When the Dow Smith Company team wrapped up work on Integrity Eye Care on Highway 96 in Murfreesboro, we celebrated two “firsts.” It was Dr. Josh Garrett’s first free-standing, custom-built office. Previously, his practice was located just three miles down the road in Stones River Mall.
It also marked the completion of Zac Neely’s first job as a new superintendent with Dow Smith Company. Zac was hired in February, just as we were starting work on Integrity Eye Care. In his first year with the company, he worked closely with Dr. and Mrs. Garrett and guided them and the project to completion.
“We felt like we built a strong relationship with Zac,” Dr. Garrett said. “I felt like at the end of it all, we felt like we could trust him. We might have struggled to do it on our own.”
Zac came to Dow Smith after growing up in the construction business. He got his start at the young age of 12, cleaning up construction sites. He went on to work for seven different construction companies within his family. From 2014 to 2019, he ran Zac Neely Construction, which was focused on building residential homes.
“I had to change my viewpoint,” notes Zac. “Switching from residential to commercial is a big change, but the mission is the same: ‘How do we build something good that will last the longest?’”
For his first job with Dow Smith Company, he was assigned a complex project. Integrity Eye Care is an innovatively-designed optometry practice. The clients came to Dow Smith Company with a plan that featured a unique combination of architectural styles, materials and workspaces. The interior features a high-end reception area, optical sales, testing rooms, exam rooms, a laboratory and administrative space. The exterior includes stone, masonry and aluminum. It was Zac’s first time using structural steel on a job. Using the design-build method of construction streamlined the entire process.
After spending most of his time at Dow Smith Company working on this project, Zac said he’s learned many lessons. He said any question he has had has been addressed quickly, and he’s gained an appreciation for the way we do things. “They’ve been absolutely amazing,” he said of his team members.
The feeling is mutual, as Dow Smith has praised Zac’s work on the project and all of the work he’s done at the company so far.
“Having Zac on our team is a blessing,” Dow said. “He brings great experience, but more importantly he brings a servant’s heart. He cares about his work, and it shows. Zac is always willing to go the extra mile. He is always striving to learn more.”