OUR
HISTORY

OUR HISTORY

Garland J. Hopkins founds G.J. Hopkins.

By expanding into electrical contracting, G.J. Hopkins becomes a full-service mechanical and electrical contractor.

Building a sheet metal shop gives G.J. Hopkins the ability to improve and better control the quality and cost aspects of mechanical projects.

Garland J. Hopkins started G.J. Hopkins in 1958 to create a better future for his family. His goal was to provide mechanical contracting services from the quality perspective of sound engineering principles.

In 1963, G.J. Hopkins added personnel with experience and technical expertise in the electrical field to the staff. Now covering both the mechanical and electrical fields, the company was able to offer a combined, coordinated package. Fourteen years later, G.J. Hopkins opened its sheet metal shop to provide better quality and cost control over this vital aspect of mechanical projects.

The Branch Group purchased G.J. Hopkins in 1984, and the company merged with Branch Mechanical, which was an established design-build mechanical contracting firm. The resulting company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Branch Group, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan company, is one of stronger financial position, stronger management, and greater technical expertise.

At the time of G.J. Hopkins’ acquisition, Garland Hopkins left the company, and Jerry Moorman transferred from Branch Mechanical to become the new president. Under Mormon’s leadership, G.J. Hopkins’ Service department grew from a warranty department into a true profit center, performing preventive maintenance contracts, installations, and service calls.

Upon Moorman’s retirement in 1998, E. Clifton moved from the Electrical department to serve as the company’s new president. That same year, G.J. Hopkins started providing in-house design-build services to its customers, and a year later, the company created the Special Projects and Controls departments.

In the early 2000s, G.J. Hopkins experienced healthy growth from its successful partnerships in the health care industry. The company performed several addition, renovation, and design-build projects at area hospitals and completed all projects on time and within budget.

After 25 years of service, E. Clifton retired in 2011, and Ernie Caldwell took his place. Caldwell had been with the company for more than a decade and had 19 years of mechanical engineering experience. Shortly after Caldwell became president, the sheet metal shop relocated to a larger facility with new equipment, and G.J. Hopkins started prefabrication of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems. Additionally, the Engineering department hired BIM experts, allowing the company to construct a three-dimensional computer model of mechanical and electrical systems before installation.

In 2021, G.J. Hopkins integrated with its Charlottesville-based sister company L.A. Lacy, a mechanical and plumbing company that’s been in operation for 100 years.

Today, G.J. Hopkins continues to build upon the standards of quality and sound engineering skills its customers have come to expect.

The Branch Group acquires G.J. Hopkins. The company merges with Branch Mechanical and becomes 100% employee owned.

G.J. Hopkins creates an in-house design-build department, making projects faster and more affordable while ensuring the highest quality.

BIM capabilities continue to streamline the construction process by making it more accurate, more efficient, and more cost effective. Higher education projects increase while existing work remains steady.

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