The roots of The Neighborgall Construction Company are solidly planted over eighty years deep in Huntington soil, but one must look to the city’s skyline to see what the firm has accomplished in its lifetime.
The History of Neighborgall Construction
The enterprise originally was a partnership between C.R. Neighborgall and E.P. Leach. Then called Neighborgall and Leach Construction Company, the firm initially erected homes and apartments before entering the commercial market about 1926. The present First Street fire station represents one of its first non-residential efforts. From that point and continuing through 1990, the company’s residential work was limited to insurance loss restoration projects.
1942 - The Ashford General Hospital
In the early days of expanding the company, two wartime projects of national prominence were spearheaded by the founder’s son, C.R. Neighborgall, Jr. The firm converted the world-renowned Greenbrier Hotel into Ashford General Hospital for the War Department. At the same time, it built a prisoner of war camp on adjacent property.
The second project was more ambitious. It involved transporting 120 military duplex housing units on barges for an unprecedented 577-mile trip on the Ohio River. Young Neighborgall Jr. put the company’s name on the October 25, 1944 cover of the prestigious Engineering News Record with a picture showing the largest tow ever on the Ohio River. These successes inspired the eager businessman to establish a new corporation. The senior Neighborgall and brother Claude joined him in forming The Neighborgall Construction Company in 1946.
In the 1950s, the marketplace was industrial construction. The decade found The Neighborgall Construction Company fabricating the Detroit Steel blast furnace in Ironton, Ohio and the Houdaille-Hershey manufacturing building. The firm was also responsible for constructing dozens of Pure Oil service stations throughout West Virginia and Ohio. In 1953, Neighborgall built Huntington’s four public swimming facilities.
During the next decade, Neighborgall began its long-standing relationship with Marshall University’s building program. The company renovated Hodges, Laidley and Prichard halls, and Morrow Library. Other projects of the era included erecting the original Huntington Hospital (currently HCA River Park Hospital) in 1964, and the Prestera Mental Health Center. The early 1970s spawned the development of financial institutions in the area, and The Neighborgall Construction Company won several contracts. It erected the glass-fronted First Huntington National Bank (currently BankOne) and renovated Huntington Federal Savings and Loan into its contemporary round brick facade. It also constructed The Security Bank of Huntington (currently One Valley Bank of Huntington).
During the same period, the company built the Red Cross Regional Blood Center in Huntington, the Wayne County Health Center in Wayne and a major addition to Montgomery General Hospital. It also renovated the C & O Railroad Employee Hospitals in Huntington and Clifton Forge, Virginia.
1970's & 1980's
Neighborgall played a major role in the resurgence of medical facilities in the late 1970s and early 1980s, building major additions to all three local general hospitals during the period. A change in West Virginia banking laws enabled the firm to create numerous branch banks for One Valley Bank of Huntington and Star Bank of Ironton, Ohio. Retail grocery facilities comprised part of the construction market and Neighborgall completed many new stores and renovations for Big Bear and Kroger.
West Virginia’s expansive public school building program is the cornerstone for the company’s current growth. Neighborgall was charged with construction management duties for consolidated high schools including Capital, Cabell Midland, Huntington and Northern Wayne County. A renewed community focus on health care has provided additional opportunities for the firm. It recently completed major additions at Cabell Huntington Hospital and Kings’ Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Kentucky. Saint Mary’s Hospital has teamed with the firm to build the new Outpatient Care Facility.
In 1992, The Neighborgall Construction Company once again was recognized by Engineering News Record. With $52.4 million of work on the books, the trade magazine listed Neighborgall among the top 400 construction companies in the United States.
The relationship between The Neighborgall Construction Company and Marshall University has continued with the construction of the Tri-State MRI, Science Building Phase I Renovation, and the HELP Center. The partnership is sustained with the planned building of the $30 million Marshall University Medical Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
There has always been a Neighborgall at the helm of the business. The current president is C.R. Neighborgall, IV.
Repeat business is a testament to the success of The Neighborgall Construction Company. Take for instance, The St. Mary’s Center for Education located on 29th Street whose structure’s history parallels the chairman’s career. In 1956, young Charlie served as the water boy at the job site when Neighborgall constructed the original building for Sears & Roebuck Company. In 1982, he acted as the project manager in charge when the firm converted the property into a Big Bear grocery store and Harts department store. In 1994, he served as president when the company renovated the building into a Big Bear Plus shopping center. And most recently, while serving as chairman, Neighborgall renovated the building yet again in 2009, transforming the structure into a State-Of-The-Art Learning Facility for St. Mary’s Medical Center.
During the last decade, major projects Neighborgall completed include Mountwest Community and Technical College, DirectTV Call Center, Cabell Huntington Hospital Burn Unit Relocation and Endoscopy Renovations, Marshall University Visual Arts Center, Advantage Valley Advanced Technology Center and most recently Boone Memorial Hospital in Madison, WV, Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital, Ceredo-Kenova Elementary School, and Paul Blazer High School in Ashland, KY.
Currently, Neighborgall is providing Construction Management Services for an addition and phased renovations to Roane General Hospital in Spencer, WV and the new Center for Learning and Research for Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, WV.