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MBI Construction was started in 1971 as Monroe Bartels, Inc and began doing business under the name of MBI Construction in 1982 to reflect some ownership changes. The current ownership is held by Gary Bartels, the son of Monroe Bartels, and family. 2011 reflects the 40th year in business. The business was originally operated out of an old chicken coop on the Monroe Bartels farm with the office being operated out of the family residence. In 1973 a new building was constructed at Lake Sara Road and Routes 32/33. Currently a BP Station is located at that location. In 1977 the business returned to the family farm and a new office and warehouse was constructed. In 1981 a new office and warehouse was constructed at the current location on Routes 32/33. That office burned in 1991, a new office was constructed and over the next 10 years the current buildings were constructed at that location.
In the early 1970’s the Effingham area was experiencing rapid growth, especially in the residential market and in 1973 the first set of basement forms were purchased. They were 3’X8’ wood forms with 2X4 backing that could be used both in the residential and commercial market. Because of the weight those forms were eventually replaced and currently aluminum forms are used in the residential market and symon wood with steel backing are used in the commercial market. MBI has always been both a residential and commercial concrete contractor, but the mix has reversed from 2/3 residential 1/3 commercial to 1/3 residential and 2/3 commercial. All of the work was originally within 50 miles of Effingham, but with the growth MBI now operates in a four state area.
Throughout the 70’s and 80’s additional excavating equipment was continually added so that today it is common for MBI to start the project and then turn it over to the general contractor after having completed all underground, excavating, parking, footings and floors.
In 2004 the portable concrete plant division was added. The first project involved furnishing concrete for a warehouse in a converted underground rock mine.