Project Update: MWEC Building

mwec1The oil boom in the Bakken Region of North Dakota has turned into an electric co-op boom for Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC), the largest power distributor in the Upper Midwest.

MWEC is one of 65 co-ops situated along the 200,000-square-mile Bakken Formation, where oil and gas exploration are driving frenzied growth in three states and two Canadian provinces.

In fact, the city of Williston (N.D.), where MWEC is located, has doubled in population since 2007.

That means huge new demand for co-op power as lines are extended to developing fields. This has driven a significant uptick in the demand for the services MWEC provides. The demand has seen MWEC nearly triple its workforce since 2010 as it hustles to serve a consistent backlog of requests for power.

A bigger workforce has caused growing pains for MWEC, as the not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution cooperative, has outgrown its current space.

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Artist’s Rendering (JLG Architects)

To accommodate current and future growth, MWEC will redevelop their existing site to provide space for a new office building. The project will highlight and showcase the efficient use of electricity while creating a beacon for MWEC on the north side of Williston.

Gage Brothers will produce precast trim, architectural panels and insulated panels for the new four-story structure. This is just the sixth Williston building project that has been awarded to Gage Brothers since the company’s founding in 1915.

Williston 2Anchored with portions of Gage Brothers precast concrete walls that relate to the surrounding MWEC campus building, the large expanses of curtainwall glazing will showcase the active office, collaborative, and tenant spaces within. The project will be designed to achieve a LEED Gold rating and will place special emphasis on the electrical components of LEED, given the nature of the cooperative.

The construction manager for the build is the Williston office of FCI Constructors, Inc.

JLG Architects will design MWEC’s new energy-efficient headquarters. Gage Brothers has worked on more than a dozen building projects with JLG Architects since 2012. Recent collaborations with JLG include the Sanford Pentagon and the Sanford Fieldhouse.

Williston 3This is the second expansion that MWEC has undergone in recent years to address rapid growth in North Dakota. In 2014, MWEC cut the ribbon on an 85,000-square-foot truck bay to serve its fleet of 100 or so trucks, many of them quick service trucks that repair lines at a moment’s notice in all sorts of weather. The shop is four times the size of the previous facility.

A look at the H&D Schilling Building

South-Elevation-960x540_cConstruction of the H&D Schilling building is well underway. Located in North Dakota’s state capitol, the new mixed-use structure in named for Harvey and Diane Schilling, longtime community members and business owners in Bismarck.

The couple’s namesake building is being constructed on the corner of State Street & 43rd Avenue in Bismarck. Forty-Third Avenue is expected to be one of the city’s busiest intersections in coming years, making the corner a prime location.

The construction manager for the build is Capital City Construction, while the architect of record is DJR Architecture. Aaron Wockenfuss serves as DJR’s project manager for the Schilling Building.

The design team is led by Curt Schilling, the son and business partner of Harvey and Diane Schilling.

Bismarck_4The build calls for more than 18,000 square feet of Gage Brothers corefloor and grey panels, along with beams and columns.

The H&D Schilling Building, featuring North Dakota’s own Hebron Brick, draws its design cues from the 1930s. The first floor lobby nods to the art-deco period with smooth lines and geometric shapes in every detail from the radiators to the chandeliers. The elevator carries its passengers to the top with visible mechanics; a hallmark of quality workmanship.

This Class-A building will also feature twenty-four open-air balconies, underground heated parking and heated sidewalks.

The four-story mixed-use commercial development will have first-floor retail space while the remaining floors will remain open so they can be adapted to either office or residential space based on the highest demand. Bismarck’s overall job growth was ranked no. 14 in the Forbes 2016 “Best Small Places for Business and Careers,” which could help the additional floors fill up rather quickly and creates added optimism for the city’s future growth.

The H&D Schilling Building is job no. 35 in Bismarck for Gage Brothers. The 102-year old precast company’s foray into North Dakota’s state capitol was the library and an academic building for Bismarck State College back in 1967. Gage Brothers has also done extensive work for the University of Mary (1967, 1995).

6th Street Parking_-1Gage Brothers’ largest Bismarck project is the 6th Street Parking Ramp is located on 6th Street between Thayer and Broadway Avenue. Completed in 2014, the parking structure has the capacity to hold nearly 500 vehicles and contains more than 42,000 square feet of precast concrete in a variety of colors and finishes.

The H & D Schilling Building has a projected completion date of March 2018. Click here to view more construction photos.

Get to Know: New Safety Coordinator Kyle Brown

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Please join all of us in welcoming Kyle Brown, who was recently hired as Safety Coordinator for Gage Brothers.

Kyle hails from Ohio, where he lived with his parents and two dogs, a Great Dane named Toro and a Bloodhound named McCullough.

To say that he grew up in a small town might be an understatement: his family lives in the smallest county in the state of Ohio (with a population of only 14,000 people). Needless to say, moving to Sioux Falls was a major change for Kyle, but so far he loves it here. He has always wanted to move out west (at least west of Ohio).

Kyle is a Bobcat as a recent graduate of Ohio University, where he earned an associate’s degree in Environmental Engineering Technology and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health. He is also just four credits shy of holding a second bachelor’s in Occupational Health and Safety.

Welcome to Gage Brothers, Kyle!

Five Questions for Kyle

Q: What is your dream vacation spot?

A: An island in the Pacific Ocean with clear waters.

Q: What was your favorite subject in school?

A: History (ironic, because I didn’t take a single history class in college).

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A. Anything that involves the outdoors, such as fishing, hunting and trail riding.

Q: What is your favorite movie?

A: 8 Seconds.

Q: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

A: Raw venison.

Gage Brothers secures Canton performing arts center contract

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Artist’s rendering of the Canton Performing Arts Center (Architecture, Inc.)

Gage Brothers has been awarded the contract to provide precast concrete for the proposed 42,000-square foot performing arts center addition to Canton High School in Canton, S.D.

The build includes a new 1,000 seat performing arts theatre, stage with fly gallery, lobby, restrooms, scene shop, storage and dressing rooms. In addition, the existing air conditioning roof top units will be replaced with a central chiller.

Gage Brothers will manufacture approximately 47,000-square feet of corefloor slabs and insulated precast panels for the project.

Other site work consists of a new parking lot, storm sewer adjustments and the relocation of an existing water main.

The architect of record is Architecture Incorporated of Sioux Falls.

Gage Brothers has enjoyed a prolific partnership with Architecture Inc. since the firm’s establishment in 1976. The two Sioux Falls companies have collaborated on more than 130 building projects over the past forty years.

The construction manager is Henry Carlson Construction. Gage Brothers and Henry Carlson have worked together on more than 280 building projects since the early 1960’s.

The Canton PAC build comes on the heels of the grand opening of the Mitchell (S.D.) School District’s new 67,000-square-foot performing arts center, another Gage Brothers project. Gage Brothers manufactured more than 28,000 square feet of precast concrete for the $15.3 million venue, which hosted the Palace City Jazz Festival for its February 7th debut.

Last month, Gage Brothers was named the precaster for the 95,025-square foot expansion project at the South Dakota State University Performing Arts Center.

Founded in 1915 by members of the Gage family, Gage Brothers’ experience in performing arts venue construction illustrates their knowledge of the intricacies and substantial detail that make up these specialized environments.

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O’Gorman High School’s Performing Arts Center was built in 2011.

Other performance spaces built with Gage Brothers products include the Washington Pavilion, O’Gorman High School Performing Arts Center, Trollwood Performing Arts School (MN) and Northwestern College’s (IA) DeWitt Theatre Arts Center.

Formerly Washington High School, the Washington Pavilion underwent an intense $33 million renovation in 1999 and is now considered to be one of the top fine arts facilities in the state.

Some legacy performing arts projects for Gage Brothers are Morningside College’s Eugene C. Eppley Fine Arts Building (1966) and the Jeschke Fine Arts Center (1968), located at the University of Sioux Falls.

The Canton High School performing arts center is scheduled to be completed late next summer.

Operations Manager Don Hall hangs up hard hat after more than three decades in the precast industry

Gage Brothers has announced the upcoming retirement of Operations Manager Don Hall.

Hall’s retirement will be effective March 31st.

Don Hall Quality Control Department Manager
Operations Manager Don Hall

Over the past thirty-five years, Hall has been involved in nearly every aspect of the precast and prestressed concrete industry; ranging from plant ownership, general management, production and operations management, to research and development, engineering, quality assurance, design and product sales.

“I have personally known Don for more than 25 years, and those of us who have worked with Don over the years have learned a great deal from him,” said President of Gage Brothers Tom Kelley. “He has always been passionate about precast, and his tremendous knowledge of this always challenging business has greatly benefited all of us.”

Hall served as the director of operations at Fabcon Precast in Savage, Minn., from 1995-2005. He then spent four years as the manager of the prestress and hollowcore division for Wisconsin-based County Materials Corporation.

The seasoned veteran of the precast industry started working for Gage Brothers in 2009 as the company’s quality assurance manager. In this role, Hall reorganized quality control procedures and mentored several current employees. Under Hall’s watchful eye, Gage Brothers received some of the highest PCI certification scores the company has ever received.

Hall also ensured company-wide compliance with the Gage Brothers Quality Assurance Program and PCI certifications.

“There are many things that Don has given our company that went unnoticed because of his quiet and unassuming nature,” said Kelley. “He has selflessly helped many employees grow into future leaders at Gage Brothers.”

Hall assumed his current role of Gage Brothers operations manager in 2015. His days as operations manager were spent steering the day-to-day operations within Gage Brothers’ 30-acre manufacturing facility in northwest Sioux Falls. He has been responsible for all aspects of operations within Gage Brothers; including production, delivery, inventory and daily manufacturing.

Added Kelley, “Don came to Gage Brothers at exactly the right time, and we will miss his strong leadership, humility, and attention to detail.”

Throughout his career, Hall has contributed to various industry-related organizations and served on several committees to assist in the development of improved manufacturing techniques and better concrete products.

Hall plans to spend more time with his family.

“I wish Don and his family nothing but the best as they begin this next chapter of their lives,” said Kelley. “He leaves Gage Brothers in a very strong position to continue our success.”

Hall’s successor will be Mike Vander Vorste, who was named Gage Brothers plant manager last fall. Vander Vorste has more than 18 years of experience in engineering and plant management. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of South Dakota and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

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About Gage Brothers 

Gage Brothers Concrete Products Incorporated (gagebrothers.com) was established in 1915 by members of the Gage family and now employs more than 250 employees in northwest Sioux Falls. Employee-owned since 2008, Gage Brothers has a proud tradition of being a leading manufacturer of innovative architectural and structural precast concrete products. Products manufactured at the Sioux Falls plant can be found throughout the Midwest, including projects throughout Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The Midwest’s premier precast concrete company was awarded $49.1 million in job contracts last year.

 

 

Expansion of the SDSU Performing Arts Center draws the curtain on a new act for Gage Brothers

Blending our construction experience, community passion, and partner-based mentality, Gage Brothers sets the stage for many impressive acts to follow.

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Artist’s rendering of the Performing Arts Center expansion at SDSU.

Gage Brothers has been awarded the contract to provide precast concrete for the proposed 95,025-square foot expansion project at the South Dakota State University Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The highly anticipated build, which includes a full-scale, professional caliber proscenium theatre, will be constructed on both sides of the existing facility and will add dedicated facilities to serve both the local community and SDSU’s growing arts education programs.

The project is being designed by New York City-based Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture. The architect of record is Architecture Incorporated of Sioux Falls.

Preconstruction efforts for Gage Brothers began late in 2012.

Holzman Moss Bottino is a nationally-recognized theatre design firm with an extensive portfolio of university performing arts centers, including venues at New Mexico State, Western Connecticut State, Texas A & M, George Mason and Kent State. One of the firm’s most acclaimed legacy projects was the renovation of Radio City Music Hall in 1999.

They were also the lead architect for the Minnesota Orchestra Hall (1974). Gage Brothers manufactured nine thousand square feet of stone-clad insulated panels for the renovation of the Twin Cities architectural touchstone, which was completed in 2013.

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Malcolm Holzman

Founding partner Malcolm Holzman will lead the PAC expansion. His buildings were described in a national publication as having a “brash beauty,” and are acknowledged for their evocative nature, technical vision and singular character.

Holzman has completed commissions in 32 states and his career body of work includes more than 150 building projects. This is the first commission within the Mount Rushmore State for Holzmann, a 1992 Interior Design Hall of Fame inductee.

Gage Brothers has enjoyed a prolific partnership with Architecture Inc. since the firm’s establishment in 1976. The two Sioux Falls companies have collaborated on more than 130 building projects over the past forty years.

According to Dennis Papini, Dean of SDSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the need for the PAC expansion rests on four pillars: “Destination Brookings”; the value of attracting visitors and patrons of the arts; enhanced opportunities for Brookings schools and community arts organizations; and the economic impact of student recruitment.

In addition to the new proscenium theatre, the performing arts expansion also adds large rehearsal spaces for band, orchestra and choir and a recital hall for ensemble and solo performances.

2000-constructionGage Brothers also provided precast products for SDSU’s current facility, which was constructed for $10.2 million in 2002. The 54,705-square foot venue consists of Larson Memorial Concert Hall, Fishback Studio Theatre and Roberts Reception Hall.

This is the fiftieth South Dakota State building project awarded to Gage Brothers since the mid-1960s. Recent work on the SDSU campus includes Daktronics Engineering Hall, the North Chiller Plant and Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, home of Jackrabbit Football.

“Gage Brothers is proud to have deep and longstanding ties with South Dakota State University,” said company president Tom Kelley. “I think this facility expansion is a testament to the university’s commitment to both performing arts and the community of Brookings.”

The building plans call for 78,000-sq. ft. of Gage Brothers precast architectural and insulated panels, grey slabs and corefloor. According to the Gage Brothers preconstruction department, it will take approximately 54 days for employees to manufacture the precast components.

This project comes on the heels of the grand opening of the Mitchell (S.D.) School District’s new 67,000-square-foot performing arts center, another Gage Brothers project. Gage Brothers manufactured more than 28,000 square feet of precast concrete for the $15.3 million venue, which hosted the Palace City Jazz Festival for its February 7th debut.

Founded in 1915 by members of the Gage family, Gage Brothers’ experience in performing arts venue construction illustrates their knowledge of the intricacies and substantial detail that make up these specialized environments.

“We are passionate about the performing arts and strongly committed to creating precast products of the highest quality for our cultural institutions,” said Kelley. “We have continued to build on this focus through more than a dozen performing arts projects across the country—including collegiate performing arts centers, community theaters and a diversity of other venues.”

ogorman-performing-arts-0274Other performance spaces built with Gage Brothers products include the Washington Pavilion, O’Gorman High School Performing Arts Center, Trollwood Performing Arts School (MN) and Northwestern College’s (IA) DeWitt Theatre Arts Center.

Formerly Washington High School, the Washington Pavilion underwent an intense $33 million renovation in 1999 and is now considered to be one of the top fine arts facilities in the state.

Some legacy performing arts projects for Gage Brothers are Morningside College’s Eugene C. Eppley Fine Arts Building (1966) and the Jeschke Fine Arts Center (1968), located at the University of Sioux Falls.

The target completion date for the PAC expansion is December of 2018.

The campaign to expand SDSU’s performing arts center is aimed at cultivating academic innovation across its schools and colleges, investing in recruiting and retaining the finest teacher-scholars and continuing to build a premier living-learning environment on the university’s 261-acre campus.

Lake Lorraine development product of vision, local support and plenty of precast

Where deer leave tracks and hawks circle overhead a frozen lake, there once was stripped earth cluttered with the machinery gouging gravel from just beneath the surface.

Just a short stroll from Lake Lorraine, construction crews put the finishing touches on a luxurious active retirement community and the new corporate headquarters for one of the nation’s fastest growing automotive classified websites. Boutique shops and retail bookend both structures, with more businesses on the way.

The transformation of Lake Lorraine’s acres into a premier lifestyle center belies their noisy, industrial history and reflects a change of fortune for the former gravel pit.

It took Warren Friessen fifteen years to acquire the 130-acre parcel now known as Lake Lorraine, located south of 26th Street, west of I-29 and east of Marion Road. The pit provided the owner of Friessen Construction with essential building materials for several commercial projects in western Sioux Falls. His first land purchase in the 1970s, a 55-acre parcel chunk, was used as the source of aggregate for the base of Interstate 29. He tapped into a big vein of sand on that was used in building projects including Target, Empire East, Billion Automotive and Sioux Falls Ford.

Friessen extracted the remaining gravel in 1987 to expand Marion Road from a two-lane rural road to a three-lane paved road.

Opportunity is the Quarry

The obvious question remained once the gravel was extracted: what to do with a giant hole that resembled Paul Bunyan’s empty bathtub?

But where others might have seen little more than a deep scar on the Earth’s skin, Friessen saw a pockmarked land of opportunity. The thought of a finished lake community had been stored in the back of his mind for years while he mined sand and gravel.

He decided to make his hole in the ground a showcase of what can be done when reclaiming industrial land.

The idea may not qualify as revolutionary, but it’s quite a leap from years gone by. Before regulators stepped in, it was common for gravel pit owners to dig the deposits and leave.

“In the old days, to just walk away from a pit wasn’t that big of a deal. But now the land value is substantial, especially once it’s redeveloped,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley, who has experience carving a new use out of old quarries.

com_lakelorrainebldgborder_1054x5262Gage Brothers produced thousands of square feet of precast for Centennial Lakes in Edina (MN), a 100-acre mixed-use development that replaced a large gravel pit in the late 1990’s.

Other former gravel pits throughout the country have been turned into golf courses, recreational areas, strawberry fields and nature preserves.

Kelley added, “I think the public is excited to see this kind of commitment from our business community.  Mr. Friessen was not comfortable leaving an eyesore behind for the people of Sioux Falls, and we are happy to help him redevelop the land in a way that should have a positive impact on the community.”

The conversion of the pit into a manmade lake took close to 20 years. Almost three-quarters of a million yards of sand were hauled out of the “Terry Pit,” as it was affectionately referred to by Friessen Construction employees.

lake-lorraine-07-28-15resize-for-web-450xautoLake Lorraine spans 22 acres on the Skunk Creek aquifer and is spring fed. The lake was christened Lake Lorraine in 2001, and the name holds a special meaning for the Friessen family. Lorraine is the middle name of Warren’s wife, Hilda, and also his granddaughter’s name.

A Sioux Falls Story

Residential and commercial construction was poised to follow Lake Lorraine’s completion. But that development momentum stalled in 2008 when the economy receded.

In 2014, the Friessen family partnered with Van Buskirk Companies, another family-owned business with deep Sioux Falls ties. They set their sights on developing the Lake Lorraine property into the largest lifestyle center in South Dakota.

0e809a_aa23e098f2f240ce9370556cf6dbb937The former gravel pit is now well on its way to a long awaited renewal and serves as the prime attraction for investors and end users alike with retail, residential, assisted living, hospitality, corporate center and office interest coming at a dramatic pace.

To date, Gage Brothers has been awarded job contracts totaling more than 126,000-square feet of precast concrete products.

“Whenever possible, Van Buskirk Construction invests in local suppliers to help promote the local economy,” said Chad Van Buskirk, Director of Commercial Construction.

There’s close to 200 combined years of construction experience in Sioux Falls between Friessen Construction (1968), Van Buskirk Companies (1971) and Gage Brothers (1915).

“Gage Brothers is not only locally owned but also a well-respected company that produces quality products,” added Van Buskirk.

The Lake Lorraine mixed-use development is being built with a vast array of Gage Brothers precast products: hollow corefloor slabs, precast beams/columns, architectural cladding, grey wall panels, solid grey shear walls and stair landings.

Phase I of the Lake Lorraine Lifestyle Centre involved the completion of two fully occupied Marketplace malls along Marion Road.

Com_LakeLorraineBldgBorder_1054x5262.jpgIt also included Grand Living at Lake Lorraine, a new senior living community that will open this spring. The 200,000-square-foot, four-story building will include well-appointed residences, a wellness center, and offices for medical providers and several dining venues. More than 30,000 square of Gage Brothers products were used for the facility’s fire separation cap above the underground parking.
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Sioux Falls-based Carsforsale.com’s new digs will be something similar to what a tech company might build in Silicon Valley. Beyond the cutting-edge employee amenities (golf simulators, foosball tables) the new headquarters will stand close to the lake, giving employees the chance to get a breath of fresh air or log some lunchtime exercise. The exterior of the building features Gage Brothers high-end architectural cladding in a variety of colors and finishes.

Phase II includes the Shoppes at Lake Lorraine, 168,000-square feet of space that will be occupied by six national retailers. The six tenants have been named: Ross Dress for Less, Hobby Lobby, Carter’s/OshKosh B’gosh, DWS, Marshalls and HomeGoods. The retail boxes will be constructed with 65,000-square feet of Gage Brothers load-bearing precast panels.

com_lakelorrainebldgborder_1054x5262This phase will also include the Lorraine Professional Center and the completion of a third Marketplace mall, among other projects.

Gage Brothers is also the precaster of record for two large projects that flank Lake Lorraine: the new Avera Medical Group Family Health Center and the future home of Sioux Falls Ford Lincoln. They produced stair tower panels for the 84,000-square foot medical center, which houses South Dakota’s first freestanding emergency department. The new Sioux Falls Ford dealership is currently being built with 45,000-square feet of hollowcore plank and load-bearing insulated wall panels.

Strong Partnerships Breed Success

Gage Brothers’ relationship with Friessen Construction dates back to the Gerald Ford administration. They have also produced precast products for several Van Buskirk projects since 1976, including precast columns for the third First Bank & Trust branch in Sioux Falls.

According to Kelley, these business relationships, fueled by collaboration and trust, were an essential ingredient for Lake Lorraine’s success. Having the right people involved at the right time was also fundamental to the project.

“Gage Brothers’ early involvement with Friessen Construction and Van Buskirk Companies was the ultimate catalyst for success,” said Kelley. “This proactive approach allowed us to meet design expectations and keep the project on schedule and within budget.”

“Gage Brothers has built an excellent team that is easy to work with and provides us with flexibility and options in our design,” said Van Buskirk. “In the case of the Lake Lorraine project, they did a great job working with limited information on a fast track project.”

636196431838486435-lorraineThe next phase of the Lake Lorraine development was created with a ‘Main Street’ feel, including lakeside dining, hotels and other unique retail concepts.

Further improvements to the west side of the lake will include the addition of docks, benches and a play area.

“Besides all the building construction, we’ll also be creating the walking paths, picnic areas and green spaces that will be the hallmark of Lake Lorraine. It’s going to be something very special,” added Steve Van Buskirk, Director of Land Development for Van Buskirk Companies.

“Lake Lorraine is a great project for our company,” said Kelley. “It’s been fun to be part of a team that has turned an old gravel pit into something more beautiful and beneficial for the entire community.”