Our office windows, which look out over the busy highways running through northwest Oklahoma City, are more than a hundred miles from the quiet rural streets of Cherokee, Oklahoma. Even so, the heart and character that define our company’s culture resonate as clearly and passionately here and now as they did the day Curtis Harold Guernsey Sr. flicked on a light in his garage in Cherokee and began a civil engineering service to support rural Oklahoma municipalities.
That was 1928. Today, we consider it our duty – and, equally, our honor – to carry on not only the name of our founder, but also the values that defined him as a trusted, loyal man of integrity.
A history that spans nearly 90 years speaks to a company that has seen adversity, overcome hardship and endured when others could not. Guernsey met the first of its challenges just one year after its beginning: the infamous stock market crash of 1929 that launched the Great Depression. The fortitude and commitment to following through that sustained our company’s humble beginnings are what brought us to where we stand today. To say we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished simply wouldn’t be Mr. Guernsey’s style – but we like to think our story speaks for itself.
Our Beginning (1928-1940)
Curtis Harold Guernsey Sr. founded a consulting engineering firm out of his garage to provide civil engineering support to rural Oklahoma municipalities.
This was the year of the infamous stock market crash, which signaled economic disaster for the nation. However, this year also saw Guernsey design municipal storm drainage and sanitary sewer systems for towns in three counties.
Guernsey continued to serve Oklahoma municipalities as he expanded his service offerings, providing power engineering to newly formed electric cooperatives upon passage of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.
Rural Oklahoma communities began establishing electric co-ops, with Cherokee and Kingfisher among the first to do so. Convincing farmers and ranchers that the convenience and comfort of electric light and power was worth the $5 application fee was no easy feat – but in just a few months, Guernsey had engineering service contracts for nearly every rural electric cooperative in the western half of the state.
Our Teens (1941-1947)
Guernsey began providing engineering services for military facilities stateside, including a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Camp Gruber to provide four professionals (civil, mechanical and electrical engineers, as well as an architect) for “watchdog” inspection service. Outside of military support, the company focused on electric distribution systems, substations and waterworks improvements.
Our 20s (1948-1957)
Guernsey began using aircraft to expedite business travel in November of 1949, starting with a single-engine Cessna that seated a pilot and three passengers.
Guernsey designed numerous electric generation stations, expanding the growing firm’s power engineering service offerings throughout the Midwest.
The company moved into a new 5,000-square-foot self-designed office building to meet the needs of an efficient, expanding engineering organization.
Guernsey acquired a fleet of late-model cars and station wagons for the field personnel’s use
Our 30s (1958-1967)
The expansion of telecommunication capabilities presented new opportunities for Guernsey during this period, which also saw us assemble our first architecture department.
Our 40s (1968-1977)
Our architecture, construction management, electric power engineering, cost of service and rates analysis services grew and expanded throughout the decade.
Our 50s (1978-1987)
We performed extensive work with Tinker Air Force Base due to a fire at Building 3001. Restoring the facility quickly propelled Guernsey into providing architectural, engineering and environmental services to the Department of Defense.
Guernsey designed 15 miles of 115-kilovolt electric transmission line running through mountainous Colorado terrain. This was also the year we established our security consulting and design team. Exciting projects emerged while working for the United Nations, NATO, and the Pentagon.
Our 60s (1988-1998)
Entry as a Department of Defense contractor invigorated the firm, bringing new consulting services and the our first international electric utility consulting projects.
Guernsey saw its first DoD design/build contract: the field training facility at Altus Air Force Base.
We added interior design to our in-house services.
Due to ongoing base realignment and closure (BRAC), the Navy moved all recruit training to Naval Station Great Lakes, closing training facilities at Orlando, San Diego and San Francisco in the process. The resulting construction value for Guernsey totaled more than $60 million.
In the aftermath of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing, the General Services Administration tasked Guernsey, through our open-ended contract, with conducting a site investigation and providing a damage assessment report, as well as developing a construction scope of services and cost estimate for restoring the plaza and parking garage to pre-bombing conditions.
Our 70s (1999-2008)
Guernsey began work in petroleum and petrochemical services, water resources, community planning, and landscape architecture.
We embarked on our largest single project to date: The $80 million complex at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
Our 80s (2009-Current)
Guernsey rebranded itself early in the decade, rolling out a new look while providing the same services clients have grown to know and love.
Guernsey added cyber security and structural engineering to our in-house services. The same year, we celebrated 85 years of serving our customers – we’re looking forward to the next 85!
We added fire protection engineering to our in-house services.
Created business development teams for specific market sectors.
Guernsey continues to provide a wide range of engineering, architecture and consulting services to multiple markets, including health care, oil and gas, power and energy, sports and entertainment, Native American, commercial, industrial, higher education, cooperative and municipal utilities, municipalities, federal government agencies, county and state governmental agencies, and international.