Our company history is a classic American success story with the humblest of beginnings. It was founded by William Scala on June 21st, 1956 in his 20th street home in Kenmore, Ohio. With nothing more than a lone pickup truck, some assorted hand tools and a few initial employees, William set out to carve a niche doing small concrete projects around the City of Akron. Relying on his tireless work ethic, extraordinary integrity and attention to detail, he laid the company’s foundation for the future.
After 3 years of hard work, William was able to build Kenmore Construction’s first building on California Ave., just off Wilbeth Road and Kenmore Boulevard. With one equipment bay and one office, the modest building was a big step forward for the young company. Kenmore’s big breakthrough came the following year. Early in 1960, William successfully lobbied Ohio Bell Telephone and became an approved contractor for conduit installation. The approval helped increase the amount of work Kenmore was performing.
Along with new street, waterline and sewer work across Northeast Ohio, the company’s size grew. As a result, William moved our company’s headquarters to 700 Home Avenue in North Akron where it remains to this day. Throughout the years our headquarters has expanded to over 50 acres and has more than 60 full-time employees.
The 1970’s brought unparalleled change and growth to Kenmore. In 1975, William expanded into the asphalt business with the purchase of the Highway Asphalt Company. William’s oldest son Paul Scala became president of the newly re-formed company and was instrumental to its development and expansion. With its first asphalt plant based in Akron, Highway performed paving, milling, as well as retail sales to customers. William followed this up the following year with the forming of the American Sand and Gravel Company. Initially dry mining aggregate in Mogadore, Ohio, the company purchased 100 acres near the Akron-Canton airport in 1978 where it mined for the next 13 years.
In 1982, William’s second son Bill was named acting president of Kenmore Construction. Having worked for the company since 1976, he spearheaded the company’s expansion into bridges and wastewater plants. The company’s first environmental project was the Canal Fulton Wastewater Plant in 1981 and its first bridge deck was at Hilbesh Avenue the following year.
On January 6th, 1985, Kenmore suffered the sudden death of its beloved founder, William Scala. This was a devastating loss to Kenmore as a company, its employees, William’s family, and his many friends. William’s drive, demeanor, and personality were exceptional. He was not only considered a great innovator, but also a great person. He is still greatly missed to this day.
After the passing of William, the company’s leadership turned to a new chapter with the help of many of its employees and William’s 5 children; Paul, Bill, Chris, Margaret, and Michael. Paul remained president of Highway Asphalt, Bill became chairman of Kenmore Construction, Chris took over the management of American Sand & Gravel, Margaret worked with office personnel, and Michael worked as a superintendent before becoming Vice President of Kenmore and Head Shop Manager.
Under the new leadership, Kenmore continued its rapid growth. American Sand purchased 230 acres at Forty Corners in Jackson, Ohio in 1989. Mining commenced in 1991 and it continues producing sand and gravel to this day. Highway purchased Lake Erie Asphalt in 1993, adding 3 more asphalt plants across Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. This acquisition made Kenmore one of the largest asphalt producers in the state. A 5th, and more mobile plant was purchased in 2001 for the I-271 project in Medina, the first time we erected an asphalt plant on a single job.
Change continued to shape the company in the new millennium. In 2007, the company sold all five of its asphalt plants. The following year, Kenmore entered the Central Ohio market with the start of Columbus’s Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant project. At $53 million, it was the largest project in the company’s history. This success led to the formation of a permanent office in Columbus in 2010, setting up its south side headquarters at 808 Frank Road. To date, we have completed well over $100 million in projects for many Columbus owners including The Ohio State University.
In 2012, Kenmore Construction was awarded the $53 million ODOT design build project to add a third lane to I-71 in Delaware County. After the Interstate 71 project was awarded, Kenmore decided to get back into the asphalt business by buying a new asphalt plant and setting it up in Delaware County just north of Columbus. When the interstate 71 project was completed in 2015, Kenmore moved the asphalt plant to its current location on Home Ave in Akron. In August of 2015, partnering with Kenny Obayashi, Kenmore was awarded more than $70 million of work on the Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel project. This was followed in February 2016, by the largest project in the company’s history with the $80 million ODOT design build project reconstruction of Interstate 76.
With over 60 proud years in business, it is important to look at our accomplishments while continuing to build a path for a bright future. We are honored to carry on the traditions of excellence and reliability that William Scala instilled our company with. Being family owned and operated we pride ourselves on the atmosphere we created. We are thrilled that many of our employees’ children and even grandchildren continue to carry on this legacy with distinction. It is the dedication and determination of each employee that truly sets us apart from the rest of the industry. As we work towards our next 60 years and beyond, we will continue to uphold our founding principles of quality, integrity and craftsmanship. It has been a privilege to serve the communities in which we live and Kenmore will continue to maintain the highest standards of quality and our commitment to excellence.