At a Glance
Commercial installation of metal-stud framing, drywall, acoustical ceilings, and other interior finishes
More than $8 million
For two decades, Hi-Tech Interiors, Inc. has remained focused on one best practice: do whatever it takes to make the customer happy in terms of value and quality.
“Our clients know we deal with them from a place of integrity, and they come back to us and recommend us because they know we offer the best quality for the best value and follow through on our promises,” says Fred Willich, president of the family-owned firm. After nearly 20 years in the finishing field, working mostly on commercial projects as he climbed the industry ranks, Fred founded his company in 1991, and now he and his son, Jarrod, work together on a steady flow of projects under a holistic set of construction ideals.
As a teenager, Jarrod began working for his father as a crewman, and he fully joined Hi-Tech Interiors later as an adult. “In 1991, I didn’t know what a metal stud was, but now I can say, ‘if we do it, I’ve done it,’” says Jarrod, now vice president of the firm. “Having this ‘bottom-up’ knowledge has enhanced my ability to interact not only with our crews but also our clients.”
Picking up the tools of the trade—literally and figuratively—wasn’t the only thing Jarrod learned from his dad either. In true “like father, like son” fashion, Fred and Jarrod share a better sense of the larger purpose of their work. “When I was younger, I worked with a crew on a cathedral that had been severely damaged by arson,” Fred says. “I remember my superintendent asking me what my job was, and I replied, ‘Hanging sheetrock,’ and he said, no, that my job was building people’s dreams. That’s when it struck me that our work is part of a much bigger picture than what’s right in front of you, and it’s the principle on which we base our business today.”
“Our company has completed many different types of projects, from jails to hospitals to schools, and we provide the same top-quality work regardless of the building,” Jarrod adds. “However, I have to admit that the more intricate and challenging the work, the more enjoyable the project becomes, and working on a school or a church gives me much more satisfaction.”
This philosophy of focusing on the larger ideas surrounding and beyond its projects has served Hi-Tech Interiors well. The company is still busy with jobs, even in the recent economic downturn, and one project of note is the refurbishing of the Manhattan High School East Campus Auditorium, which suffered extensive water damage.
The company also recently completed extensive interior work on Chapman High School, which was devastated by a tornado in 2009. The year-and-a-half-long project included metal-stud framing; installation of drywall and acoustical ceiling tiles; and wall panels for sound control throughout the hallways, auditorium, and library. “While we were working on the project, we saw the students going to class each day in trailers, so to be able to be a part of building them a new, better school was a great feeling,” Jarrod says.
In September 2011, the firm began work on a new indoor basketball training facility at Kansas State University, a project that will include high-end finish work such as an intricate main walkway and foyer and TechStyle acoustical ceiling tiles from Hunter Douglas. The endeavor is sure to offer the company new challenges, but regardless of the project, Hi-Tech Interiors’s approach remains the same. “I teach my team that the difference in a job well done is the difference between working with your hands and working with your hands and your heart,” Fred says. “This difference is the spirit our project managers work in and what we hope the customer sees.” ABQ