• 52°

Built from the ground up

Richard Maxwell, owner of Maxwell Construction Co., stands next to his drawing station inside of his office. Maxwell Construction Co. has laid the foundation of many homes and businesses in Atmore. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Richard Maxwell, owner of Maxwell Construction Co., stands next to his drawing station inside of his office. Maxwell Construction Co. has laid the foundation of many homes and businesses in Atmore. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Maxwell Construction has been staple in community of Atmore for 40 years

For the past 40 years, Maxwell Construction Co. has helped build Atmore.

The local construction company began in 1976, some two years after owner Richard Maxwell finished college.

After getting married, Maxwell said he needed a job and moved back to Atmore.

“A friend of the family that was my parents’ age was getting out of the construction business,” Maxwell said.

From there, Maxwell Construction Co. was born.

Maxwell Construction Co. does all sorts of projects, from home construction, business construction, renovations and storm damage repairs. At one point, the company had as many as 30 employees. MCC currently has six with Richard at the helm. His son, Chapman, and daughter, Mallory (Maxwell) Downey work there as well.

“We started out doing entirely residential work and construction,” he said. “But, we’ve done some industrial work both in this part and others.

“I guess that’s what kept us surviving during the downturn (in 2008),” he said.

Maxwell added that he’s also done renovation work in churches. At present, the company is renovating First United Methodist Church of Atmore.

Maxwell Construction Co. found a way to keep business flowing during the economic downturn in 2008.

“Two things were going on at the same time,” he said. “The beach had its own economy, fragile as it might have been during the early part of the downturn.

“We were able to keep busy in the south part of those two counties (Baldwin and Mobile), but the oil spill hit and it just knocked the weak legs out from under that economy. We lost that and had to come back here solely to try and find enough work to survive on. We were doing many different things from small jobs, remodeling concrete buildings and rail buildings.”

In addition to Escambia County, Maxwell Construction Co. does work in Baldwin County, Mobile County, Monroe County, as well as Northern Escambia County in Florida.

In one way or the other, Maxwell Construction Co. has had its hand in building much of Atmore.

“We’ve done a lot of things downtown,” Maxwell said. “A lot of our focus has been within driving distance of Atmore. A lot of that is geographically limited because of the Florida line. You have to have a different licensing to go into Florida.”

Some of the projects Maxwell Construction Co. has built or remodeled include the Atmore Train Depot, the United Bank branch on Lindberg Avenue, the Atmore Vision Center, Buy Rite, Deliverance Ministry, Empowerment Tabernacle and the Touch One buildings, to name a few.

When asked how the industry’s technology has changed, Maxwell said it costs more now-a-days then it did back then.

“I never thought I’d get to the point in my life where I would say, ‘I remember when,’” he said. “I can remember when things were certainly a lot cheaper before air-powered air guns and miter saws. You had to cut 45-degree angles on a box with a handsaw. Every nail was driven by hand.”