C.T. Taylor Construction offers expertise as a construction manager, general contractor, and design-build contractor. Based in Hudson, Ohio, the company serves the Northeast Ohio region with a reputation for impeccable work in extremely complex environments. The company doesn’t have to go looking for challenging jobs; the jobs find them.
Regardless of the challenges or complexities that present themselves on site, every project C.T. Taylor undertakes is delivered with care and completed on time and to specification. And although the quality of the service offered by C.T. Taylor has remained consistent throughout the years, a few things have changed.
While the company still passionately embodies the good values and commitment to performance it has always upheld, founder and namesake Charlie Taylor retired in 2017 and sold the company to long-time employees Matt Collier, Bob James, John Hitchcock, and Paul Mills who continue to carry the flag and reinforce the reputation that has been its foundation for nearly a half-century.
This year, the company reached a milestone of 45 years in business, but when asked if it was something to be celebrated for Hitchcock and the team, it is “Business as usual,” and in this case, business as usual means adding to the five LEED Gold and nineteen LEED Silver projects under its belt.
A far cry today from its humble beginnings as a sidewalk contractor, C.T. Taylor now undertakes a broad range of projects. “We’re multidimensional—we do Class A office buildings, historical renovations, schools, and industrial work,” says President John Hitchcock of the company’s capabilities.
Changes to Ohio’s bidding regulations in 2011 were the catalyst for much of this growth. As Hitchcock explains, “The State of Ohio changed their contracting procedures from the old multiple prime, lowest, cheapest bidder gets-the-work philosophy to Construction Manager at Risk; what the state calls their ‘best value selection process’ where the construction manager is selected based on a combination of their qualifications and fee.”
He adds, “In 2011, we started off bidding a couple of schools and it’s morphed into where we have as much, if not more, experience than most firms in this market. We’re getting our share of the work based on reputation alone.”
Hitchcock emphasizes that C.T. Taylor is “only as good as its reputation,” and as such, it takes advantage of recent reforms to prequalify its subcontractors and ensure that it has the best available talent on site.
He shares one of his go-to sayings, borrowed from Papa John: “When we go into the bidding phase of a job, we try to select the best of the best of the subcontractors. Better ingredients make better pizza, and better subcontractors make better buildings and better projects.”
In its market, C.T. Taylor is a well-renowned construction manager that controls the pace, quality, and safety of a project from concept to close-out. This strategy has produced exceptional project results that have earned numerous local, state, and national construction industry awards for quality workmanship.
Many of the projects C.T. Taylor delivers are schools, which was never the intention but nonetheless came to be a strong component of its reputation. The team has completed over 3.5 million square feet of school space, representing an aggregate value of $750 million. Just two of the many completed projects are Coventry High School, which was the first school project in Ohio delivered as a design-build, and the New Berkshire PK – 12 school, a 204,000 square-foot project valued at $51 million.
Built on the sloping hillside at Kent State’s Geauga Campus, a 20-foot grade change posed a unique challenge for the three-level project designed to replace three existing buildings. The project was delivered despite challenges related to pandemic staffing and material delays.
Perhaps one of the most spectacular and challenging projects C.T. Taylor has under its belt is the Agora Theater and Ballroom renovation that took a historic site and converted it into a state-of-the-art facility that pays homage to the past at every turn.
C.T. Taylor served as the construction manager on the $3 million plus project, which required the team to identify and solve the many problems that arose. The team restored the original lobby, which entailed handmade railings and handmade tile replicas to match vintage ones discovered during demolition.
Other project details included repairs to the concrete roof to support the new HVAC units and the installation of heat-deflecting materials, and the gutting and rebuilding of the washrooms, all of which was completed between the end of the 2017 concert season and the beginning of the 2018 season in March. For this and many other reasons, it won the Association of Builders and Contractors Chairman’s Cup and Award of Excellence in 2018.
That same year, C.T. Taylor undertook yet another challenging project, an addition to the 177,000 square-foot NEOMED Educational and Wellness (NEW) Center, a public medical university campus in Rootstown that is also home to Bio-Med Science Academy, a STEM+M public school.
The $20 million, 92,000 square-foot Medical Office Building (MOB) addition was designed by Hasenstab Architects and built by C.T. Taylor Construction, and funded in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC).
The four-story project required purpose-built spaces for three separate tenants with unique needs and visions. Further, the site posed a number of challenges including the navigation of underground utilities and the reconfiguration of the main stairway in a restricted space, an undertaking that required coordination with NEOMED and the fire department.
Among other marquis and award-winning projects undertaken by C.T. Taylor are the West 25th Street Lofts in Ohio City, a challenging historical property-to-apartment conversion, and the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District Headquarters, which won the USGBC Best of Building Awards—Best Project Design for LEED BD+C, and Vitamix Corporation World Headquarters.
“Current LEED versions are much more difficult to attain certification for than they had been, so we’re proud of that,” says Hitchcock of this achievement—one of the many that C.T. Taylor can be proud of.
The company’s portfolio highlights its range of projects and capabilities, but also its willingness to take on and overcome a challenge. As Hitchcock noted, “We do love a good challenge. We’ve taken on a lot of things over the years that nobody else wanted to touch.” It’s an attitude that has helped sustain growth year over year.
One of the most challenging projects ever undertaken by C.T. Taylor was the assembly and erection of an experimental wind turbine atop Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland. This project was conceived by the engineering department of Cleveland State University and funded by the Department of Energy.
Strong and measured growth
Despite the typical market challenges regarding labor and materials, C.T. Taylor has remained busy, growing both portfolio and reputation by delivering even the most complex projects on time and on or under budget. Part of this success is due to the willingness to grow in a scalable and sustainable way.
From Hitchcock’s perspective, it’s “slow and steady as she goes. We made a conscious effort not to exceed our capabilities and not set ourselves up for failure. Customer service is paramount and if we can’t give our customers our full attention, we won’t do it.”
With this commitment, C.T. Taylor continues to serve Northeastern Ohio with exceptional care, quality, safety, and service on every project because a job done well means more than the awards they win; it’s what motivates all of the company’s efforts.
The challenges on job sites are always opportunities to do something exciting and rewarding; something the team can be proud of for years to come.