TIMELINE: Eby Through the Years
Eby Construction is proud to have such a long, rich history. We are fortunate to have worked on a wide array of projects and have been involved with so many amazing people through the years.
After graduating 1st in the Kansas State University Civil Engineering Class of 1929, Martin K. Eby, Sr. began his career working for a building contractor who worked throughout the Central Plains. He met his wife Pauline, in Wichita Falls, Texas. They married in 1932 and had their first son, Martin Eby, Jr. in 1934. In 1937, with $4,000 in savings and a $2,000 loan from his father, Eby Construction was founded as a partnership between Martin and Pauline.
Eby Construction’s first projects included installing driveways and erecting “Flying Horse” signs for Mobil Oil service stations in and around Wichita. Martin and Pauline ran the business from their home where he prepared the estimates and she served as secretary and bookkeeper. Within the first two years of being in business, Eby Construction received the first of what would be many numerous federal contracts and began working on the new Post Office building located in Council Grove, Kansas.
During WWII, Eby continued to work throughout the State of Kansas and performed projects for the War department at airfields and Army bases. Almost 80% of the company’s work put in place during these two years was done at military installations. Other projects included school construction in Wichita, a hospital addition in Junction City, and a power plant expansion in Herrington.
After WWII, Eby continued to grow along with the rest of the U.S. Eby took work outside the State of Kansas for the first time by constructing town site facilities for the War Department in Harlan County, Nebraska. In addition to War department projects, clients included ATSF Railway, Southwestern Bell Telephone, and the City of Wichita.
Martin K. Eby Construction Company was incorporated in the State of Kansas on January 14, 1948.
By 1950 Eby had established itself as a leading general contractor in the region surrounding Wichita based on its employees’ willingness “to go where the work is”. This reputation led to more work throughout Central US. In addition to projects in the four states surrounding Kansas, Eby was hired by the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company and completed the construction of a five-story addition to the historic La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
With a growing reputation for top quality work and methods that produced lower costs, Eby was awarded one of the first large contracts at the newly created McConnell AFB located in Wichita, Kansas. Under a contract with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the work required construction of 28 dormitories, 4 bachelor officers’ dormitories, 4 mess hall / administration buildings, and related site improvements.
When the Sears, Roebuck & Company wanted to build what was then the largest and most well appointed department store in Wichita, they hired Eby as the General Contractor for the project. The structure, which was a cast-in-place concrete frame with brick exterior, contains three stories above ground and a full basement for a total of over 155,000 square feet. Eby has subsequently renovated this building twice, first for Nations Bank, and then most recently in 2012 for Cox Communications.
In 1954, Eby completed the construction of the new Wichita Municipal Airport. Working as General Contractor for Board of Park Commissioners of the City of Wichita, this new terminal was a state of the art facility almost unrivaled across the United States.
While aviation work was progressing on the west side of Wichita at the new Municipal Airport, Eby crews were also busy with the construction of the new 4 place B52 hangar on the east side of Wichita at the Boeing / McConnell AFB. As of 2012, this building is still in use as the location of the Spirit AeroSystems South Hangar Clean Room and is used for completion of the forward 42’ of fuselage for the new Boeing 787.
One of the services that Eby developed early on was the construction of municipal utility work including water and waste water treatment facilities, and interceptor sewer and water transmission pipelines. In 1955-56, the City of Wichita bid out the construction of a 66“ Water transmission main to deliver raw water from the Harvey County Equus beds. Eby completed the 19+ mile project in 1956.
Eby Construction initially began working on the Wesley Hospital facility as early as 1941 when renovations and improvements were needed. In 1957, Eby was selected as the contractor partner with Wesley for construction on the new West Building expansion. The West Building project marked the beginning of a 27-year period of constant improvements and expansion to the facility prior to the sale to HCA in 1985.
When the Board of County Commissioners of Sedgwick County Kansas saw that they had outgrown their existing facilities, bids were taken and Eby was selected as the contractor for the new 11-story Sedgwick County Courthouse. Eby self-performed the installation of driven steel pile foundations, concrete foundations, structural steel erection, masonry, and finish carpentry.
Eby continued to experience growth and opened an office in Englewood, Colorado. The company operated out of this office for over 20 years to support work in the Rocky Mountain area.
In 1960, the Cold War was in full swing. With the need of the US maintaining a balance of power with the USSR, an increased demand for military installations gave Eby additional work in the federal defense construction area. Eby won its largest contract to date—the construction of 9 Atlas missile sites located throughout the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska.
Continuing to build for the national defense, Eby was awarded additional contracts for the construction on multiple phases of the 18 Titan II Missile Sites, located throughout the State of Kansas. Eby also performed completed contracts for the Martin Marietta Company at additional sites in Wyoming and Idaho.
Eby continued to grow and perform projects throughout the midwest during the early 1960’s. As part of the initial effort for riverfront beautification, Eby was hired by the City of Wichita for the construction of the new Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center (built to commemorate Wichita’s 1970 centennial). Century II opened its doors for business on January 11, 1969.
Eby was selected by Bank IV of Kansas for the construction of the iconic Fourth Financial Center. This 387,000 square foot building contains office space, public cafeteria, a private club/restaurant, a 200 seat meeting area, and an adjacent 6 level parking garage. Eby crews self-performed all site excavation, structural excavation, concrete formwork, reinforcing installation, concrete placement, structural steel erection, millwork installation and site development.
As a part of the on-call services performed for the Boeing Military Aircraft Company, Eby assisted in providing an economical way for conducting an one-time test on the B52D airframe. BMAC mechanics removed the nose and tail of the plane prior to the lift, and then Eby cranes were used to turn the airframe to an inverted position. This photo shows the airframe in an almost vertical position, prior to being lowered, so that the underside of the wings ends up facing upward. It was then placed on a support structure.
Eby began a multi-decade relationship with the Monarch Cement Company of Humboldt, Kansas in the late 1940’s. As a result of exceptional safety, quality and schedule performance, Eby was awarded the Kiln 5 Expansion project. It was completed in 1974. Eby currently continues to provide construction services to Monarch as their needs require.
In early January 1978, the employees of Pizza Hut moved in to their new corporate office building. Eby negotiated the contract with the owner, and due to the compressed schedule required, the Construction Management form of contract was used. Construction of the 208,000 square foot building was commenced in May 1976, and after 18 months of construction, the new headquarters was able to be occupied.
IMA Plaza partners awarded Eby the contract to build the IMA Plaza located at Second and Water in Wichita, Kansas. The six-story building is constructed of a cast in place concrete frame and structural steel penthouse with brick veneer and continuous glass strip windows at the exterior. Eby also completed the core improvements, elevators and build outs for several additional tenants in this 76,000 square foot office building.
Eby Construction was selected to construct the Wesley Medical Center North Parking Garage. It is a four-level parking garage consisting of 3,000 sf of parking area and accommodates 1,008 vehicles. Eby self-performed the general trades including excavation, concrete, precast erection, and masonry.
Country Club Park Associates Ltd. chose Eby to build their new office building. This two-story upscale office building has a structural concrete frame with a brick and precast stone exterior enclosing over 40,000 square feet of interior office space. High quality walnut and cherry casework finishes were installed by Eby crews in each of three primary office suites. The building also includes space for tenants and a wood-floored racquetball court in the lower level.
To meet growing production demands, Boeing Commercial Airplane group selected Eby as the Design Build Contractor for a major expansion to Plant II at the Wichita facility. The project consisted of adding over 265,000 square feet of manufacturing space with three high bays. The project contained over 3,600 tons of structural steel. Eby crews placed over 9000 CY of concrete to complete the floor slabs and paving. All of this was completed while Boeing continued aircraft production.
Kellogg Avenue was originally built in 1958 by Eby and is Wichita's major east-west traffic artery. The project required construction of two 4000 lf cast-in-place concrete post-tensioned bridges to span the Arkansas River and four major downtown arterial streets. Eby completed the project 104 days early and well under the original budget.
Eby was selected by the City of Wichita as General Contractor for the anchor project in the “Old Town” district. The project required extensive rehabilitation of a three-story warehouse originally constructed in 1913. Features include a new atrium, an elaborate center stair with access to all three levels, and a 38,000 SF plaza complete with paver accents and landscaping to front this structure.
The Kansas State University Foundation selected Eby as the General Contractor for the construction of the new KSU Beach Museum of Art. This museum is a 25,000 SF two-story reinforced concrete structure that features exterior wall finishes of stone and architectural cast-in-place concrete. The building is used for exhibits of artwork and serves as a campus gate entrance. The museum features a gallery wing, a 120-seat assembly hall, and a commons area including a bookstore and cafe.
Eby was selected by the City of Wichita to construct a new four-level 641 car parking garage next to City Hall. The garage is a precast concrete structure with a two-tone brick veneer face. There are artwork panels inset at various locations, and elevated planters highlight the second and third floors. The street elevation includes landscaped planters with perimeter benches, brick paved sidewalk, and a brick paved plaza area with six-raised planter beds. The scope also included renovation of an existing 186 car parking lot plus 76 new parking spaces.
Cessna Aircraft selected Eby as Construction Manager for its new single engine piston aircraft manufacturing facility. The project was a negotiated contract that integrated scope/budget management starting with site selection through development of the contract documents. The three building facility includes approximately 400,000 SF of floor space and is located on over 200 acres. Cessna took over on Independence Day, opening in less than one year from the groundbreaking.
Eby was selected as the concrete subcontractor responsible for the structural framework for Hyatt Regency Hotel and convention center. The scope of work included auger-cast piers, foundations, slab on grade, and 18 stories of post tensioned concrete suspended floor slabs. Eby crews met an aggressive schedule by constructing one floor per week using a double shift work week. In addition, subsequent work packages for foundations and topping slabs of a new parking garage were added to Eby’s scope during the project.
Sedgwick County selected Eby to expand their parking garage. The expansion consisted of a four-level, 142,000 sf, post-tensioned concrete structure and added 440 parking stalls. The west and north sides have architectural precast panels, and the east side has cast-in-place concrete barriers. The project also included restoration work on the existing garage.
To consolidate the numerous small groupings of offices and lab spaces throughout their refinery complex near Medford, Oklahoma, Koch Hydrocarbon Company contracted with Eby Construction to manage the construction of a new office and laboratory facility.
The facility is a single story, 21,400 SF conventional steel with exterior metal siding and decorative aluminum. It is designed to house more than 160 offices.
When Cessna Aircraft Company saw the urgent need for additional facilities due to increased demand for their aircraft, Eby and Cessna formed a partnering relationship to assist in building a new facility. The facility contains nearly 69,000 square feet of manufacturing and support areas, a 174’ x 242’ clear span high bay hanger, and other improvements including parking areas, taxiway, fencing, and landscaping. After only 11 months of construction, the project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
The Salvation Army in Wichita selected Eby to provide general contracting services to expand their existing facility. This building consists of approximately 25,000 SF of living /support space, a sixty-stall parking lot, and a 10,000 SF playground area, all located in the heart of downtown Wichita on a 2-acre site. The lobby/reception area is convenient to both the existing building and the new facility, and a new ornamental fence with masonry fence posts encloses the parking and playground area.
Each aircraft model that Cessna Aircraft Company develops must undergo a series of structural performance testing and FAA certifications. To help meet this challenge, Eby and Cessna formed a partnership to budget, aid in the design, and build a new testing facility. The biggest challenge on the 71,800 square foot project was construction of the floor system that is 18” thick and the precision placement of over 6,500 embedded anchors. Eby finished ahead of schedule allowing Cessna to meet their testing needs.
When the Wichita State University Endowment Association embarked on renovating Eck Stadium into one of the finest college baseball facilities in the nation, Eby Construction was selected as General Contractor. This project had a very tight nine month, winter schedule to ensure completion prior to the start of the upcoming baseball season. The facility now seats 6,155 spectators, includes 16 skyboxes, has a multi-room press box and a top floor VIP club for donors and alumni.
Bethel College hired Eby as Construction Manager to construct a New Residence Hall. The dormitory provides housing for over 100 students and has a commons area, study hall, lounge, and laundry facilities on each floor. This was the first of several projects Eby provided CM @Risk Services for Bethel College. Working as an integrated team member, Eby provided a guaranteed maximum price very early in the design stages.
Bethel College selected Eby for the Construction Management services for the new Krehbiel Hall Science Center. The building is a 37,000 SF, four-story educational building, housing laboratories, classrooms, lecture, and office spaces. Reducing floor vibration was a major concern due to the sensitive equipment being used in the labs. Eby worked with the design team to evaluate the best solution, and self-performed the concrete, masonry, and finish carpentry on the project.
When Sterling College needed space for its expanding Social Entrepreneurship department, based on qualifications Eby was selected for the renovation of historic Cooper Hall. Originally built in 1887, the “Old Main”, four-story historical limestone structure is the centerpiece of the campus. The work included extensive masonry restoration, installing new windows, roofing, mechanical, and electrical equipment, and interior finishes. This project was partially supported by a Heritage Trust Fund grant from the Kansas State Historical Society.
To support them in the manufacturing of their latest jet model, Cessna again hired Eby as the construction partner for their project. The addition of a three-story office area along the north side of the building was a key feature in the project. The skeleton of the building is structural steel columns and trusses skinned in prefabricated and insulated metal siding with a single-ply roof. The project also featured a large canopy door at the west end where the assembled aircraft can be extracted.
At WSU, the National Center for Aviation Research hired Eby to upgrade the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel. The tunnel was originally built in 1948. Major features of this project required removal of a 36 foot long section of the tunnel to allow room for the installation of a new 2500 hp electric fan, a 23’ diameter honeycomb and flow screen, a new 23’ diameter cooling coils and new turning vanes.
Bethel College again teamed with Eby Construction to construct their new football and soccer stadium. The stadium, located north of campus, includes a 2,000 seat home stadium, visitor bleachers with 500 seats, an artificial turf football and soccer field with eight-lane track, and an entry plaza. To the south of the stadium a 300 car parking lot was installed. A new football practice field was built to the east of the stadium allowing for grass practice areas for both the football and soccer teams.
ICM Inc. hired Eby as the Design Builder for a new 16,000 SF office to support the rapidly expanding ethanol industry. Within weeks of the initial project design meeting, ICM had reassessed their space needs and increased the project size from a 2-story building to a 3-story 24,000 SF building, with an option for two additional 16,000 SF expansions. The first 24,000 SF was completed in less than six months and the north 16,000 SF wing was completed two months later.
Originally completed by Eby for Boeing in 1954, Spirit Aerosystems selected Eby for modifications to the South Hanger for a new Clean Room. The project required new built-up production floor for six new stations, a new 20 ton crane and 7.5 ton semi-gantry crane, new lighting and lighting zone controls, and new data cabling. New multi-zone fire sprinkler and mechanical were placed in an acoustical ceiling system to provide a complete 80,000 square foot clean room environment.
ICM, Inc. selected Eby to build the concrete portion of a 40 million gallon Ethanol Plant in Bridgeport, Nebraska. The plant consisted of a 2 electrical and process building, foundation and slab on grade, an energy center, 2 site-building pads, a 100' x 100' material holding tank, 13 round tank foundations ranging in size from 15' diameter to 55' diameter. A cooling tower foundation, above-ground pipe rack foundations and other various concrete foundations were completed on this project.
WSU again utilized Eby’s services by selecting as General Contractor for the WSU Bombardier Learjet Indoor Practice Facility. The 171’ x 171’ clear span building serves as the practice facility for the WSU baseball and softball programs. The building houses an NCAA regulation sized infield, four “adjustable” baselines (for division requirements), two 55 foot and one 80 foot batting cage, and an in-ground radiant heating system under an artificial turf playing surface.
After over 30 years of fundraising and planning, the McPherson Opera House Company selected Eby Construction to complete renovations to their 118 year old opera house. The project was completed in multiple phases and construction spanned over five years. Every space within the existing building was renovated. Historical guidelines were followed throughout the project, including the restoration of the original Malm Mural which was hand painted above the stage.
The City of Newton, Kansas awarded Eby the contract for construction of a new 12,800 SF fire station and modifications to the existing site. The project was designed to achieve a LEED® Silver Certification and incorporates features such as a rain-water harvest system with retention pond, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, mechanical efficiencies and the use of daylighting. Eby also contributed to LEED points from material waste management, enhanced commissioning, indoor air quality management and material selection.
WSU selected Eby as the Contractor to construct a facility to house the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program. The two-story includes 13,200 square feet on the main level, 9,200 square feet on the second floor, and a 9,200 square foot basement. The building is sized to provide training for up to 10 residents per year. The structure is designed utilizing structural steel with a stone and brick veneer. Eby crews self-performed masonry, steel erection and finish carpentry.
At 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2012, an F3 tornado struck the Spirit AeroSystems campus in Wichita, Kansas. With numerous projects active within the site, Eby crews responded immediately and assisted Spirit personnel and first responders to secure the site, shutdown and cap damaged utilities, and begin cleanup and repairs. Throughout the next 10 days, Eby organized an effort that peaked at over 1,200 employees and subcontractor personnel to complete initial repairs, allowing the 10,000 plus employees at Spirit to return to work. The 2012 Storm affected almost all of the 40+ buildings located on the +10 million SF campus. Eby continued reconstruction of the campus throughout 2012 and 2013.
Eby has a long history of working with Via Christi Health Systems. Due to the critical location within the active OR area and the technical requirements, our Eby crews worked around the clock to schedule work to reduce noise, coordinate utility interruptions and support hospital operations. This state-of-the-art "Hybrid" Operating Room combines the most advanced imaging systems with a sterile operating room environment, therefore, enabling surgeons to do minimally invasive heart valve replacements with the option of performing open heart surgeries in the case of an emergency.
The leadership at the newly named South Rock Christian Church selected Eby as their Construction Manager at Risk for the construction of a new 38,000 sf church complex. This project included a sanctuary, offices and classrooms, a children's worship area that also doubled as a multipurpose room and features stone accents and exposed timber framing to create a unique and inviting feel. A walk-out basement provides light to the youth spaces and access to recreation areas. A large covered patio located off the main social area includes a beautiful view and the warmth of an outdoor fireplace.
In 2015, Eby completed work on the Sedgwick County Zoo's newest elephant exhibit. The Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley Exhibit, the third largest elephant exhibit in the country, is home to 7 African elephants. The exhibit features two yards for visitors to see the animals. The south yard includes elephant access to the boat ride canal and a water cannon for zookeepers to give elephant-sized baths. The north yard includes a waterfall feature and wading pool for the elephants. There are also two off-exhibit yards, an 18,000 sf indoor elephant facility, a 3,000 sf covered pavilion, a concessions building and a shaded ampitheater with seating for nearly 160 people.
In 2016, Eby achieved its goal of having a shop, yard and corporate office in the same location. Two buildings located near 37th Street North and Poplar were purchased in 2015, and have since been remodeled. The new corporate office encompasses about 15,000 sf of the north building, with the remaining 7,000 sf being used for warehouse space. This building was remodeled to feature 10 private offices, 2 break-out rooms, a conference room, board room, kitchen, restrooms and a training room with seating for up to 80. The 24,000 sf south building houses our maintenance shop, mill shop and additional warehouse storage. The building features two mezzanines with offices, a parts crib, compressor room and restrooms. A north courtyard, irrigation and landscaping will be added this fall.