Poor Boy Lawncare & Landscaping, General Shale Recognized for King University Restoration Project

Nov 17, 2017 | General Shale, King University

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — General Shale, one of North America’s largest brick, stone and concrete block manufacturers, and Poor Boy Lawncare & Landscaping received an honorable mention in the 2017 Hardscapes North America (HNA) Awards for a King University restoration project.

The awards are the North American Hardscape Industry’s top honors for outstanding, professionally designed residential and commercial outdoor projects. First-place and honorable mention awards are presented annually for projects featuring clay, concrete or porcelain pavers, segmental retaining walls, or a combination of hardscape products, including natural stone, masonry veneer and mortared walls.

Headquartered in Johnson City, Tennessee, General Shale is the North American subsidiary of Wienerberger AG and a leading manufacturer of brick, one of the world’s oldest green building materials.

More than 55,000 of the company’s wire-cut red clay brick pavers were used in the restoration of King University’s Oval, an iconic walkway and community space that occupies the heart of the school’s main campus in Bristol, Tennessee. The entrances to King’s Chapel, Parks Hall and the E.W. King Library were included as part of the project.

“We are delighted that our clay brick pavers have been incorporated into King University’s campus,” says Charles Smith, president and CEO for General Shale. “The Oval is a central feature of this 150-year-old institution, and it’s an honor that the timelessness and durability of our products were chosen to preserve and maintain the beauty of King’s historic grounds.”

BurWil Construction Company of Bristol, Tennessee, served as the general contractor for the project, and Poor Boy Lawncare & Landscaping of Johnson City served as the subcontractor. Representatives of Thompson & Litton in Bristol and the Brick Industry Association recommended the design for the restoration.

General Shale’s product played a key role in maintaining the 19th-century Georgian style of the Oval, which reflects the architectural theme of King’s campus. The walkway, which was first paved with bricks in 1962, had shifted and settled from decades of foot traffic and weathering, creating the need for repair and refurbishment.

“Over time, the Oval had deteriorated from long-term use and weather,” says Adam Dennison, owner of Poor Boy Lawncare & Landscaping. “King wanted the clay brick pavers to not only be durable, but also match the feel of the campus and its surrounding buildings, and General Shale had the perfect product.”

Restoration took place over a three-month period during the summer of 2015. The new surface does not incorporate the use of mortar, which makes the pathway more durable and easier to maintain.


General Shale is one of North America’s largest brick, stone and concrete block manufacturers. Founded in 1928, the company offers an endless array of sizes, colors and textures in a wide variety of masonry materials to complete any residential, commercial or specialty architectural project. These materials include brick, thin masonry, stone, outdoor living products, concrete block and various building materials, which include Arriscraft® Stone, Columbus Brick and Pipelife Jet Stream products.

Throughout the U.S. and Canada, General Shale operates sales and manufacturing facilities in 15 states and provinces, in addition to a network of 31 retail showrooms and more than 300 affiliated distributors across North America. The company grew even stronger in 1999 when it joined Wienerberger AG of Vienna, Austria, the world’s largest brick manufacturer. With a life cycle of more than 100 years, the sustainability of brick is General Shale’s commitment to responsible stewardship.

General Shale is headquartered in Johnson City, Tennessee. For more information, visit

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