Minority-owned firm gets big Gaillard contract
The Gaillard Center project has announced the largest contract to have been awarded to a black-owned construction business in Charleston’s history.
Horus Construction Co. of Tampa, Fla., has been awarded work that includes the masonry subcontract, drywall and exterior plaster. The contract is valued at approximately $13.4 million.
The work is part of the $142 million renovation of the Gaillard site into a new performing arts center and city offices.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said the contract is thought to be among the largest such minority contracts in state history.
“The message is that this really is a community committed to giving emerging businesses a chance — a chance at the American dream,” Riley said at a news conference outside the site.
Skanska USA Building Inc. spokesperson Jessica Murray said Horus was the low-bid qualified contractor for the work. Horus expects to make about 100 direct local hires, she said.
South Carolina’s population is about 28 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The announcement was made as Black History Month was drawing to a close.
City officials said the center will be a world-class performing arts venue for events, including performances staged by the internationally known Spoleto Festival USA. It’s one of the largest capital projects ever undertaken by the city.
Horus has offices in Florida, North Carolina and Texas. It has worked on other projects such as the Waterfront Park and Art Museum in Tampa, a science building at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and schools in various states.
“We’re excited about this project,” said Jonathan Graham, the president of Horus Construction.
The work includes installing 260,000 square feet of brick, 716,000 square feet of dry wall and 57,000 square feet of dry wall ceiling
Graham said local workers would be hired for the masonry work, giving them a chance to hone their skills and allowing the company to give back to the community.
The Charleston project also allows the company to raise its profile nationally, he said. The main contractors on the arts center awarded the subcontract.
Riley said it wasn’t just given to Horus.
“Every business had a chance to bid. They had to be the most competitive,” he said.
Construction on the center is expected to be complete by December of next year.
Officials have said they don’t think the completion date will be delayed by the recent discovery of 37 graves from an old graveyard at one corner of the construction site.