What started as an electrical company 30 years ago is now one of the biggest construction companies in California, United States. In this article, we go over 30 years of Stronghold Engineering, highlighting what made this company what it is today, from significant milestones to major builds.
What is Stronghold Engineering, Inc.?
Today, Stronghold provides Full-Service Design and Construction Support Services. The organization is led by its CEO, Beverly Bailey. The work carried out by the organization includes, Design-Build, New Construction and Modernization, and Civil and Medium- and High-Voltage Electrical Construction. Stronghold has frequently won government contracts for carrying out repairs and renovations on historical and other significant buildings. On all the projects that have been completed by Stronghold in the past 30 years, it has maintained a strong commitment to safety and quality craftsmanship. Consequently, throughout its illustrious history, it has been awarded many awards in recognition of the excellent work it has carried out. These include awards from DBIA, ENR, ABC and AGC.
When It All Began
The year was 1991 when Beverly and Scott Bailey first decided to embark on this amazing journey. The couple decided to pool in their resources and started an electrical company. At the time, the company had just begun and was operated from the comfort of their kitchen table in their house in Southern California. It was not long when Stronghold Electric, as it was then known, was awarded its first job. An air traffic control tower in Ontario needed a fire alarm upgrade, and Stronghold performed the job to the satisfaction of their client. Around the same time, Beverly and Scott hired their first employee.
Later, in 1993, Stronghold was able to gain enough work to be able to expand its operations from the kitchen table to an actual office space, located on 2291 Business Way in Riverside, California. They hired even more employees that year, one of whom was Kamel Khalil. Kamel was hired as an electrical estimator and has continued to work for Stronghold to this day. Now, he is the Vice President of Estimating. Kamel recalls the first job that he won for Stronghold, a $200,000 contact for Nellie Coffman Middle School in Palm Springs, and how it was a big deal back then. The care shown by Beverly and Scott for the employees and the company has kept Kamel working at Stronghold for all these years. In his own words, “I wanted to stick around at Stronghold because I’ve worked with Scott and Beverly from day one. They are very, very good people. They care for the company and the people who work for them.”
Crossing the $1 Million Mark
The first time Stronghold performed a project worth over a million dollars was in 1996. A remarkable feat for a company that had opened for business only five years ago. As part of this contract, they carried out work at the Gastrointestinal Lab at the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, California.
Considering that a healthcare provider was the one to award Stronghold with its first major deal, it makes sense why the company has continued to support healthcare providers as part of its commitment to give back to the community they serve. Today, Stronghold is a supporter of the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
The business was good and the company continued to expand. In 1997, shortly after having relocated to their office in Business Way, the company had to move offices again. This time, they decided to move to Gato Court in Riverside. This time, Stronghold was going to stay at this place for six years before moving again. It was at Gato Court that Stronghold Electric became Stronghold Engineering. Robert Stuart, who had been hired in 1997, was in high school when he had been hired by Scott to carry out some work in Scott’s backyard. He was later formally hired as a shop assistant. Now the Director of Electrical Operations, he had no idea back then that this would lead to a career, let alone a lifelong position. He is glad that he stuck around and that Stronghold is now such a big part of his and his family’s life.
Hitting $5 Million
Three years later, in the year 2000, Stronghold Engineering crossed another major milestone. It performed its first job that was worth over five million dollars. This time around, they had been contracted to carry out work on the electrical distribution system installed at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, California. To this day, Stronghold has been a government favorite for carrying out work on state and federal buildings. In 2001, one year after this project Stronghold celebrated its 10th Anniversary.
The Move to Market Street
In 2002, Stronghold Engineering expanded once more and moved to their Market Street office in Riverside. There were no signs of stopping for the company. Its continued success was further cemented when, in 2005, it graduated from the government’s 8(A) program and was recognized as a large business. This opened up a host of opportunities for Stronghold. In the coming years, Stronghold would diversify in the projects it undertook and continued to grow as a business. The year 2004 was also important because the business started to get recognition for its commitment to quality and safety. It was recognized as the Top Design-Build Firm. Later, ABC awarded Stronghold its Eagle Award for the work that it had carried out on the Pediatric ICU Project at the Balboa Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA. The same year, the company also gathered an international repute by being contracted to carry out work on the Law Enforcement Hub in Toronto, Canada.
Stronghold’s time at Market Street was marked by a lot of firsts. For example, in 2006, it performed its first renewable energy project at the March Air Reserve Base. Years later, the company would gain a speciality in renewable energy projects and also be recognized as one of the United States’ Top Solar Installation companies.
The $100 Million Mark
In 2006, what was then Stronghold’s biggest project, the company was contracted for carrying out work on the General Services Administration Building. The work included seismic retrofit and renovation, upgrading the life safety systems and significant modernization. The project was started in 2008 and was completed in 2014. Spanning an area of 1.2 million square feet, the project won Stronghold ABC’s Excellence in Construction Award.
First LEED Gold Project
LEED (leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system that is used around the world. Stronghold’s first LEED Gold project was at the Marine Corps Gold Clubhouse Complex in Miramar, California. Started in 2007, the project cost $7.3 million and was completed in 2008.
Work on Historical Buildings
During its thirty years, Stronghold has performed repairs and renovations at many historical sites. The fact that the government continues to trust this business with carrying out work on buildings of historical significance, is a testament to Stronghold’s excellence. In 2011, Stronghold started work at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, CA. The building had to be brought up to current construction standards. The project incurred a cost of $8 million and was completed in 2012. It won Stronghold the award for Restoration and Renovation by the Old Riverside Foundation, ENR’s Best Projects, Best Small Project under $10 million, ENR Best Projects, and the Excellence in Safety award.
Biggest Project To-Date
Stronghold’s biggest project saw the company install an HVAC system at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California. Construction started in 2018 and is currently underway. The project has a total cost of $126 million and Stronghold is the prime contractor for this project.
The Next Big Move
Stronghold started constructing its new office space in 2018. Located in Perris, California, the company had purchased a 50,000 Sq ft building and carried out renovation works itself. The project cost $6 million and entirely transformed the dull and dark building into the vibrant office space that it is now today. Visitors are now greeted in a spacious two-storey reception and the employees can take advantage of an on-site gym, relaxation room, entertainment area, and an outdoor BBQ space. The project was completed in January 2020 and the company finally moved out of its Market Street office.
Stronghold Engineering hit 30 years of operation in October 2021. Its journey has been nothing short of amazing and it is proof that the sky is truly the limit for businesses that commit themselves to quality, safety, teamwork, integrity, commitment, all of which are qualities that Stronghold has adhered to since its conception.