Columbia Construction Corporation was founded in 1983 when two already established divisions of the Drury Industries organization were merged. The first of the two divisions was Drury Construction, which was established in 1971. Drury Construction was established due to the need within Drury Industries for a subsidiary company to build quality buildings for owning and leasing as well as projects for the local community. The second division was established in 1982 as the Furniture Division to supply the Drury Hotels. This was formed because of the ongoing need for higher quality furniture than what was being supplied by outside vendors.
In 1983, Charles L. Drury, Jerry M. Drury, Robert A. Drury, and Martin L. Jansen, merged the Furniture and Construction Divisions together and incorporated them under the name Columbia Construction Corporation. These divisions were separated from the Drury Industries organization in order to devote more attention to this part of the business. Martin L. Jansen was the president, originator, and guiding force in growing the company into one that is regionally-known as a general contractor of commercial and industrial buildings and a company with a well-respected reputation.
In the early years, Drury Construction worked on numerous local projects. Past projects such as Saint Francis Hospital, West Park Mall and the old Cape Central High School are landmarks to all and examples of the craftsmanship that Columbia has continued to build upon. Some of the more recently completed projects include Notre Dame Regional High School, Wehrenberg 14 Cinema, Pavestone Concrete Products Plant, Drury Inn in Sikeston, Hampton Inn in Cape Girardeau, and numerous office, medical, retail, church, and school buildings, as well as many additions and renovations.
Custom cabinetry is no new concept for Columbia Casework Division. Drury Inns first front desk and lobby cabinets were built by Drury Construction thirty years ago and it was with this valuable experience and the owners creative thinking that stirred the crafty idea of expanding into building their own hotel furniture. The Furniture Division was established with quality and durability being a top priority. This new division also allowed the furniture to be built to coordinate with the design of the various hotels. The furniture built by this new division proved to be all that the owners had hoped for and more. In fact, the first furniture built by the company in 1982 is still being used today in one of the hotels. This is a true testament to the quality and design of Columbia’s Casework Division.
As a major support group to Drury Industries, Columbia’s Casework Division is involved in the manufacturing of furniture, producing specialized cabinetry, and has automated the process of door hardware installation in a manufacturing setting. Columbia’s Casework Division has grown hand in hand with Drury Inns and their architectural department to supply and design some of the highest quality furniture, cabinetry, and door assemblies available in the hotel industry today. The custom cabinetry that Columbia produces has also grown to become an integral part of the new construction and renovation work of other commercial projects within the Construction Division.
Martin Jansen’s family values and strong work ethic provided the inspiration and leadership for a company with a family atmosphere and a strong feeling of loyalty among its employees. A number of employees began their working careers with Columbia and are still with the company today.
Martin Jansen was the president of the company from its inception until his death on October 24, 2000. Two of his sons, John M. Jansen and Gregory L. Jansen, have followed in his footsteps and are upholding the strong traditions and reputation of the company as they continue to expand the business.
Columbia Construction’s main office is located at 3630 Exchange Drive, while the Casework Division is located at 601 Larch Lane, Jackson, Missouri.