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Accreditations & Certifications

State of NY State of NJ Lovell Safety Management Co. OSHA Construction Exchange

DUNS NO - 004786455 TIN - 16-0731430 SBA - P0537712 CAGE/ NCAGE - 33LH5 CCR TPIN - 72289588

NAICS Codes 236220 238990 561622

SIC Codes 1541 7699

 

History

A rich history of more than 62 years.

Company founder, George A. Keene, took pride in the fact that no one ever escaped from a Keene-built jail due to a mechanical problem or construction defect. More than sixty years later -- with second, third and fourth generation Keene family members operating the company -- that fact still holds true.

George A. Keene Facility - circa. 1950’s
George A. Keene Facility - circa. 1950's


Such an impressive escape-proof record is testimony to the quality-driven philosophy George Keene instilled when he founded the company in 1947. A structural steel worker in Buffalo, NY, George Keene honed his skills on projects throughout the Buffalo and Niagara Falls region working for Raymond "Mutt" Williams and the Kenmore Construction Company in the 1940's. He left to form George A. Keene, Inc. which started out erecting steel for bridges, buildings, towers and other riveted, bolted and welded structures.

Crane  Men
Keene Crane
Keene work crew - circa 1950's

 

Mr. Keene kept meticulous notes on each project, keeping track of time spent, employees on the job and customer response. A journal entry from October, 1947 notes the company erected steel for the Culligan Motors building on Main Street in Williamsville for $561. Payroll for the week the job was completed was $26.80! The journals reveal a true professional dedicated to his employees, committed to customer satisfaction, with a sharp eye for detail, a trait still present in the business today.

Napanoch
Naponoch facility cells under construction - 1951

As word of Keene quality spread in the steel construction industry, the company was called on for prison and jail steel projects. In 1951, the company was awarded a contract to construct a new cell block consisting of 288 cells at Naponoch prison outside Ellenville, NY (now known as the Eastern Correctional Facility).

While the company's list of prison work grew, so did Keene's reputation for attention to fine detail, craftsmanship, and the use of only the highest quality components. With George at the helm, his son, Ray, (current senior advisor) joined the company in the early 1950s.

An impressive resume of the jail and prison projects continued to build the business under the father and son team. In 1956, Keene worked on a prison project from the ground up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, building cells and installing prison and jail equipment. In 1959, Keene was selected to work on a new cell block at Great Meadow Correctional facility outside Glens Falls, NY that added 352 units to the facility.

Speeders
George A. Keene (left) in front of eye-catching Keene facade - 1954

 

Meadows
Great Meadows facility - 1959

Throughout the 1960's and 1970's, the company's work spread from Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, to Kansas, Florida and California, including everything from state prisons to county jails. George Keene gradually turned more of the day-to-day operations over to his son, and eventually "semi-retired" by the late 1970's.

Montgomery
Montgomery County Dormitory - circa - 1970's

The third generation Keene family member - Ray's son Grant, current President - joined the company in the 1980s. Throughout this decade and the 1990s, the company continued its growth, working at virtually every state prison in New York, many in New Jersey, and into Ohio.

All the while, the company built on its expertise and experience as one of the most respected names in the prison and detention construction industry. In 2003, the federal government called on Keene when seven men from Lackawanna, NY were believed to be operating a terrorist cell. The men were held in a federal facility in Buffalo, NY during their arraignment and Keene was brought in to assure the facility was secure.