From humble beginnings….
The story behind how rcs got to where it is now actually has a lot to do with Newfoundland and Labrador. rcs may have begun in Halifax, Nova Scotia but the majority of our employees were hard-working Newfoundlanders. Before starting rcs, I had worked with other general contractors and while on a project in Toronto, I met Floyd Butler, a spunky Foreman from Bonavista, NL. I knew I wanted to start my own company someday and I knew I needed a guy like Floyd, so I asked him to come work for me when I got the company off the ground. It wasn’t long after that rcs was born and Floyd was my first hire! As Floyd settled in and the jobs started rolling in, he needed more help, so he reached out to a few of his old construction crew members from back home on The Rock; these new employees became the heart and soul of rcs, eventually growing to 15 strong. 15 employees; I couldn’t believe it! They were from Newfoundland and they all came to work for me in Nova Scotia. This Newfoundland contingent remained my core employee group for years!
You see, 20 years ago, there wasn’t much work in Newfoundland, but over the last 6-7 years the economy has picked up, and we saw an opportunity there. So, we asked these dedicated employees if they would like to return to their home province and create an rcs stronghold there; sure enough, they agreed. Once established, we started chasing projects in St. John’s and the surrounding area. We experienced a few hiccups and had a couple failed starts over the years but the vision to “see obstacles as opportunities”, as I always say, kept us trying to break into the Newfoundland market. Over time, we learned a few things; most importantly, to start small and hire local.
As our client base expanded, so did our services and skill-set; we are now a $100M mid-sized general contracting firm with a staff of 150, operating out of our head office in Bedford, Nova Scotia and regional offices in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Moncton, New Brunswick.
Our office in St. John’s now has a full-time team of over 20 and growing. Some of our more notable projects in the area include the Harbour Walk building at 127 Harbour Drive, which at the time of construction in 2014, housed a Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill, a Le Gros & Motti restaurant and a couple of office spaces. More recently, we have finished up renovating and expanding three Walmart Supercentres, which replaced the original Walmart stores with retail and grocery rather than solely retail. We have built multiple stores for Sobeys Inc. across the province, including a Foodland in Carbonear, and Lawton’s stores in Placentia and Gander. We were also the contractors for several Irving projects, including Big Stops in Goobies and Deer Lake and an NLC store in Clarenville. The renovation of the McInnes Cooper offices in St. John’s is another project we are happy to have helped bring to life.
The Avalon Mall project is another big one that we are proud to be part of. The mall is undergoing massive renovations and expansions for its 50th Anniversary. Located within the Mall is the new Cineplex Rec Room entertainment space, the first in Atlantic Canada; that was an exciting contract to be awarded!
Speaking of exciting, I guess I can announce that we have recently been shortlisted as one of three successful proponents for a $200M health care facility in St. John’s, NL. This project, the New Adult Mental Health and Addictions Facility, includes the design and development of the mental health and addictions facility itself, plus a separate parking structure and hostel accommodations. We have joined forces in a joint venture with world-class P3 developer Sacyr, a Madrid based construction firm with operations in Canada. Together we call ourselves Atlantic Healthcare Group.
I guess to cap this off, I will say we have amazing local, national and international clients and some of the best construction teams in the business. I am incredibly proud of how far we have come in our 23 years, and I owe a lot of my success to my amazing staff.