Big Springs Veterinary Hospital Opens Its Doors

Alcoa-based general contractor, Hickory Construction, is proud to add the newly completed Big Springs Veterinary Hospital to its growing resume of medical projects. Hickory broke ground on the project, located at 820 Ross Dr., in Maryville, TN, on Wednesday, May 15, and completed ahead of schedule. Big Springs welcomed its four-legged patients and their owners to the new facility on Monday, October 22.


With spacious kennels, a client-friendly lobby, and treatment areas for dogs and cats on opposite sides of the facility, Big Springs is a welcome addition to the Maryville community. Hickory’s Vice President of Commercial Operations Chris Duncan explains that efforts were made during construction to make the space even more inviting to drivers along U.S. Highway 321.

“During the course of the sitework, we discovered that we had enough dirt to raise the building up another full foot,” Duncan says. “That increased elevation gave Big Springs better exposure to Highway 321 by making their gable sign more visible to drivers.”

The boosted visibility came in handy during Big Springs packed open house on Saturday, November 3. Big Springs owners, Dr. Carrie Talley and Dr. Deanna Walker, invited visitors to enjoy food, fun, hospital tours, a pet adoption event, artists, giveaways, and more. Attendees could also purchase a Big Springs t-shirt with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Blount County Animal Care Foundation.

Tour participants were guided through spacious exam rooms with dedicated spaces for cats and dogs. Each room was brightened by artwork of furry patients, tranquil hues, and large windows. Hickory’s services also included the selection of artwork, a color scheme, flooring, and more for the Big Springs team.


DogsOutside of the 4,382-square-foot facility, a shaded fenced-in run provides plenty of space for dogs to exercise during their visit. “Hickory helped Big Springs review a series of lots,” says Duncan. “But one of the selling points on the lot they selected was the private and shaded dog run area.” Other building features include a dog wash area, an X-ray room, a surgery room, a treatment area and lab, several storage areas, and office space. Stuart H. Anderson, AIA, LEED AP of George Armour Ewart Architect served as the project architect.


Going forward, the Hickory team looks forward to watching Big Springs provide patients with first-class care in its new facility.

Hickory Construction Opens Office in Charlottesville, Va.

For over 40 years, Hickory Construction has delivered exceptional craftsmanship, client-friendly service, and on-schedule construction throughout East Tennessee. Now, Hickory is pleased to announce it is expanding its operations into Central Virginia by opening an office in Charlottesville.

“In many ways, Charlottesville is a sister city to Knoxville,” says Hickory Vice President of Development Jon Hawker. “It’s in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains like Blount County is in the foothills of the Smokies, and it’s also a college town experiencing a significant amount of growth. The people of Charlottesville have a great understanding of quality construction, which is what we do at Hickory.”

After relocating to the area and spending months researching the market, Hawker is confident that Hickory’s client-focused approach will serve as a key differentiator throughout the Central Virginia region. “We really want to bring the customer-first approach to construction that we’re known for in Tennessee to Virginia,” he says.

Hickory’s paperwork was finalized at the end of June and Hawker is currently introducing the firm to architects, designers, and businesses in the area. The Hickory team is looking forward to building new relationships as they embark on projects across Central Virginia.

“We’re excited to establish an opportunity to work in this beautiful part of the country,” says Hawker.

Stowers Corporate Finishes Expansion

After the addition of a new parts and sales area, the expansion of Stowers Corporate headquarters is complete.

As East Tennessee’s CAT® dealer since 1960, Stowers supplies sales, parts, and services for the entire Caterpillar line including machines, engines, and generators. In 2017, Stowers contracted Hickory for a 16,350-square-foot, two-story expansion with a training facility, new office space, large conference room and meeting space, two kitchens, and restrooms.

While Hickory constructed the 2017 addition, design work for a new parts and sales area was underway. Hickory’s exceptional performance on the initial expansion led Stowers to contract the team again for the parts and sales project.

“Thanks to our performance on the first expansion, working closely with all team members, Stowers brought us in early on in their next phase of construction to meet a tight deadline,” says Hickory Vice President of Commercial Operations, Chris Duncan.

The parts and sales renovation included gutting 8,000 square feet and constructing a completely new layout designed by architecture firm, Blankenship & Partners. In addition, Hickory put the finishing touches on the truck shop and service department by updating the life safety systems, electrical systems, and HVAC systems. The project required close coordination and an aggressive schedule to ensure Stowers could start 2018 with a new facility.

During the build, Hickory worked to ensure the daily operations of Stowers employees were minimally impacted by construction.  The team set up a conference trailer that allowed Stowers to continue to provide sales, rentals, parts, and service for CAT® machines. Hickory also installed a fire suppression system in the server room. This required special attention as the server is the main hub for all of Stowers’ operations, as well as their direct line to CAT®.

“We were able to accommodate [Stowers] so that our work didn’t affect their daily operations,” says Duncan. “In fact, their performance was the best it had been in several years. It was rewarding to hear that we didn’t hinder Stowers —  but instead helped them.”

Throughout the entire process of the build, Hickory cherished collaborating with a talented and determined group of professionals. “We had a really good organized team,” says Duncan. “The owner, Blankenship & Partners — it was a great group to work with.”

Randy Fields Joins Hickory Construction as Director of Business Development

Hickory Construction is excited to welcome Randy Fields as Director of Business Development. In his new role at Hickory, Randy will work with the local business community to grow the firm’s construction opportunities across the commercial and residential markets.

Randy has spent his career cultivating partnerships to create long-term value. An active member of the greater Knoxville community, Randy has roles on numerous boards and committees. He is a member of the Leadership Knoxville Class of 2019 and a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association. Additionally, Randy spent seven years in the North Carolina Army National Guard / U.S. Army serving as a combat Military Police officer in Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm.

“Randy brings exceptional experience, organization, and professionalism to our team,” says Hickory President Ben Pinnell.

When he’s not at the office, Randy enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping with his wife, son, and daughter. As he begins this next chapter of his career, he’s looking forward to building on Hickory’s tradition of exceptional service, craftsmanship, and value.

“I have long admired Hickory’s reputation for exceptional quality and customer focus,” says Randy.  “This is a highly skilled group of people who have created superior client experiences for 41 years. I am honored to be a part of this team!”

Hickory Construction Scores Team Spirit Award at Burger Bash Supporting the Butterfly Fund and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital

The Butterfly Fund of East Tennessee Foundation is committed to supporting the kids and families impacted by cancer through research, treatment, and more. As a passionate advocate for this important work, Hickory was proud to participate in the Fund’s second annual Butterfly Dash and Bash.

Now in its second year, the Butterfly Dash and Bash raises funds for ETCH through a 5k, 10k, fun walk, and Burger Bash. Hickory cooked up a Hickory Home-Run Slider for the event’s inaugural Burger Bash, and was excited to return for a second year with a pizza burger — complete with a hickory-smoked marinara sauce.

“After sorting through a few ideas, the team settled on the pizza burger,” explains Hickory team captain Tyler Fest. “Our final recipe consisted of ground beef, hickory-roasted marinara sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella, a variety of Italian spices and garlic basil aioli.”

Burke Burger Bash

The Italian-inspired recipe and the team’s infectious enthusiasm earned Hickory the Team Spirit Award, second place in the People’s Choice Award, and seventh place out of 21 teams overall from the event’s judging panel. But while their burger’s success was appreciated, Hickory’s main mission was to raise money for the kids and families undergoing treatment in ETCH’s Pain and Palliative Care department.

“It’s so important to celebrate the above-and-beyond care that the hospital provides for these kids and their families,” says Fest.  “Being able to play a small role in helping out is an honor and was the real reason we were all there.”

This year’s Butterfly Bash raised more than $100,000 for ETCH — a number that both the organization is honored to share with the kids and families who need it most. Fest explains that, in addition to raising money for a powerful cause, the Butterfly Bash is a great way to put Hickory values into practice outside of the office.

Burger Trophy

“Our participation not only helped the hospital directly, it helped us create memories and share laughs,” he says. “The whole team really pitched in and created a vision, planned the work, and worked the plan. It was awesome to see it all come together.”

Hickory’s Chris Duncan Goes Over the Edge

This year will mark the third time Hickory Construction has participated in The Restoration House’s Over the Edge fundraiser. A high-energy event, Over the Edge challenges individuals and teams to rappel from a towering building to benefit single mothers and their children.

This year, participants will descend from the historical Trotter Building in Downtown Knoxville which stands 16 stories tall. Hickory Construction Vice President of Commercial Operations, Chris Duncan, is excited to take part in such a great cause.

“This is one of the Restoration House’s biggest fundraisers. Last year, I was supposed to participate but I dislocated my shoulder. Thankfully, Hickory’s Harold Spencer filled in. This year, I’m staying true to my word and am going ‘over the edge’.”

 Since 2007, The Restoration House, a non-profit organization, has worked to provide low-income single mothers and their children with supportive transitional housing, ally teams, and family advocacy to help break harmful cycles and regain hope.

Hickory has collaborated on several projects with The Restoration House, including an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and the newly completed Village which will benefit 140 to 160 single mothers and 280 to 320 children over the next 10 years.

“We are proud to be partners with The Restoration House and what they do for our community,” says Duncan.

Over the Edge takes place this Saturday, August 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A block party will be held on the street below the Trotter Building with food and games. For more information, visit therestorationhouse.net

Hickory President Ben Pinnell Graduates From Leadership Knoxville

Quality construction begins with strong leadership, which is why Hickory is always eager to recognize excellence in leadership inside our organization and within our community.  As a graduate of Leadership Knoxville’s class of 2018, Hickory Construction President Ben Pinnell embodies these values.

Leadership Knoxville lays a foundation of leadership principles throughout its 10-month curriculum, growing strong leaders across the city. The program connects participants, challenging them to build a stronger community through leadership programs, community workshops, and events designed to inspire people at all levels of leadership development. Pinnell was accepted as one of the program’s 50 participants out of a pool of hundreds of applicants.

During Pinnell’s 13 years at Hickory, he has led numerous successful projects. His philanthropic projects have included overseeing Hickory’s involvement in Knoxville’s 2012 Extreme Makeover Home Edition, volunteering for the YWCA of Knoxville, and helping boost the Blount Partnership member-affiliation campaign. Pinnell serves on the board of directors of several organizations including the Children’s Center of Knoxville, the Boy Scouts of America Smoky Mountain Council and the Tennessee Board of Education Advisory Council for Architecture & Construction. Additionally, Pinnell was a Knoxville Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient in 2012 and was named YWCA CO-Volunteer of the Year in 2016.

We’re honored to support Leadership Knoxville’s mission and congratulate Ben on his achievement.

Hickory Construction Develops New Facility for Big Springs Veterinary Hospital

With spacious kennels, a client-friendly lobby, and treatment areas for dogs and cats on opposite sides of the facility, Big Springs Veterinary Hospital’s new office promises to be a comfortable destination for pets and their owners. Hickory Construction – a leading Alcoa-based general contractor – broke ground on the project Tuesday, May 15.
Located at 820 Ross Dr., in Maryville, TN, the new Big Springs Veterinary Hospital will replace the vet’s current office. The new facility is just steps from Big Springs’ current location.

“The owners, Dr. Carrie Talley and Dr. Deanna Walker, contacted us after receiving recommendations from past clients,” says Chris Duncan, Vice President of Hickory’s Commercial Operations. “They expressed their desire to build a new facility in a design-build fashion. When we started the conversation, they had two different lots in mind and asked us to provide input. We walked the lots together and landed on the property we both felt suited their needs.”


Walker and Talley selected Stuart H. Anderson, AIA, LEED AP of George Armour Ewart Architect as the project architect, who worked with Hickory to deliver a modern design that met the Dr.’s requirements and budget.

At 4,382 square feet, the new facility is designed with its patients in mind. Furry guests and their owners will be greeted by a spacious reception area before being treated in one of four exam rooms (two for dogs and two for cats). Other building features include a dog wash area, an X-ray room, a surgery room, a treatment area and lab, several storage areas, and office space for human occupants. Boarding patients are treated to separate cozy facilities.

“The kennels themselves are a neat feature,” says Project Manager John Knight. “There are 11 individual pens with a nice epoxy floor coating. The entire area is adjacent to a large open space where the dogs can go on walks.”

The new facility is scheduled to be completed before Christmas of 2018

Tips for Creating Cozy Outdoor Living Spaces for Fall

Summer may be just around the corner, but now is the time to start building a cozy outdoor living area for fall.

With more than 40 years in commercial and residential building, Hickory Construction is an East Tennessee-based general contractor with a passion for creating exterior spaces that redefine outdoor living.

“We began seeing a move to outdoor living about 15 years ago,” says Hickory Vice President of Marketing John McMillan. “The trend is continuing to gain momentum.”

While summer is perfect for spending time poolside, it’s not the only season for making the most of outdoor living. Football and mild temperatures bring plenty of opportunities to enjoy dynamic exterior spaces in the fall. Screened-in porches, fire pits, and more deliver relaxing destinations for enjoying warm days and chilly nights.

“People love to entertain and an outdoor living area makes for a great venue,” says McMillan. “Adding comforts such as a fireplace or even gas heat turns an outdoor living area into a room that can be enjoyed practically year around.”

It’s important to remember that in order to have a finished space by the time the leaves change, you need to start designing and constructing your project by late spring/early summer. The team at Hickory can work with you to understand and execute your vision.

To help you start planning your family’s new favorite gathering place in time for college football kick-off, here are four trends taking over outdoor living in 2018.

Fire Features

Nothing brings friends and family together like an outdoor fireplace. Paired with comfortable seating, this classic trend is a hit any season; but it’s especially great when the temperatures dip. Grand fireplaces crafted using mixed materials (think stone, brick, metal, etc.) provide a focal point for porches and patios. Looking for something a little more subdued? Modern firepits offer options for any style and can be placed adjacent to a patio or further into the lawn.

Covered Spaces

Whether it’s a simple patio or a multi-level deck, incorporating a covered element (think: pergola, gazebo, canopy, etc.) to your outdoor area can maximize unused space. Pergolas are a favorite of homeowners in 2018 due to their versatility. Consider weaving in creeping greenery or fabric to the structure for some extra shade. Those with more space to work with can opt for a screened-in porch. Smart tech like retractable screens, flat-screen TVs, and Bluetooth speakers make this option ideal for tailgates.

Water Features

Pools are popular, but they’re not the only way to incorporate water into your exterior. Small ponds, poolside waterfalls, and water/fire combinations are a great way to bring the soothing sounds of water into your backyard. Research shows that simply looking at water (a stream, waterfall, etc.) can restore blood pressure and heart rate to normal levels.

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens have moved way beyond built-in barbecues. Full ranges, pizza ovens, stainless steel appliances, and more are all trending options for making cooking an open-air affair. The sheer square-footage required for an outdoor kitchen helps increase your home’s value, but the real benefit of this element comes with the experiences it creates. Guests will naturally gather around a pizza oven or grill, while welcoming furnishings and a wet bar will help friends unwind.

Eye Surgery Center of Knoxville Opens New Cutting-Edge Facility

Patient needs come first when designing and constructing medical facilities. For the Eye Surgery Center of Knoxville, this attention to detail was essential. The practice worked with Alcoa-based general contractor Hickory Construction to develop a new contemporary facility that caters to the unique needs of each patient.

Located on Dannaher Drive in Powell, TN, the Eye Surgery Center was designed by UrbanARCH Architecture and completed in January 2018.

The exterior of the building features a modern design achieved via the use of mixed materials including standing seam metal, Trex siding, brick and Hardie panels.

The interior welcomes visitors with an open layout, as well as three surgical suites and a spacious recovery area with room for 10 patients.


One specific challenge Hickory faced during construction was the installation of the center’s Heating and Air Conditioning System. “Being that the doctors deal with eyes, getting the HVAC system right was crucial,” explains Chris Duncan, Vice President of Hickory’s Commercial Operations. Humidity is essential during surgery as it keeps eyes from drying out.

With an almost a 70% humidity rate, the surgical suites feature the levels doctors and patients need.


“Not only did the system need to have extra filtration, but it also required a higher humidity level than normal,” says Duncan. “We had to complete a significant amount of research to achieve ideal levels.”

Overall, the entire team behind the project delivered a cutting-edge facility that will serve patients for years to come.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with UrbanARCH and the Eye Surgery Center,” says Duncan.

Plan now. Contact us today.