A surge in the value of new building contracts pushed South Carolina’s February total for new contracts to a 39% overall improvement for the month, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. The company estimated the state’s new contracts at about $743.3 million for the month.

Nonresidential contracts increased the most, jumping by 88% to total nearly $304.2 million. Residential projects provided another boost, improving by 55% for the month for $351.7 million in new work. The nonbuilding category, which includes infrastructure projects, fell by 40%, however, and delivered $87.4 million in new contracts.

Through February, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates South Carolina’s new contracts have totaled just over $1.1 billion, or 3% lower than the same period of a year ago.

Residential is the only positive category so far in 2012. Through February, this sector tallied $607.2 million, or 41% better than a year ago. The nonresidential category, at $373 million, is 16% behind 2011’s early pace. And the nonbuilding category is 50% lower than a year ago, with about $141.6 million in new contracts so far.