It's not the palm trees, rolling seas or endless blue skies that capture your attention. What really grabs you at Bahama Rock – what really makes those first moments memorable – is the Wall of Fame.
From top to bottom, the blue wall is full of plaques featuring names, photos and years of service, often spanning several decades. With the crew of 80 miners averaging about 14 years in the industry, the team is both experienced and dedicated. But their story is so much deeper.
Venture into the operation and you learn quickly how so many decades-long careers have been built; the people at Bahama Rock are passionate about safely crushing rock and equally enthusiastic about the island community they work to strengthen.
Foreman Brian Burrows’ plaque celebrates nearly 35 years of service with Martin Marietta. Throughout that time, he’s contributed to the team as a utility worker, a haul truck driver and a loader operator. He’s held a number of other roles, too, but says his favorite has nothing to do with crushing rock. For Burrows, the greatest sense of satisfaction comes from his work spearheading the Bahama Rock Community Relations Committee.
“Throughout my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a lot of different people, but what I enjoy most is helping our community,” he says. “It’s what I get to do, and for me, it makes all the difference.”
Burrows is an important part of Bahama Rock’s community engagement efforts, but he doesn’t stand alone. There are 10 others on the committee and each is eager to invest in the island and its people.
Each year, the committee receives numerous community requests from organizations and agencies seeking assistance. The group reviews every request, then considers the projects that allow them to help most while having the greatest impact on the local community.
This year alone, Bahama Rock has donated to numerous causes, including four local schools in the area: Barlett Hill Primary School, Martin Town Primary School, Eight Mile Rock High School and Hugh Campbell Primary School. Visiting each school offers a fresh opportunity to witness the impact of Bahama Rock’s efforts.
At Eight Mile Rock High, you see the updated locker room, gymnasium and library. At Martin Town Primary School, you see the rock wall students climb each day and updated shelves in the library.
The people share details of the projects as well. Sometimes you hear about the limestone provided for the playgrounds. Other times, you hear about the assistance Bahama Rock offered in clearing a new entryway allowed students more room to social distance during the pandemic. These stories each have the same arc: Bahama Rock’s people showed up. They volunteered. They made an immeasurable difference.
What makes this assistance all the more special is the fact that many on the Bahama Rock Community Relations Committee attended these schools. In some cases, their children do, too.
At Martin Town Primary School, Principal Lisa Newton says she relies on Bahama Rock Control Person Benton Henfield “whenever the school is in need of something, whether that be shelves, uniforms, snacks or even time.” Every now and then, he even visits the school to speak with the students.
Newton’s remarks are echoed by school leaders across the island.
Foreman TJ Mackey coordinates Bahama Rock’s community assistance efforts at Barlett Primary School, where he has provided various forms of assistance from judging a campus beautification project to cutting the grass and gathering school supplies.
The committee’s actions aren’t limited to the classroom, however.
In the Bahama Rock shop, Mechanic Dan Singh passes the same item multiple times as he crosses from workspace to workspace throughout the day. It’s a backboard, and for most other mechanics at most other mechanic shops, it’s out of place. Not for Singh.
Take a short drive from Bahama Rock, and you’ll find two basketball courts sporting several of the same hand-crafted Martin Marietta backboards, each produced in the company’s blue and gray. A community favorite, the project was completed recently after the Bahama Rock team was asked to help refurbish the courts.
“My favorite part of my job is that one day I may be in the control tower and the next, I may be working in the community,” Singh says. “All of what I do ties back to one thing: safety. We work safely at Martin Marietta. We’ve worked to make the basketball courts safer, too. When we leave, the safety remains. We watch out for each other, but we also watch out for our loved ones and our community members.”