate, industrial, institutional, and education. 

Tim Larson oversees the firm’s massive scope of projects. With over three decades of experience as a president and an engineer, he has led the company to success in providing safe, efficient construction and project management offerings to its highly demanding clients. His business practices have brought fame and accolades to the firm, winning multiple recognitions as one of the best in the country. From 2007 through 2014, the firm has consistently secured its title as the Best Commercial Contractor in the Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly’s annual ranking. 

The firm’s work on university and educational facilities reflect its expertise in the technical and aesthetic aspects of construction and design. For instance, the company has completed a number of projects for the University of Notre Dame including the student residence Duncan Hall and the new Melissa Cook Softball Stadium. The firm was recognized for these projects with the Michiana Area Construction Industry Advancement Fund (MACIAF) 2008 Awards of Excellence. Another recognition, the Growth 100 Award back in 2002, went to the firm’s Kelly of School Business project for Indiana University in Bloomington.


Bush Construction

5401 Victoria Ave., Davenport, IA 52807

Bush Construction believes that the most crucial stage in every development project is its beginning and that securing a strong start is the best way to ensure successful completion. This philosophy is followed in all of its design-build, construction management, and general contracting projects. Additionally, environmentally-friendly structures that are sustainable and LEED-certified are big highlights in the company’s services. 

A.J. Loss is the president and CEO of Bush Construction. As a leader, he provides the firm’s strategic direction, and, at the same time, helps to establish productive, lasting relationships with the company’s clients and vendors. After enlisting in the navy, Loss pursued a degree in Construction Engineering. Further studies helped him gain a Master of Business Administration degree from Iowa State University. In 2008 and 2009, he earned the USGBC-LEED accreditation and the Designated Design-Build Professional, respectively. At present, he is the Chair of the AGC of Quad Cities and the Chair of the Master Builders of Iowa (MBI). 

As a green contractor of sustainable buildings, one of the firm’s major works for the higher education market is a new construction project for St. Ambrose University’s North Hall. The contract involved using recycled content in its building products. Prior to its construction, an analysis was performed to identify the most effective energy-saving methods that can be incorporated in the construction process. The structure that was designed as an apartment unit and dorm-style housing is a residence hall over 55,600-square-feet that holds 204 beds. 


Rau Construction

9101 W110th St. Suite #150, Overland Park, Kansas 66210

Rau Construction is a family-owned company, originally founded in Solgen, Germany in 1870 before it was officially established in the United States in 1905. Since then, it has operated and served cities in the Kansas City area. Today, the firm is run by the fifth generation principals, Dan and Gus. Because of the firm’s long history of quality and efficiency, it’s one of the choice builders in the region. And it’s won accolades from the AGC’s Building Excellence Project of the Year Awards for several years for many of its construction projects. 

The firm has championed approaches to safety, meeting the industry’s most stringent standards. In the past 11 years, the AGC has commended the company for achieving a Zero Incident Rate. The same organization also applauded the company for having the Best 6-Year Record in safety, not just among builders in Kansas, but among contractors across the U.S.

The firm’s focus on safety and sustainability are not the only reasons it’s a preferred builder in the region’s most demanding markets. Rau Construction also specializes in school construction and its technology and modern methods helped it win the trust of higher education markets. The firm has established approaches that can answer to the demands of every university community’s needs, especially for career and technical education (CTE), vocational and technical (VOC-tech), as well as STEM and other specialized curriculums.


Trace Creek

127 Market St. Suite #200, Vanceburg, KY 41179

Since Sam Howard founded Trace Creek over 33 years ago, the company’s financial stability, solid client base, and visionary approach to building have helped it land premier contracts from the region’s biggest markets. The firm currently serves Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, with specializations that range across the commercial, medical, government, and education sectors.

For five generations, the firm has been leading the state’s innovative construction approaches in all its construction management, design/build, and general contracting projects. Its educational facilities portfolio, for instance, showcases the harmony between the enduring practices of old university architectures with the sustainable methods of modern engineering.

The Ashland Community and Technical College is one of the firm’s noteworthy projects where the company worked on phase two of the building’s construction. The stages involved the construction of an adjacent structure that was over 100,000 square feet. One of the most unique characteristics of this project is that the building itself is the first community and technical college that was ever built inside an industrial park. 


The Lemoine Company

214 Jefferson St. Suite #200, Lafayette, LA 70501

The Southeast doesn’t come up short when it comes to general contractors that dominate the industry, and the Lemoine Company is one of the leading builders that the region has to offer. The firm was founded under the name, The Cottonport Lumber Company in 1935 by a Louisiana native, Lewis “Hoss” Lemoine. Lemoine’s son transitioned the company into a general contractor in 1975 and relocated its headquarters to Lafayette. Lenny Lemoine, his younger brother, assumed the role as President and currently serves in the position. 

Over the years, the firm has been recognized by publications and organizations within and outside of the industry. Its affiliations with the ABC, Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP), and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (AQC), has helped secure its trusted reputation in the industry. As a member of these groups, the company has been recognized as a quality builder that has the resources, skills, and manpower to comply with the industry’s most demanding standards.

One of the firm’s most prominent works is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Art Museum. The building is a 35,000-square foot structure that is composed of a glazed glass curtain wall. The design forms a sleek and magnificent reflective facade that brings out the relaxed, elegant look of modern architecture. The museum houses a 500-square foot gallery specifically designed to accommodate changing exhibits; the gallery is situated within a 30,000-square foot pavilion.




10 Danforth St., Portland, ME 04101

Founded in 1984, Wright-Ryan is one of the state’s biggest construction companies serving Northern New England’s leading markets. The firm’s pre-construction and construction services have set their own standards among its biggest clients coming from the civic, commercial, cultural, healthcare, hospitality, and education sectors. 

Tom Wright and John Ryan are the founding partners of the company. The two childhood friends grew up spending summers together, doing odd jobs until they finally pursued their own paths in the industry. Wright followed his dream and took on a career in construction and industrial arts. Ryan, on the other hand, built his reputation as a civil engineer. The partners would regularly meet and the discussions from these meetings finally gave way to one of the biggest decisions of their lives: to establish Wright-Ryan and become one of the best contractors in the country.

The firm has won multiple awards, and not just for its building projects. The company has been repeatedly recognized for its broader contributions to the community. In 2017, the company was given the Development of Distinction Award for its Rural Community Impact. The Greater Portland Council of Governments Recognition Award was also given to the firm, for its best practices in several areas such as housing diversity, sustainability, downtown revitalization, and sustainability. Most notably, the Maine Real Estate and Development Association gave the firm the Most Notable Commercial Development award for its construction management work on the University of New England Alford Forum. 


Lewis Contractors

55 Gwynns Mill Ct., Owings Mills, MD 21117

Lewis Contractors is one of the green movers in the industry, embracing sustainable and energy-efficient methods to create well-built, environmentally-safe structures. In the Maryland marketplace, the firm has completed several green construction projects, many of which meet the strictest LEED certification standards. 

The Howard Community College HSB, Towson University Public Safety Building, and the Johns Hopkins Brody Learning Commons are just a few examples of the firm’s green and sustainable higher education projects. In 2018, the firm won the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Wintergreen Award for Green Schools Higher Education for the firm’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory R.V. Truitt Building, commissioned by the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Sciences. 

When Henry H. Lewis founded the company in 1966, he made sure that his firm followed three basic principles: integrity, quality, and client advocacy. The same philosophy has helped the firm elevate its reputation in the industry, winning a long list of the field’s most respected recognitions, especially for its projects in higher education. For multiple years, the ABC Baltimore Chapter has given the company the Excellence in Construction Awards especially for several of its projects for the Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, and Towson University.


Shawmut Design and Construction

560 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118

Shawmut Design and Construction is a completely employee-owned company that has been delivering highly complex construction services throughout the United States since 1982. The firm mainly handles commercial, healthcare, hospitality, academic, cultural, corporate, and historic preservation projects.

Les Hiscoe, a licensed engineer, serves as the company’s chief executive officer. Hiscoe has been with the firm for 20 years and his first construction job was a 100-year old mill building renovation in New Hampshire where he took on the role as a field engineer. Under his leadership, the firm has championed safety, following OSHA-certified methods that make sure that workers do their job with the most efficient and safest methods possible. The company’s sustainable practices are also some of the factors that make it a choice builder especially for demanding clients who want to build complex, technically-challenging facilities. For years, the company has completed several LEED-certified projects. It’s no surprise that it is one of the most active firms to join the USGBC. 

While the company is well-versed in the sustainable and green methods of construction, it is also known for building and designing some of the state’s most unforgettable structures. Wheelock College’s Campus Center and Student Residence, for instance, is a 60,000-square foot ground-up construction project that has won the Boston Society of Architects Housing Design Award. And the striking building is LEED Gold-Certified. 


Granger Construction

6267 Aurelius Rd., Lansing, MI 48911

Founded in 1959 by Keith Granger and his sons, Alton, Ron, and Gerry, Granger Construction started out as a small, efficient firm that was soon incorporated in 1960. As a family-owned company, the firm has held on to enduring moral and corporate values that have helped it grow into the country’s top provider of general contracting, design-build, and pre-construction services.

Glenn Granger is a third-generation principal who has served the company since 1990. While he earned his Bachelor’s degree in the field of Physics, he pursued a graduate degree in Engineering from the University of Utah and a master’s studies in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Aside from his background in construction and business management, he is a LEED-accredited professional equipped with the skills he learned from his Dale Carnegie Sales Training. 

Over the years, the firm has garnered several recognitions from the biggest institutions and award-giving bodies in the industry. Recently, the firm has won the Pyramid Award for Best Project Team under the Projects Over $25 million category. This was for its Health Pointe Integrated Care Facility. While the company serves several markets and has been awarded for accomplishments in these industries, the firm is also a known builder for academic and higher education facilities. In 2017 and 2016, the AGC awarded the firm with the Build Michigan Awards and the Build America Merit Award for its academic building projects.



2737 Fairview Ave. N, Saint Paul, MN 55113

McGough Construction brings six generations of industry expertise to its construction and renovation projects. Equipped with modern engineering expertise and a team of seasoned professionals, the firm offers a complete package in planning, development, construction, and facility management to the industry’s most sophisticated markets from the corporate, industrial, technology, residential, religious, and educational sectors. 

Tom McGough Jr. is the company’s current president and CEO. He joined the industry at a young age when he poured his first concrete and took on carpentry jobs until he finally became a field superintendent. These opportunities helped him harness his skills in project management and helped him build a professional framework that soon gave him the motivation to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Construction. Accumulating these experiences finally prepared him to take his place in the family business.

While the firm’s numerous awards are something to be admired, the company’s focus on sustainability in all its construction works is what makes them a preferred builder especially with the emerging significance of green building methods. For starters, the firm offers full WELL, LEED, and B3 certification administration, and provides green cleaning products and equipment planning. The application of these combined approaches can be seen in the firm’s higher educational facilities construction especially for university institutions for science, technology, and other technically-demanding projects.


West Brothers Construction

5716 Hwy. 182 E, Columbus, MS 39702

Established by two third-generation builders, West Brothers Construction has been in the general construction industry since 1971. Ronnie and Steve West founded the firm in Columbus, a prime location from where they can serve the biggest markets in the Golden Triangle. Historic restoration, new construction, and design-build services are its major service offerings. Because of the firm’s early successes and its dedication to customer service and reliable work practices, it easily secured its memberships among industry associations such as the AGC and the BBB.

Many of the company’s completed projects have become memorable buildings for the region’s public, historic, and commercial sectors. Over the years, the firm has grown to serve other market segments such as educational, health care, residential, manufacturing, and recreational. 

Take a look at the Martin Hall School of Nursing building at the Mississippi University for Women. The construction was completed in 2005 and was a collaboration with JBHM Architects. The facility houses lecture rooms, laboratories, and common areas for a wide variety of events and conferences.



850 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64015

Since the firm’s founding in 1999, McCownGordon has experienced many changes that have transformed the company from a small construction enterprise into one of the region’s largest modern general contractors that champions technology, safety, and outstanding delivery. The firm makes use of advanced digital tools to create an efficient project timeline and encourage collaboration. Additionally, the company’s sustainable approach to construction has greatly made contributions to the green building industry.

Under Chairman Brett Gordon and CEO Ramin Cherafat’s leadership, the firm made its way to the top, winning accolades for its contributions to the industry. The American Subcontractors Association is one of the organizations that has recognized the firm’s stellar business practices and quality results through the General Contractor of the Year Award. ENR Midwest has also chosen the firm in the 2018 Best Projects, K-12 Education for its Missouri Innovation Campus. Recently, the firm’s work on a major industrial project was awarded the 2019 Capstone Awards for its Garmin warehouse and distribution center. 

The firm’s state-of-the-art design-build, construction, and preconstruction services are well-known throughout the region. They have also been entrusted with renovations and restorations, especially for financially and historically-valuable landmarks. Take, for example, its contract for Switzler Hall. The structure was built in 1871 and is the University of Missouri’s oldest academic building. The work involved preservation of its historic exterior and doing complete architectural and structural interior demolition to transform the classic building into a modern, updated facility. 


Fisher Construction

235 Moore Ln., Billings, MT 59101

Fisher Construction is an award-winning firm that has long been recognized by the Montana Contractors’ Association several times since its founding in 1976. One of its most important recognitions came in 2009 when the firm won the Concrete Excellence Awards and ranked first place in the Commercial/Decorative category. In the same year, it also earned the Building Excellence Award for the Best Custom Residence. These and many other accolades can be accredited to the efforts of the firm’s team and its principal, Jim Berve.

Green and LEED-certified projects parade the firm’s extensive portfolio, thanks to Ben Mitchell and Bryan West, both LEED APs, and their strategic use of efficient methods to ensure lower energy costs and reduce impact on the environment. The firm’s commitment to building sustainable eco-friendly structures have propelled the firm to the state’s top preferred builders’ list especially in the commercial, residential, government, and academic markets.

Dawson Community College is one of the firm’s most memorable clients. The project involved a 58,000-square foot pre-engineered metal building that houses a huge gymnasium, a performing arts auditorium, practice rooms, state-of-the-art sound, and light system recording studio, a lobby equipped with an elevator, classrooms, and office spaces.


Hausmann Construction

8885 Executive Woods Dr., Lincoln, NE 68512

Hausmann  Construction’s innovative management style has won the firm a place as a competitive player in the general contracting and construction management arena. In 2015, AGC awarded the firm with the Build Nebraska Awards’ Project of the Year for its Nebraska Innovation Campus 4H Building, and an honorable mention for its work on the Think Whole Person Healthcare Facility. During the previous year, the firm also won the Project of the Year for the New Construction Project $5-$15 million categories. 

Hausmann Construction is a construction management, design-build, and general contracting firm.  Incorporated in 2003, Hausmann has steadily grown to become one of the most competitive and quality-oriented construction management firms in the region, with over 300 team members spanning its five office locations.

The firm’s safety-oriented, cost-efficient approach to building has helped it establish connections with a wide variety of clients coming from the most demanding markets. These include healthcare, housing, parking, corporate, community, K-12 education, and higher education. One of its most recent works for the higher-ed market is the University of Nebraska’s College of Business, which was completed in 2018.


Core Construction

7150 Cascade Valley Ct., Las Vegas, NV 89128-0455

It was in 1937 when Core Construction marked out its path to become one of the region’s most in-demand builders. Otto Baum, however, built the foundation of the firm as a masonry company. Even without collateral to offer, he tried his fortune and applied for a loan at a bank with just his proven character and exemplary reputation as his guarantee. What started out as a humble enterprise now serves thirteen markets, supported by over 1,200 employees with a company culture that still relies on the same trust and reputation that its founder instilled decades ago.

Today, the company is a choice builder and contractor across the United States, winning accolades and coveted certifications from the organizations that shape the industry. In recent years, the firm’s dedication to safety earned it the 2018 AGC Best Safety record, recording eight consecutive years of winning the same recognition. In 2017, Core Nevada also received the Contractor of the Year award from AGC, and for the fourth time. 

One of its most recent works is the Academic and Student Services building at the Nevada State College. The project was a collaboration with Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects involving over 42,000 square feet of laboratory and classroom space. The facility was designed to house a campus within the building. To accomplish this ambitious goal, the company and its architect followed a spatial arrangement that included nodes and lounges that are constructed as spaces for study and social interactions. The final product won the Southwest Contractor Best Award for Best Masonry Project.


Eckman Construction

84 Palomino Ln., Bedford, NH 03110

Eckman Construction company started in 1974 as a small, competitive firm in the area of new construction, additions, and renovations. Today, it is one of the enduring builders that have established their names in the industry by promoting safety, quality control, ideal company culture, and most importantly, participating in the field’s green construction initiatives. 

Mark Walsh, a New Hampshire native, serves the company as its President and CEO. Under his leadership, the firm has thrived in innovation, collaboration, and commitment to serve the community. In 2017, the company was recognized by Business NH Magazine with the Business of the Year Award in the construction and real estate category. ABC also reward the firm for its efforts in sustainability and green development, giving it the Excellence in Construction Award and the Sustainable Construction Award in the same year. 

The company serves several markets across healthcare, senior living, commercial, religious, government, and education. For its higher education projects, many of its clients turn to the company as a reliable general contractor for their visions of new, expanded, and updated buildings. One example of the firm’s modern construction work in The Manchester Community College Student Center, for instance, a 30,000-square foot facility designed to be the school’s central gathering point for academic engagement and casual socializing. 


Hollister Construction Services

339 Jefferson Rd., Parsippany, NJ 07054

Over 150 construction professionals make up Hollister Construction Services, all of them equipped with the training to deliver efficient project management and the knowledge to use the latest in technology. The firm’s services include interior and exterior renovations, ground-up construction, and building additions. Many of the company’s biggest clients come from the region’s high-value industries, such as healthcare, industrial, residential, senior living, and educational sectors.

Christopher Johnson heads the company not just as a principal but a worker that oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm’s construction practices. Since Johnson joined the industry, he was able to manage projects in excess of ten million square feet. Under his leadership, the firm won recognition from the industry’s most reputable bodies. As a fast-growing company with ideal business leadership strategies, the firm was chosen as one of New Jersey’s Best Places to Work, and one of ENR’s and INC’s Top 400 and Top 5000 fastest growing businesses, respectively. 

The firm is a leading builder of universities and academic campuses in the state, with numerous notable projects for the region’s premier institutions. One example of its work is on a renovation and roof installation contract for the Fairleigh Dickinson University’s George & Phillis Rothman Center. The work involved the installation of a hyperbolic paraboloid roof on the university’s Metropolitan Campus. 


Turner Construction

375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014

Of the many factors that make Turner Construction an ideal example of the most accomplished builder in the country, its dedication to delivering a safe and injury-free workplace is the most notable. Its construction practices have implemented procedures that have helped create a better environment for its clients and partners, and in turn, deliver the best quality services. 

The firm is a North American-based company that serves an international market. Its extensive portfolio displays a diverse clientele as well as its ability to take on the most complex, structurally challenging projects. Staffed with over 6,000 employees, it has the resources and manpower to complete 1,500 projects every year, with a value of $12 billion. Such tremendous capacity to accommodate high-caliber contracts has been recognized by the industry’s most respectable institutions. In 2017, for instance, the firm secured the sixth rank on the Best Commercial Contractors list in the US by AdvisoryHQ. In 2016, the firm was named as the number one general contractor in the country, a Top Builder for Healthcare, University, Hotel, Office, and Green Building sectors by the Building Design + Construction in its Giants 300 report. 

One of the firm’s biggest projects in the state is the Erie Community College STEM Building. The 62,500-square foot structure was designed to hold programs for science, technology, engineering, and math studies. An energy modeling analysis helped the firm realize the building’s mechanical and electrical efficiencies. Most importantly, the overall project was constructed to meet the LEED-Silver Certification.


Metcon Building Infrastructure

110 Anderson St., Fayetteville, NC 28301

Metcon was first conceived as a general contracting firm in 1999 that specialized in panelized metal studs and truss. During its early years, the firm worked on housing projects throughout North Carolina before it transitioned into a full-service commercial general contracting company. Its growth as a builder and contractor was set off by the University of North Carolina’s higher education bond system in the 2000s when the company was assigned as the main contractor for the school’s Pembroke Campus.

Today, under Aaron Thomas’s leadership, the company has completed over 650 projects for its general contracting and construction management services for a wide variety of markets that include higher education, K-12, corporate, medical, and government. Its extensive project coverage is not the only thing that makes the company a leader in North Carolina’s building scene. Metcon also built the first energy positive building for a public utility in the country as well as the first Privatized Energy Positive School in America.

As a builder of schools and universities, the firm is one of the most recognized in the region. Several of the company’s school projects earned the 2013 and 2016 Best K-12 awards in the U.S. One of the firm’s biggest higher education projects in the Fayetteville State University Renaissance Hall, a three-story, a 370-bed dormitory that involves a classic masonry construction using brick, stone, and veneer. The 85,000-square foot structure features two and four-bedroom suites, several study areas, learning laboratories, laundry facilities, a kitchen, and meeting spaces.


Construction Engineers

503 3rd St. NE, Devils Lake, ND 58301

“Do something constructive” is more than just a saying for Construction Engineers; it’s one of the founding principles guiding the company. John and Kurt Eickhof established the firm in 1978 and ran the company until they transferred the ownership to Scott Kringstad and Jeff Melgaard in 2015. Its growing market and service coverage encouraged the firm to install offices in North Dakota and Minnesota.  

The company’s main offerings include delivering preconstruction and estimating services, on-site management services, and meticulous quality control procedures before, during, and after project completion. Because of these ideal business practices, the firm was chosen by the ABC for is Excellence in Construction recognition. Aside from ensuring high-caliber output, the company focuses on its employees and its team of professionals, providing an ideal workplace culture, a characteristic that earned it one of the 2018 Prairie Business 50 Best Places to Work in the Northern Plains.

Commercial, healthcare, government, industrial, oil and gas, and education are the primary markets that the firm has serviced for decades. Many of its completed works have redefined the company’s place in the industry as a top contractor. Its Law School addition and remodel project for the University of North Dakota, for instance, exhibits the firm’s ability to meet demanding timelines and overcome design and structural obstacles. 



643 W Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45203

Messer takes on complex, commercial construction projects for highly-demanding markets such as healthcare, aviation, industrial, life sciences, and education. For 85 years, it has invested in innovative solutions to answer to the demands of the industry’s most sophisticated construction projects while ensuring that it stays true to three core goals: commitment to a safe work environment, choosing ethical business practices, and providing professional growth to its employees. 

The firm’s success in the business delivered it a much-deserved value and advantage among the region’s leading builders, reaching an impressive $1.2 billion in its 2017 revenue. Since Frank Messer founded the company in 1932, the company has won major contracts that included public and government-funded buildings for Nashville, Tennessee, and for other cities in Ohio. During the 1940s, one of the firm’s biggest wins was a bid to build the $37-million Wright Aeronautical Plant in Evendale, a project that was considered the largest building contract award at the time.

Today, the company’s higher education portfolio totals a value of $2 billion, including its projects for the market in the past decade. These projects are not only valuable but also consistently award-winning. The firm’s new construction work for the Ohio State University North Residential District, for instance, won the AGC of Ohio Build, Ohio Awards.


Timberlake Construction

7613 N Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Timberlake Construction believes that “you can’t build greatness with shortcuts.” For over 40 years since its founding, the company’s goal of meticulously and efficiently completing a project on time and on budget has been consistently realized in the quality projects it has delivered to clients. With full resources and an experienced team of professionals, the firm is one of Oklahoma’s leading builders.

For many years, the company has been a recipient of the AGC’s multiple awards and recognition such as the Builder of the Year, Safety Excellence, and the Build Oklahoma awards. ABC also rewarded the firm’s excellence in its construction practices, giving it a much-deserved recognition in 2015.

The AIA, another note-worthy organization, granted the firm its first Keystone Award. For its work in the higher education market, the company’s 35,000-square foot Forensic Science Institute contract for the University of Central Oklahoma has been awarded the LEED-Silver certification and the Build Oklahoma Award.


Fortis Construction

1705 SW Taylor St. Suite #200, Portland, Oregon 97205

Whether it is a straightforward or a technically-driven project, Fortis Construction is a well-equipped, properly staffed firm that has been serving major markets not just in the United States but also in Europe and Asia. General contracting, preconstruction, value analysis, and construction management are just a part of the firm’s extensive project and service scope. 

Photo Credit: Lawrence Anderson

The company operates on a highly collaborative environment and this practice has helped it win high-valued projects and construction contracts in and out of the U.S. Over the years, the firm has worked on a wide spectrum of building projects that include data centers, healthcare, office, institutional, military, education, and other massive structures that require demanding technical knowledge and engineering expertise.

One of the firm’s most noteworthy projects is a new construction contract for a four-story campus alumni center. The 60,000-square foot structure was a collaboration between Opsis Architecture and TVA Architects. The final product was a modern architectural masterpiece was recognized by the LEED-NC Gold Certification, the 2013 US Wood Design Awards, and the National Interior of Beauty of Wood Awards.


Wohlsen Construction

1295 Manheim Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601

Wohlsen Construction is one of the most respected builders in the Mid-Atlantic States. Since its founding in 1890, ABC has recognized the firm with 17 national awards and 243 regional awards, three of which are Project of the Year awards. Behind the company’s success is a crew of craftsmen who won the National ABC’s Craft Championship Gold Medal, and more than 40 Craftsmanship Awards.

Gary Languir, the firm’s president and CEO joined the company in 1980 and his affiliations in the industry perfectly matched the company’s prestigious reputation. Aside from being a recipient of the Business Ethics Award by the Samaritan Counseling Center and Lancaster Chamber’s Exemplar Awards, Languir is an active player in the construction and civic industry, holding board positions in the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Council of General Contractors. 

The company has built and renovated a number of universities and private colleges, most of them for repeat clients. The Franklin & Marshall College’s New College House is an example of the company’s ability to build higher education facilities that are not just functional but aesthetically memorable. For this project, the firm led the preconstruction and construction management services, an accomplishment recognized with the USGBC’s LEED Silver Certification because of its sustainable building features that include rain gardens, energy recovery units, local and regional building materials, high-recycled content materials, and FSC-certified wood. 


Gilbane Building Company 

Providence 7 Jackson Walkway, Providence, RI 02903

a small carpentry business founded in 1873 by two brothers, Gilbane Building Company has survived generations of industry challenges. Today it’s one of Rhode Island’s most influential building and development companies. The firm is well known for its integrated construction and facility management services. Aside from relying on the latest in Lean construction technology, the firm is an expert in building sustainable structures. 

The firm has a loyal client base, and its stability as an independent company has been commended by the industry’s biggest organizations. Additionally, its constantly evolving business practices have helped it secure recognition that can only be achieved through timeless quality and commitment. The firm is one of ENR’s Top 400 Contractors, a Top 100 Green Contractors, and it ranks number two on its list of the best Educational Facilities builders. For the same market, it was also the Building Design+Construction (BD+C)’s number three in the Giants 300 University Sector. 

One of the firm’s most recognized projects in the state was for the University of Rhode Island’s Thomas M. Ryan Center and Bradford Boss Arena, a multi-purpose center that was completed under budget and three months ahead of schedule. The state-of-the-art facility is the university’s sports and entertainment venue and spans over 200,000 square feet. 


Harper GC

35 West Court St. Suite #400, Greenville, SC 29601

With a project capability of up to $125 million, Harper is a full-service general contractor that has been dominating South Carolina’s building industry since it was founded in 1950. Aside from being one of the ENR Top 400 National Contractors in 2018, the same organization recognized the firm as the second largest general contractor based in the state. The firm was also the first builder upstate to gain the South Carolina Apprenticeship Certificate. 

David Wise, the company’s president, has an accumulated experience of almost 30 years. His hands-on approach as a leader and a builder helped the company secure a loyal customer base not just in the state but in the whole region. The company serves commercial and institutional markets throughout the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee. Many of these clients come from the region’s largest markets: healthcare, civic, industrial, and education, to name a few. 

The Duke Energy Innovation Center is one of the firm’s most notable projects. As a contractor, it was tasked to handle the preparation, the pre-construction, and the design services of the new facility. Upon completion, the 40,000-square foot building that houses 21 research laboratory suites and Class-A office spaces achieved the much coveted LEED Gold certification. 


Henry Carlson

1205 W Russell St., Sioux Falls, SD 57104

After immigrating to the United States in 1990, Henry Carlson Sr. joined the construction industry as a laborer, and later on, became a stonemason. The experiences that he accumulated through his early years in the country gave him the advantage when he finally decided to start his own company. In 1919, he joined William A. Snitkey and together, they established the Carlson-Snitkey Construction Company. A few years later, Carlson acquired the company’s full ownership, thus creating the Henry Carlson Company.  The firm grew to become one of South Dakota’s largest building and construction companies. 

Today, Henry “Chip” Carlson III, continues his family’s legacy, managing and leading the company to handle projects regardless of size or level of complexity. The company works on a wide variety of commercial and institutional building projects that include complete pre-construction, construction, and post-construction services.

With the company’s smart construction approach, it has been a preferred builder for specialized markets like higher education. In every step of the construction process, the company uses the industry’s latest technology and innovative practices. One of its featured works is the LEED Gold-certified Froiland Science Complex for Augustana University. The first phase of the project involved a 46,000-square foot addition, and the second stage was for a complete renovation of an existing science center. 


Montgomery Martin Contractors

8245 Tournament Dr., Suite #300, Memphis, TN 38125

Montgomery Martin established Montgomery Martin Contractors in July 1995 as a people-oriented, client-focused firm. The company realizes its mission by introducing approaches that ensure three fundamental factors: cost control, superior quality, and efficient schedule management. Aside from providing stellar customer service, it considers its employees its greatest asset. From its builders, designers, and managers, the company knows its role in promoting an ideal environment for its workers.

Through the years, the company has achieved impressive milestones, engraving its name on the walls of the industry’s leading builders. In 2017, the Memphis Business Journal recognized the company for its Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church 75th Anniversary Project, and awarded it the Best Renovation and Conversion, $2 million and Above category recognition. Additionally, the firm is a prized builder of higher education structures. In 2011, it secured ABC’s Excellence in Construction award for its Christian Brothers University Learning Center.

The firm has completed many other renovations and new construction projects for the state’s leading institutions, including Aspire East Academy, St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Nesin Graduate School, Memphis College of Art, and the University of Memphis. 


Beck Group

1807 Ross Ave. Suite #500, Dallas, TX 75201

Beck Group believes that great design and good construction go together, and this philosophy can be observed in every construction project it takes on. The firm implements a unique approach to architecture and construction by assigning dedicated teams from all departments to work on goal: to efficiently and cost-effectively complete a single client project. The same approach can also eliminate the inefficiencies and waste involved in the most crucial stages of construction.

Norma Lehman heads the firm’s higher education and sustainability groups. With 20 years of experience in the fields of architecture, construction, and sustainability, she has been leading the company’s sustainable development initiatives. One of the company’s efforts to fulfill this goal was realized when it signed the AIA 2030 Commitment that promoted the reduction of energy consumption on the buildings that the company produces. 

One of the firm’s biggest accomplishments is a modern educational facility in the lone star state. The University of Texas’s Dallas Engineering Building is a 200,000-square foot project that has been designed to accommodate the school’s growing student population. The facility includes classrooms, a lecture hall that can accommodate 300 people, as well as administrative offices and conference halls. Additionally, the building houses research and computer laboratories. 


Layton Construction

9090 S Sandy Pkwy., Sandy, UT 84070

Under the leadership of David Layton, Layton Construction has expanded from a regional player in the industry to a competitive national driver in construction and design. The sudden increase of the firm’s customer base as well as the diversified markets that embraced the company’s stability and efficiency has helped it establish its name in the field. This is quite the leap for what was once a humble family-owned firm in 1953.

The firm is one of the largest academic and higher education contractors in the state, with projects that have caught the eye of the industry’s biggest organizations. In 2018, the firm’s work for the University of Utah Farmington Health Center has earned it the ENR Best of the Best Award under the Top Healthcare Project in the Nation for 2017. The same organization also commended the firm’s work for the University of Utah’s Business Loop Parking Structure, as well as a merit award for the Utah State University Aggie Recreation Center in the Sports and Entertainment category. 

University of Utah Sorenson USTAR Molecular Biotechnology Building is a 208,000-square foot project located in Salt Lake City. The structure is home to faculty offices, core facilities, conference and symposium rooms, and other public spaces. The facility was designed to promote interaction among faculties and members from various disciplines. 


Dew Construction

277 Blair Park Rd. Suite #130 Williston, VT 05495

Dew Construction’s three locations in Vermont and New Hampshire allow the firm to serve clients throughout the northern United States. The company started its first operations in Willingston in 1997. That small, local firm grew into one of the largest construction firms serving upstate New York and Northern New England. In 2012, an acquisition of the Macmillan Company headquartered in New Hampshire gave the firm a boost not just in terms of geographical reach but also in the scope of services that it could offer. Finally, in 2018, the Dew Construction together with its new branding and identity was introduced to the public. The reveal also showcased the rebranded firm’s new and primary initiatives that focus on communication, process, people, safety, accountability, and partnerships. 

Don Wells serves as the firm’s CEO and president. Wells is directly involved in the company’s daily business operations, overseeing every aspect of its development and construction efforts. Just like any effective leader, his strategy focuses on people, launching initiatives that empower employees to confidently take on individual ownership and accountability. This focus on its human resources has been recognized by the Vermont Business Magazine, recognizing the company as one Best Places to Work in 2018 and 2019.

One of the company’s biggest achievements is the 2013 Best Builders Awards given by the Associated General Contractors of Vermont (AGC-VT) for its University of Vermont Redstone Lofts project. Another notable project for the same client is the James M. Jeffords Hall, a construction work that has been designed to meet the Lab and LEED Certification. 


Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc.

1057 Martinsburg Pike, Winchester, VA 22603

As one of the oldest and largest construction companies in Virginia, Shockey boasts an extensive service and project coverage, building large, complex, and multi-phased projects that cover a full spectrum of markets. Education, healthcare, commercial, historic renovation, manufactural, and industrial are all represented in their portfolio. While most of its construction and development projects are for larger, more complex projects, the firm can also handle small and mid-sized projects.

In 2018, multiple award-giving bodies and professional organizations had recognized the firm’s stability, expertise, and ability to perform amidst the ever-changing challenges within the industry. The ENR, for instance, awarded the company as one of its Top 400 Contractors. The firm is also one of ENR MidAtlantic Top 15 Contractors for its work in Government and Public category. Many of its projects for higher educational institutions have been equally outstanding, winning  honors and accolades for Georgetown University’s Calcagnini Contemplative Center, as well as multiple awards for Shenandoah University’s Health and Life Sciences Building (pictured here.)

The firm was founded in 1896 as a privately held company and a member of a diversified construction consortium, The Shockey Companies. Aside from the firm’s organizational strength, its reputation and capabilities as a builder have been favored by many clients and partner organizations, not just in Virginia. Its services cover a wide area with locations that expand to North Carolina, West Virginia, and Maryland.



11001 E Montgomery, Spokane, WA 99206

Since Lydig was founded in 1956, it has completed over $600M worth of higher education projects. All of these developments carefully followed the Design-Build and Progressive Design-Build delivery methods. Larry Swartz, the firm’s CEO, comes from a family of builders and grew up with an invaluable insight into the design and construction business. While quality and efficiency are two main factors that make the firm stand out from the rest, its principal’s vision for the company and the people who compose it is something to be commended. 

Through his leadership, the company has secured annual recognition from any number of organizations, including the 2014 Build Washington Grand Awards, and the 2006 Build Northwest Awards. The firm is also an active member of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). 

One of its major works in the state is a veterinary medical research building commissioned by Washington State University. The 2012 project has a value of $59 million. The building was designed to house state-of-the-art biomedical research and support space for the university’s teaching and research programs. 


High Point Construction

643 Route 20 South Rd., Buckhannon, WV 26201

High Point Construction was the result of its founders’ decades of collective experience from their early years in the industry. Tim Critchfield and Tim Shaw established the company in 1997 as a contractor that specializes in commercial and residential buildings, industrial structures, educational facilities, and multi-family housing complexes. 

The firm’s success in the industry over the years has elevated its rank as a high-caliber builder that has by the manpower and the resources to take on emerging challenges. This includes the firm’s recent ventures into the natural gas market, as it won contracts from the sector’s biggest players: Chesapeake Energy, Columbia Gas, and Northeast Natural Energy, to name just a few.

The firm’s modern and functional educational facilities are located across West Virginia. West Virginia’s Wesleyan College’s Performing Arts Center, Glenville State College’s Louis Bennett Hall, and Alderson Broaddus University’s new football complex are just some of the many accomplishments that the company has delivered through its years of operations.


Miron Construction Co., Inc. 

1471 McMahon Rd., Neenah, WI 54956

Since 1979, David Voss, Jr. has developed his legacy as leader and visionary of one of the biggest contractors in Wisconsin. As a principal, Voss participates in every aspect of the company’s daily operations as well as in its corporate management. He also engages in activities that are associated with the firm’s conceptual and bid estimating process. 

Miron Construction Co., Inc. is the largest university contractor in Wisconsin, with more than 500 structures in its award-winning portfolio. These projects cover a span of ten years and are valued over $2 billion for all its private and public learning institutions, technical colleges, and state universities. Many of these contracts got the attention of many industry giants. For instance, ENR included the company in its Top 100 Green Building Contractors. In 2012, the same organization awarded the firm as its Midwest Contractor of the Year. The Daily Report granted the firm its 2011 Builder of the Year award.

The Fox Valley Technical College in Wautoma is a 12,400 square foot higher education facility that was completed in July of 2018. The structure houses the school’s district office, a job center, an industrial maintenance lab, the department’s welding bay, a nursing simulation lab, as well as its flexible learning classrooms.


Sampson Construction

2701 Westland Ct. Suite A, Cheyenne, WY 82001

With over six decades of professional construction expertise, Sampson Construction has been building enduring structures that have defined industry’s standards in innovation and efficiency. Schools, college stadiums, hospitals, religious facilities, hotels, libraries, corporate campuses are just some of the market segments that the firm has worked with over its years of operations. The company’s services include construction management, design-build, and design-bid-build services. 

For John Sampson, the company’s president, its team of employees “made up of good people” are the company’s largest assets. Under his leadership and his team’s dedication to providing quality service, the firm has achieved numerous accolades, and not just in Wyoming; it was chosen for the AGC Build Nebraska Awards in 2013.  

One of its highly featured works is the University of Wyoming Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts located in Laramie. The firm headed the project’s construction management of the 41-year old fine arts building. Additionally, the same client awarded the firm with a 1.2 million renovation contract for its campus modernization projects. The work required a variety of advanced physical and building system improvements.

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Library Contractors in the US

Middle School and High School Contractors in the US

Museum Contractors in the US

Preschool and Elementary School Contractors in the US

About Our Rankings

This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration.

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  • Blaine Comeione

    Blaine has served as Editor at General Contractors for six years, drawing from over ten years of experience in construction and real estate. His comprehensive understanding spans commercial construction, architecture, and home builds, cultivated through diverse roles in the industry. With four years at BuildZoom and a background as a licensed real estate agent, Blaine possesses a unique perspective that enriches his editorial work. His dedication to delivering informative content is underscored by his extensive tenure in the field, ensuring that readers receive valuable insights into the dynamic world of construction and home design. Expertise: Architecture, Commercial Construction, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Over 6 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Editor at General Contractors, Previous experience at BuildZoom and Keller Williams Realty Education: Ohio University, Bachelor of Science in Human and Consumer Science - Minor in Business, 120+ Hours of New Jersey Real Estate Education, 120+ Hours of Arizona Real Estate Education