US Builders Review                                                    

Atlas General Contractors LLC

Integrated construction services in Oklahoma and the Midwest
Written by: 
Jeanee Dudley
Produced by: 
Sean O’Reilly

For more than 55 years, Atlas General Contractors LLC has been providing clients with quality-built construction projects. Based in Bixby, Oklahoma, Atlas is a leader in value and innovation. The company integrates design-build capabilities, keen construction management and a remarkable approach to service not often seen in the modern market.

Led by Mike Owen, CEO and president, and Matthew Knight, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Atlas’ 50 employees stand out with a high level of training and dedication. Aside from the headquarters in Bixby, the company also has an office in Oklahoma City, allowing these impassioned team members to operate throughout the state and in surrounding regions.

The company’s diverse set of services includes estimating, budgeting, scheduling and value engineering. Atlas also has a consensus management program that allows the firm to build and maintain long-term relationships with subcontractors and strategic partners. Throughout the company’s varied areas of expertise, Atlas proves a trusted partner by tightly managing schedules, expenses, quality and safety on every job.

Serving a diverse market

Atlas has an enduring reputation for its work building educational facilities, though the company’s work is not limited to institutions of learning. The team serves a variety of commercial sector clients and the company’s portfolio includes correctional, medical, athletic, information technology and industrial facilities among others.

Knight and his colleagues have been busy with diverse and challenging projects over recent years. The company has seen significant growth in the private sector, particularly in hospitality. Atlas has a growing backlog of hospitality projects, though many are still in preconstruction stages.

Atlas General Contractors LLC

An ongoing project for the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds is the company’s largest current undertaking. The $40 million job will conclude in a new 300,000-square-foot expo building. Atlas’ scope of work includes extensive site infrastructure, power distribution and an 800-stall parking lot, detailed mechanical, electrical and plumbing as well as structural designs. The expo hall is slated to become the largest event space in Oklahoma City and will be completed in spring 2016. Atlas and its subcontractors have completed concrete work and are currently standing steel beam for the building’s vertical structure.

In May 2014, Atlas broke ground on a $20 million aquatic park for the city of Moore. “This project includes several different outdoor pools as well as a fitness center, gym and basketball courts,” says Knight. The facility will cover 107,000 square feet including a 52,311-square-foot recreation center/aquatics support building and a 7,415-square-foot aquatics facility. Other amenities include an amphitheater, farmers market and multipurpose pavilions, walking trails and a playground.

On top of these challenging endeavors, Atlas remains a leader in education construction. The firm currently has several school projects underway. “We have quite a few school projects going on,” Knight notes. “These projects currently range from $2 million to $10 million. We have some elementary schools and small additions to a high school.”

Maintaining sustainable growth

Atlas is on a trajectory of steady, sustainable growth that promises to continue over the coming years. “We have a lot going on,” says Knight. “We have a few large projects underway and more coming up. There are quite a few in the pipeline that we are ready to break ground on and a few that are in the early stages, but we’ll have signed on soon.”

To accommodate this growth, Atlas has grown in size, adding a few new project managers in recent years to help keep up with its growing market share. While Knight notes that breaking into new markets, particularly hospitality, can be challenging, Atlas has connected with some great clients who know what they want and push for collaborative effort with the construction firm.

Subcontractor relationships remain strong as well, though with so much growth in construction throughout the region, Knight says his partners are stretched pretty thin. “There’s so much work and there’s not enough of a labor pool for them to pull from,” he explains. “But we’ve made alliances with quite a few subs. With all the work, it’s got everybody stretched thin so these relationships are more important than ever. We have also started to expand our network. For example, we have seen an influx of subcontractors from out of the area for masonry, which is one trade where there’s a huge shortage.”

The business continues to grow, accommodating a strengthening construction market. Meanwhile Knight and Owen maintain strong involvement, keeping pace with each project on the docket. “We have grown into big company but we still maintain relationship with all of these owners so they know at the end of the day, Mike and I are the ones making the final decisions,” says Knight. “We aren’t the kind of private company that likes to just start the fist fighting out of the gates. We’ll work through issues and everybody gets a little bit of what they want to keep things moving forward.”

Maintaining amiable and collaborative relationships with clients has proven a strong asset for the company over the years – and one that will keep Atlas General Contractors LLC moving ahead in the years to come.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Baker Bros Electric Inc.
Rich & Cartmill