Blalock Building Company runs construction business across the country from Trussville
By Nathan Prewett
For The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE – “I always liked construction,” said Steven Blalock, founder of Blalock Building Company, headquartered at Gadsden Highway in Trussville. With 251 projects under its belt Blalock has established itself as one of Trussville’s most accomplished local businesses.
Growing up in Center Point, Blalock was inspired to get into his line of work by his father, who made a living in construction himself. During high school, Blalock took jobs at a construction company in Pelham working as a house framer and electrician’s helper. He continued in construction after he graduated, working in plumbing and as a HVAC’s helper and ceiling mechanic.
In a profile of Blalock, he reminisces about when he had his first ambitions in construction after high school as he was interviewing with a general contractor.
“When I interviewed with him, he asked me what I wanted to do in the company,” he says in the profile. “My response was I wanted to do everything, but eventually I want your job. I worked there for nine years learning at every level.”
He earned promotions working as a superintendent, foreman and project manager. He eventually worked his way up the ranks in various positions until he was able to realize his dream of owning his own construction business. Blalock Building Company was established in 2006. This year is the eleventh year since the company began.
Blalock is a father to three children and grandfather to one child. He has been married to his wife, Wendy, for 25 years.
The headquarters of Blalock Building resides next to Gadsden Highway in a building renovated from a woodworking shop. Since its beginning, Blalock Building Company has grown from six employees to 36 and went from $146,000 per year to $62 million in 2017.
“Growth is in our plan,” Blalock said. “Both by volume and employee. We’re members of ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) and AGC (Associated General Contractors), so the participation in those two organizations and the growth of not just Blalock but the industry is just incredible.”
Blalock specializes in building movie theaters, namely for brands such as Regal Cinemas, Cinemark Theaters, Premiere Cinemas and Cobb Theatres. In addition to movie theaters, Blalock also constructs schools, churches, retail buildings and office/commercial buildings, though no residential buildings.
The company sometimes builds out of state, constructing mainly movie theaters. Currently Blalock is conducting building projects in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, as well as in New York, Kansas, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Some of the latest projects that Blalock has finished are Cahaba Elementary School in Trussville and the Hewitt Trussville Football Stadium. The company also constructed Carver High School Stadium, Hewitt Trussville HS Stadium, Center Point Athletic and the Pleasant Grove Football Field.
Commercial projects include Rivertrace Shopping Center, Alabaster Administration Building, Gardendale City Hall and Spring Valley Baptist Church.
The company has its fingers deep in the construction of schools. School building projects that Blalock has accomplished include Charles A. Brown K-5 in Birmingham, Booker T. Washington, Irondale Community School, Pinson Elementary, New Calera Middle School, Moody Intermediate, Phil Campbell High School, Tuggle Hill K-5 and Glenn K-8.
Blalock is currently building Pelham Middle School, Pelham Recreational Center and the new Pelham Library all on one site and valued at approximately $36 million. Recently Blalock was awarded a bid of $4,194,000 for the Trussville Library additions and renovation.
To get in his position as an owner of a business you have to work for it, Blalock said. And even though it won’t be easy it has to be done. In order to carve out a living in the building industry you have to be qualified for the work, otherwise people who are new to this business won’t have potential.
“That’s a weak spot in this industry: qualified tradesmen,” he said. “Kids that come out of the high schools, they want to be vice presidents and CEOs, but nobody wants to get their hands dirty. You’ve got to have the workers before you have vice presidents and CEOs. That is our goal at Blalock: to develop that within, which will also help the industry.”
But anybody looking to make their own living in construction shouldn’t be deterred by the hard work it takes to do that. Blalock offers advice to young people with potential in the building industry. One aspect of that advice is to try and do everything if you can.
“My advice to a young person is to research the business and first of all and then I would experience every facet of the business, every job opportunity, every trade to know the business in its entirety,” he said. “So, they should experience it from the ground up is what I’m trying to say.”
But with the challenges come great rewards. In the end when the work is done all of the competition, restrictions and regulations is worth the time when it ends in a nice little ribbon cutting for a completed project, which is one of the things that makes the job rewarding for Blalock.
“The most rewarding thing is the ribbon cutting and the dedication of a building, and the most challenging thing is in between,” he laughed. “But in addition to that the most rewarding thing is what the company provides to people and to employees. The most challenging thing is providing that.”
For more information on Blalock Building Company, visit www.blalockbc.com or by phone at 205-661-3040. A profile of Blalock Building Company can be found on Facebook.