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Callas Contractors celebrates 50 years in business

May 15, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- More than 400 Callas Contractors employees, retirees, business associates, subcontractors and even competitors gathered Wednesday at Cortland Mansion to celebrate the company's 50 years in business.

The event included remarks on the company's history, comments by local government officials and a surprise unveiling of portraits of founder Mike Callas and former president Harry T. Reynolds to hang in the company's boardroom, current President and CEO Timothy Campbell said Tuesday.

Callas Contractors was started Feb. 28, 1958, with six carpenters and two laborers, Reynolds said earlier Wednesday.

In about 1980, the company saw a dramatic increase in the size of its contracts and increased its number of employees to more than 300, said Reynolds, who was president of the company from 1999 to 2005. Many of the people hired during that period still are with the company, he said.

Callas, who died in 2004, was proud of the company's family atmosphere and the long tenure of its employees, Campbell said.

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"It was his family," Campbell said. "He didn't have any children. This was his baby."

Another source of pride for company officials is the long list of Washington County landmarks that have been built by Callas Contractors over the years, Campbell said.

In addition, the company has contributed to the community through charitable donations such as its contributions to the United Way of Washington County, he said.

"Fifty years in this business is an accomplishment, and what Callas Contractors has done in the community for so long is pretty remarkable," Campbell said, adding that everyone in attendance probably had been affected by either a Callas Contractors project or a charitable contribution.

Reynolds said he knew of only one other local construction company that had been in business as long.

"It's a real tribute to everyone that's involved," Reynolds said, applauding both Callas' vision and the employees' dedication. "Now, Tim (Campbell) has the challenge to continue into the next half-century."

Campbell said he is confident the company is moving in the right direction. It has nearly tripled the volume of its work in the past three years and has landed at least three "decent-sized" contracts within the past two months despite an uncertain economy, Campbell said.

These include a new hotel in Clear Spring and a FedEx freight facility, Campbell said. The company also is the apparent low bidder for a $28 million housing unit at the Maryland Correctional Training Center, he said.

Campbell said he thought Callas would have been proud to see the company reach its 50th year.

"I know he'd be quite emotional over it all," he said.

Significant projects



The following are five of the most significant projects undertaken by Callas Contractors.

1978 - 200,000-square-foot addition to the General Motors plant in Martinsburg, W.Va.

1980 - $14 million addition and renovation to the Hagerstown wastewater treatment plant

1988 - Athletic, Recreation and Community Center (ARCC) at Hagerstown Community College

About 1990 - $22 million construction of three housing units at the state prison complex south of Hagerstown

2001 - New Hagerstown YMCA facility on Eastern Boulevard

Source: Former President Harry T. Reynolds

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