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Gov. Cooper 'cares about the little towns' - Daily Advance

 Pictured left to right: Greg Evans, Site Superintendent; Mitchell Ayers, Designer; Governor Roy Cooper; Al Chesson, President of A. R. Chesson Construction.

Pictured left to right: Greg Evans, Site Superintendent; Mitchell Ayers, Designer; Governor Roy Cooper; Al Chesson, President of A. R. Chesson Construction.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Governor Roy Cooper toured Regulator Marine and had lunch at the Downtown Soda Shoppe during his visit to Edenton on Friday July 20th. ARCC has been working with Regulator Marine to expand they current production facilities. See the full article.

Small Towns Provide Success and Opportunities

 Broad Street in Edenton, NC is thriving

Broad Street in Edenton, NC is thriving

A. R. Chesson Construction has been featured in the April 2018 issue of Construction In Focus. The article focuses on the success and opportunities found in small towns in rural Eastern North Carolina, such as those found in Edenton. We would like to thank the Boyd Agency and Roberson Heating and Air as partners serving with us in Eastern North Carolina.

Written by Margaret Patricia Eaton
It’s a real privilege to work with A. R. Chesson Construction and quite frankly a joy,” says Anne-Marie Knighton, Town Manager of Edenton, NC. “They are professional, they are smart, and they deliver a great product.”

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And deliver A. R. Chesson Construction continues to do. With $16 million worth of construction projects either recently completed or breaking ground in Edenton, the company, founded by president and owner Al Chesson in 1981, is sensitive to the needs of small communities. “We want to make a positive difference in the footprint and the landscape,” Chesson says, referring to work the company has done in both the historic center, such as the intricate Flemish bond brick and white colonnaded addition to the 1817 Edenton Baptist Church, new distribution centers and manufacturing facilities in the surrounding industrial areas, and volunteer projects designed to give back to the community.

Speaking of engaging with the broader community, there is also the proactive stance the company takes toward employment opportunities for minority groups. “We like to think of ourselves as being representative of the population,” Chesson says, noting that twenty percent of its employees are women, unusual in a workforce that remains dominated by men. “And we are proud to have smart, capable and talented women working with us. They do a wonderful job and they’re great team members.”
Named by Forbes as “One of the Prettiest Towns in America,” Edenton (population 5,500) is located where Pembroke Creek meets the Albemarle Sound. Founded in 1712, it’s the first permanent European settlement in what is now the state of North Carolina.
Its historic district contains the Lane House (1719), the oldest known house still in existence in the state; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (1736); the Chowan County Courthouse (1767); and the Barker House (1783), which commemorates the life of Penelope Barker, the first recorded female political protester. In 1774 she organized the “Edenton Tea Party” in which 51 women petitioned George III, saying ‘No’ to taxes on tea and cloth.

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A. R. Chesson Construction’s involvement with Edenton dates to the mid-1990s, and includes serving in 2012 as the general con- tractor for the restoration and relocation of the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse, the last remaining screw-pile lighthouse in North Carolina. After it was decommissioned, it sat neglected on land, in a state of disrepair, but it’s now situated once again on piles within the harbor breakwater and managed as a tourist attraction by the Edenton Historical Commission.
“We don’t tend to build new in the historic district,” Knighton explains. “We tend to restore and repurpose. But our new police station was a special project and Al and his team were great to work with. It was under budget and finished on time and a real asset to our police department, the town and the neighborhood in which it’s located.”

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“There’s a need to walk the fine line between balancing growth and development opportunities while at the same time protecting the historical character of our small towns,” explains Mitchell Ayers, the company’s technology specialist and one of four staff designers. “We consult with planning officials to make sure our designs work with their requirements and are sensitive to its historic nature.”
The 9,940 square foot police building, a mix of structural steel, metal studs and brick veneer, designed by Oakley Collier Architects, Rocky Mount, NC did just that. But while the exterior is traditional in appearance, the interior is a thoroughly modern facility.

One million employee hours, no lost days

Not only was Knighton thrilled with the result, she was thrilled when Chesson requested the police station job site as a venue to celebrate the company’s safety record of one million employee hours with no lost days due to accidents or injuries. The award was presented by the North Carolina Commissioner of Labor and it was inspiring, she says. “It motivated us as an organization and as an employer to work harder on our own safety programs for our employees. I think it’s enormously impressive.”
In addition to that milestone record, the company is looking forward to receiving its 13th Consecutive Gold Award for Safety in April. Chesson is rightfully proud of those accomplishments and the culture of safety the company has developed. “We have a full- time safety officer and he’s informed and constantly updating us with safety procedures, operations and inspections, so safety becomes an expectation. Our employees and our sub-contractors are using tools, up on lifts and scaffolds; it can be dangerous work, so it’s something we take seriously. We want to prevent people from getting injured so day-to-day training is mandatory.”

Constructing facilities for a viable economy

While Edenton enjoys its ‘prettiest town’ reputation, it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s a hard-working town whose manufacturing and distribution centers located outside the historic area are growing and providing employment, thanks to a combination of five major projects which were either completed in the last 12 months or will be completed by the end of 2018 by A. R. Chesson Construction.

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There’s the Colony Tire Headquarters competed in 2017, a 6,827 square foot design-build pre-engineered metal building which Ayers describes as a “combination of EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System) with metal stud interior and cultured stone exterior.” Adjacent to it will be the new Colony Tire Distribution Center which broke ground in February.
Close by is Regulator Marine which, since 1988, has been building deep-vee console sport fishing boats up to 41 feet long and selling them worldwide. “We’ve been working with them for a while,” Ayers says. “We currently are working on three design-build projects to expand their existing facilities. We are adding a new 12,000 square feet pre-engineered metal storage building, adding nearly 35,000 square feet to an existing structure to house their new assembly process, and expanding their lamination facility by 8,000 square feet.”

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“We want to make a positive difference in the footprint and the landscape.”
Owen Maxwell, Vice President Product Development at Regulator, says that business leaders in Edenton are committed to maintaining a strong economy by providing good employment in rural eastern North Carolina. Likewise, small communities like Edenton can provide the opportunity, resources, and employees to allow businesses like Regulator and Colony Tire to thrive.

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Adjacent to Edenton’s historic area is a 20,455 square foot design-build project to replace the Kellogg Supply Company (motto: “Everything to build anything”) which was destroyed by fire on October 26, 2016. Fortunately no one was inside when the fire started, however the 70-year old building and all contents were lost. “Once again, we worked with the town planners to make sure the design fit into the character of the area that surrounds the building,” Chesson says. While it will be a pre-engineered metal building on a concrete slab it will have a cementitious horizontal siding façade in keeping with local traditional building finishes.
“In all of our design-build projects, we take a common sense, practical approach to green building and energy efficiency and we apply green technology appropriately, making it cost-effective for the owners to operate,” Chesson adds.
Just outside the town and presently under construction is the Chowan County Maintenance Assembly Office, a North Carolina Department of Transportation building. Like the police department, this was a publicly bid job with Chesson awarded the contract.
The Town of Edenton, through its continued relationship with A. R. Chesson Construction, has managed to realize the best of both worlds. Its cherished historic ambiance is being preserved while at the same time, there is growth and development and employment opportunities. Instead of disappearing as so  many small towns across North America are doing,  Edenton has bucked the trend and proved to be the exception. And in addition to that, neighborly helpfulness is flourishing.

Habitat for Humanity

Sally Holloway, president  of  Chowan-Perquimans  Habitat  for Humanity (HFH), echoes Knighton when she describes working with A. R. Chesson Construction’s staff.  “What  a joy!” she says, recalling how the company chose to partner with HFH two years ago and has since volunteered to erect two houses, one in Edenton and the other in the neighboring county.

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“We order kits, not pre-manufactured houses,” Holloway says, “and normally it takes our HFH volunteers weeks to put up because it’s heavy work. The kit has gotten heavier because the codes have changed. They used to be 2 x 4s but now they’re 2 x 6s, so that makes it a lot heavier for our people because most of us are retirees,” she explains. 
“But A. R. Chesson Construction came in with their crew of volunteers, people with the expertise to make sure it was done safely and properly. Al was leading by example, up on the roof, and to have a president and owner do that is quite incredible. They had that house framed in a day, including installing the house wrap and putting the wood sheathing on the roof so it was secure, and it was done on one of the hottest days of the year,” she shares.
“It was like in the Wizard of Oz. You blink, and a house appears on the ground. The homeowner told me she drove past the site on her way to work in the morning and there was just the slab foundation and when she came home the house was standing. She called it miraculous and says for her and her two children it’s like coming home to Christmas every day.”

A good decision

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Al Chesson graduated in 1977 from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. “I was intending to be a banker or stockbroker when I went to college,” he recalls, “but I’d worked my way through high school and college working construction. Construction sort of gets in one’s blood and I decided I liked it a lot better than sitting in an office.” After working for a few years as a construction site superintendent, he says, “I decided in 1981 to hang out my own shingle.”
People in North Carolina are glad he did.

One Million Employee Hours With No Lost Days

 One Million Employee Hours Certificate from NCDOL

One Million Employee Hours Certificate from NCDOL

A. R. Chesson Construction Achieves Exceptional One Million Employee Hours With No Lost Days

A. R. Chesson Construction Co., Inc. announces that the firm has passed One Million employee hours without an injury related day away from work as defined by the NC Department of Labor (NCDOL).

The achievement qualifies the company to receive a 2017 NCDOL Million Hour Award. Million Hour awards are presented by the NCDOL in recognition of working 1 million employee hours, or multiples thereof, with no cases of injury or illness involving cases with days away from work (CDAW).  The Million Hour Award was presented by NCDOL Commissioner Cherie Berry during a company-wide recognition luncheon on Friday, March 10, 2017.  Commissioner Berry remarked that this achievement is unprecedented in the construction industry, and is a result of 12 years without a single lost-time workplace accident.

 Al Chesson and Andy Holliman receiving One Million Hour Award from NC Commisioner of Labor Cherie Berry

Al Chesson and Andy Holliman receiving One Million Hour Award from NC Commisioner of Labor Cherie Berry

The term of the accomplishment began on January 1, 2005. The company completed 1 Million hours worked without a lost time accident (LTA), and with no CDAW on January 12, 2017, or 4,394 days. “Achieving one million hours without a lost-time workplace accident shows our employees, sub-contractors and clients that we are committed to a safe work environment,” Corporate Safety Officer Andy Holliman said. “The motto of “Safety First” is cultivated into the culture of our company.”

It is the policy of A. R. Chesson Construction to provide a safe working environment for all of its employees and subcontractors. This is accomplished by employee involvement, proper management and training, and implementing safety manuals with up-to-date information. Each employee's goal is to perform each task in the safest manner possible, performing every job task in accordance to the companies written safety policies, industry standards, and with observation of all OSHA and NCDOL regulations.

In addition to the Million Hour achievement, the firm’s employees have completed over 855 hours of community service since May of 2016.  

A. R. Chesson Construction Company, Inc. is a full service construction firm providing a comprehensive portfolio of innovative project development, management and construction services.  Established in 1981, A.R. Chesson has been a leader in design/build construction, project management and development services for new construction, renovation and expansion. 

A.R. Chesson Construction Company, Inc., has offices in Williamston, Elizabeth City, and Manteo, and specializes in commercial, institutional, pre-engineered and industrial construction.

NSU Madison Hall

The NSU Madison Hall Auditorium Renovation consisted of demolition of finishes as well as the electrical and mechanical systems in the Auditorium.  The renovated space included all new finishes including polished concrete flooring, theater seating, acoustical ceilings and wall panels, new decorative metal rails, and new lighting fixtures with a networked controlled digital intelligent lighting system. A. R. Chesson Construction Company has now completed ten projects at Norfolk State University in Virginia.

New Dixie Mart #19 Whitakers - Before and After

Renovation of the New Dixie Mart in Whitakers, NC is complete. Check out the before and after slider below to see the transformation.

New Dixie Cuts Ribbon at New Store #204

The Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for New Dixie Oil’s newest store located at 1609 Highway 158, Roanoke Rapids, NC.  “We wanted to invest in our community and replace an existing facility with a state of the art facility. We are from here, live here, and we are going to be here for years to come,” said Scott Aman, President of New Dixie Oil Corporation. The new location features a grill to prepare hot food for customers and a kiosk from the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau with information on local attractions.  More information on New Dixie Oil can be found online at http://www.newdixieoil.com .
New Dixie Oil Corporation is a locally owned and operated oil & LP gas company that has served the Roanoke Valley since 1962. New Dixie also owns and operates convenience stores across the region. This marks the sixth project A. R. Chesson Construction has completed for New Dixie Oil Corporation. Clint Hardison was the Site Superintendent.

NSU Bowser Hall Renovation

After a 45-day renovation, a former classroom has been transformed into an instructional woodworking shop at Bowser Hall on the campus of Norfolk State University in Virginia.  
The scope included demolition, new electrical circuits and light fixtures, new rooftop HVAC, dust collection system and installation of shop equipment.  Finishes were updated by installing new drywall, VCT flooring and Corian solid surface wall caps, and painting throughout the space.  New doors and access controls were also installed.  

New Dixie Oil Corporation

New Dixie Oil Corporation began serving Eastern North Carolina in 1962 with oil, gas, LP gas, lubricants and other petroleum products.  New Dixie Oil also operates convenience stores throughout NC and VA.

The management of New Dixie has committed a significant investment to upgrade several existing convenience stores in the Roanoke Rapids area. 
A. R. Chesson Construction Company was hired to provide New Dixie design, retrofit, and renovation to three locations in Halifax County. 

Construction work on Village 231 located on Highway 48, started in June 2014 and was completed in August 2014.  Renovation began at BP 209 Convenience Store and Carwash, located at the I-95 and Highway 158 intersection in September 2014 and will be completed in October 2014.  At the same intersection, improvements to their Dairy Queen franchise will begin in October 2014 and will be completed in November.
Clint Hardison is serving as the Superintendent for these upfit ventures.