In 1986, Will Evans and his wife, Helen, started Premier Structures Incorporated here in Athens. They possessed a deep desire to bring a top quality construction service to the Tennessee Valley that would last, and they both had the dedication to make it so. It’s 30 years later, and the combination of blessing and determination has paid off in the form of a true legacy. Though Mr. Will passed in 2006, and Miss Helen no longer comes into the office as she did for decades, the results of their solid work ethic have attracted a whole new generation of like-minded folks who are carrying on the Evans’ vision.
Dan Mankins joined the staff of PSI in 2003, and after Will passed, Miss Helen asked Dan to run it. He bought the business in 2012 and became CEO, (while we were still clearly in the recession), and steered PSI through that storm. The construction business is a tough one, whether it be “green times or lean times,” and Dan is thankful for all that has happened, all they have been able to accomplish, and all that he has learned. “We have been able to increase our crew by 20%,” he said, and went on to tell me about some of their current projects, which I’ll discuss later.
Some things have changed since Dan became CEO. Previously, design build pre-engineered metal buildings constituted the majority of their projects. “Now about 50% of our projects are stick built,” he said. Their focus is also now on commercial structures. Dan is quick to talk about his crew, and knows full well that PSI would not be planning a 30 year anniversary party in July without them.
He is glad to have the opportunity to continue to work with people that he considers the best. Jeff Jeffreys is in charge of the construction side of PSI, and has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. “Jeff is one of the most knowledgeable construction people I have ever been associated with,” Dan says. The chief project estimator and safety coordinator is Ronnie Britton, who has been with PSI since the very beginning. “He’s the guy who pays sharp attention to detail and keeps us in good shape with OSHA and compliance with the newest safety regulations,” he said. Veteran builder Kenneth Hogan has been with PSI since 1997, and Kris Walker and Joe Green are ones who Dan is confident will carry the business forward for many years. Monica Jackson does the drafting and design work, and her artistic abilities are crucial to the success of each new project. Rounding out the management team is Leah Faulk, Dan’s sister-in-law, who runs the office and does the accounting. Leah and I got to chat about the day to day operations, and she said, “Our guys in the field work so hard. Just last week several of them put in more than 55 hours. We could not get it done without them.”
It is because of the crew that PSI has been able to keep growing, and some of the recent and current projects include:
• City Hall- They handled the masonry, veneer, structural steel, HVAC, hard tile, cabinetry, sheet rock, exterior glass, and glazing. Most folks know that the pillars were one of the toughest parts of the whole project, as the ones first sent by the sub-contractor just weren’t up to PSI’s or anyone else’s standards. However, the “sub” finally got it right, and the result is beautiful.
• Champion Chevrolet- There is an extensive overhaul and remodel of the showroom going on, and one of the responsibilities of a construction company is to find the least disruptive way to get the job done while maintaining “business as usual.” PSI has managed to make that happen for them in part due to the sequence they used in phase work, or project management. Construction has been underway for about 8 months, and the good news is that Champion is pleased, as is Dan.
• Another major and important project has been the addition to the Limestone County Detention Center. There’s a lot to consider and accomplish with something of this unique nature-the place has to be secure and formidable, while still functioning well near a residential area, and PSI got it done.
The future looks bright for Premier Structures, and seeing as our city was recently voted #1 in the State of Alabama for recruiting new businesses, hopefully the next 30 years will continue to provide opportunities for PSI to continue to build our community, literally. Congratulations on your 30th anniversary, and thank you for all your hard work!
Premier Structures Incorporated
2311 South Hine Street/ PO Box 927
Athens, AL 35612
By: Ali ElizabethTurner