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First Team Construction: Building for the Future

WRITTEN BY: Chris Stevens
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: First Team Construction

Waking pride in your trade comes from a dedication to doing the best. With a wide range of completed and in-progress projects, First Team Construction loves building – and it shows.

From schools to offices to stadiums and beyond, First Team gets the job done. Their web site states “You can always visit us at our office where we have a friendly staff and a mean cup of coffee.” After reviewing and highlighting several of First Team’s projects we discovered how this inviting attitude flows through to project success and client satisfaction.

Open Design Concept Provides Space and Security

After just one year and three months of construction, the 85,000 sq. ft. $13,000,000 Coppinville Junior High excels with major improvements over the old school including increased enrollment.

With a student population over 550, First Team Construction brought to life the natural light filled expansive campus that architect Goodwyn Mills Cawood designed.

The school was built with future growth in mind and also serves a dual purpose for the community. With its concrete reinforcement and barred windows, Coppinville is a FEMA-rate storm shelter providing protection from natural disasters. For security purposes, the school records all access points which are controlled by an automatic door locking system.

Security staff has more windows to monitor classrooms and several fishbowl-styled rooms allow group gatherings that can be viewed from three sides. High ceilings aid in projecting the open concept design of the three scholastic wings joined by a main hallway. The modern, yet comfortable feel extends to the new gymnasium, band room, media center, and high-tech cafeteria.

First Team: One of Alabama’s Largest Contractors

Over the years, First Team Construction has grown through a great reputation. It’s no surprise that their steady climb up the ranks of Alabama’s Largest General Contractors (Business annual survey is the result.

With a degree from Auburn University’s Building Science program, Marvin Deen started First Team Construction Co., Inc. in 1997. It didn’t take long for him to earn the respect of the construction community. Bringing Greg Kiteley on board in 1999, the company moved more into the “hard bid” sector where it was able to grow and expand and continues to thrive.

In fact, year after year, growth has been the trend at First Team. Business Alabama surveys show significant expansion across all measured areas. Total employees (all in Alabama) grew by 20% due to a surge in value of contracts awarded by 49%.

First Team’s largest project under construction in the survey year jumped up by 38% to $21.6 million while the largest project completed increased over the prior year by 32% to $15.6 million. Despite these impressive figures there’s still room to grow which is one reason First Team maintains a successful bonding history with a capacity of $70,000,000.

As clients would expect, First Team has two dedicated teams ensuring projects move forward smoothly with all details attended to in a timely manner. In a supporting role, the office team includes a safety coordinator and several project managers. A dedicated field team boasts many superintendents who have strong backgrounds in additions, renovations, improvements, and new construction.

First Team isn’t the biggest, just the best at what they do.

Fields Full Of Dreams

In Alabama, football is a big event. All eyes are on the field and facilities at game time. Unlike many other typical buildings and structures, athletic facilities represent strong school as well as committed community spirit.

Few people would guess that extensive planning and preparation occur well before the actual site (land) is touched when constructing athletic fields. Although stadiums are not as common as other types of construction they must still be built to last (safety features included) – all within a reasonable timeline and budget. Quite simply, they must be done right which takes a classified contractor such as First Team Construction with experience in the specialty of stadiums.

Take Satsuma High School’s new football stadium for example. As in many school districts, communities consider a stadium as “the front porch of our school” – a place that is open for all to see, and be proud of. With seating for about 4,500, Satsuma’s stadium was built out of steel and aluminum.

The $4.2 million multi-use stadium is surfaced with artificial turf which will stand up to the wear and tear of football, soccer, and marching band competitions. A six-lane competition track circles the field. School officials stated that the field will “…contribute in huge ways to our school system” given that the stadium will host various events. The current facility also has two new concession stands.

Happy with the new stadium, officials are already planning a second phase for a new field house. Clearly, First Team Construction’s talent extends to first class outdoor facilities such as Satsuma’s stadium which is a proud addition for the community to enjoy for decades to come.

Following up on its success with other first class fields and stadiums, First Team Construction is yet again displaying their expertise and daily progress with the Covington County Schools’ (Andalusia, Alabama) new track and field facility.

Despite two weeks of rain delays, county officials are pleased with First Team’s diligence and perseverance to make this first rate facility open on time to host anticipated activities.

The $3.5 million investment will include an eight-lane track with an adjacent space for high jump, pole vault, long jump, and triple jump events that will make it as nice as any facility in the state. The site will also have a 5,000 meter cross country course.

Architect Walter McKee estimated field preparation requires moving about 60,000 cubic yards of dirt. Preparation, especially site prep is the biggest part of these projects and the reason why competent construction companies such as First Team are highly sought after to ensure quality from start to finish.

Best of all, several students from the county system have won state titles in track and field, so what better way to help students continue to achieve than by building an updated field, with First Team on the job.
Currently, there are about 160 athletes that can’t wait utilize this new field in the spirit of competition.

$7 Million Addition: An Investment in Education

Working with architect Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc., First Team Construction completed an amazing addition to Creekside Elementary School (Harvest, Alabama).

The long awaited, almost $7 million dollar addition, allowed the school to not only update classrooms but eliminate portables that about 200 students had to use for many years. The very replacement of the portables immediately resolved concerns over safety issues, potential severe weather, and improved the visual aesthetics of the entire campus. Matching bricks were used on the addition’s facade for congruency with the existing building.

Creekside Primary School was the name given to the addition of 21 classrooms which alleviated overcrowding. Also to better accommodate their growing student body, the cafeteria was expanded to include 120 more seats. The addition also houses third-fifth grades, a second gymnasium, and a music room. A new rear parking lot will provide access to the new gym to allow community utilization during weekends and over the summer. The gym can also be converted into two volleyball courts while the original full-court basketball setup has six goals. For security purposes a lock out feature prevents anyone from entering the main school building during auxiliary use.

The new classrooms allow for collaboration and interaction via MacBooks and smart televisions. This optimal learning environment is also enhanced with a hands-on STEM lab. The new music room is the size of two normal classrooms and will be utilized by K-5 children.

The Flexibility of Metal Designs

Whether it is churches, commercial spaces, warehouse/distribution centers, aviation, or educational buildings, varying clients have varying needs and often times metal designs are great at meeting those needs across different types of structures. Pre-engineered metal buildings allow for diversification in design and appearance, from metal wall panels to systems enabling pre-cast concrete, brick, glass, and even stone.

With clean lines, various colors, and cost effectiveness as just a few features, metal buildings are used extensively across various genres of construction. First Team is proud to have provided clients with buildings that have reduced maintenance costs, fast and economical construction, long-term energy savings, ease of expansion, ongoing durability, and aesthetically pleasing appearances.

First Team has an expansive portfolio of environmentally-friendly green construction possibilities. Regarding metal construction, the American Iron and Steel Institute reports that the most recycled material in North America is steel. Of course, meeting green building objectives goes beyond recycling to include design and construction methods, occupant productivity and maintenance over the a buildings life cycle.

In addition to “begin green”, building with metal results in attractive and high-performing structures by using panel profiles to provide an assortment of colors, textures and finishes. As a top Alabama general contractor, First Team has known for decades that with specialty projects form must follow function. Striving for perfection, First Team’s relationships with manufacturers and erectors ensure that their metal building projects are the stars on the block.

What’s Your Architectural Dream?
Convert your thoughts and dreams into reality by taking that first step.

First Team Construction
475 N. Dean Rd.
PO Box 1267
Auburn, AL 36830/36831
p: 334.502.7400


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