For 71 years, the family-run Mid-Continental Restoration Company, Inc., has provided exterior restoration services to much of the Midwest and other areas of the country.
Frank Doherty first founded it as a painting company in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1946, but the business steadily expanded and spread towards the south, opening their headquarters in Fort Scott in 1952. Branches are also currently located in South Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.
The business has remained in the family, as first Doherty’s sons-in-law and now his grandsons and even great-grandsons continue to work with the company, which has expanded to more than $30 million in annual revenue with about 350 projects a year, working to repair and restore the exteriors of buildings.
“We’re one of the largest ones in the Midwest,” Vice President of Operations and Doherty’s grandson Scott Halsey said of their company and the services they provide. “It’s a whole variety of jobs from small country churches to skyscrapers.”
Just last year, Mid-Continental was working on the North Dakota, Arkansas and Texas state capitols simultaneously.
At one point, Mid-Continental was completing projects in about 24 states, before deciding to scale back to the approximate dozen states they work in now. They also once experimented with getting into the construction business and not just restoration, but after just a few years decided not to pursue it further.
In recent years, the business remodeled the building across the street from their Industrial Park location to create a corporate training facility, where proven employees are further trained in areas such as brick-laying, tuck-pointing, mud-mixing and brick-cutting, using up-to-date technology and materials.
During the winter months, when projects slow down due to the weather, Mid-Continental provides two-week training courses for six to eight employees at a time. That training includes classroom information as well as hands-on training and evaluations.
For example, the building includes areas where the employees construct a brick wall, only to tear it down again as they learn how to cut the brick without creating excess dust, a new regulation imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration this year.
President Frank Halsey, Scott’s brother, said they may consider using the facility to train other workers that are not employees. While that would mean training competitors, Halsey said it would also raise the standard of construction.
Halsey said he often hears from Fort Scott residents who had no idea the broad reach of Mid-Continental Restoration in the United States. But he added they are also more than willing to work with local owners that have buildings in need of restoring.