Gage Brothers announces construction of new plant; significant investment builds on the company’s century-long manufacturing history in Sioux Falls

Plant ExteriorGage Brothers today announced the construction of a new plant featuring a multi-million dollar investment in state-of-the-art technology rarely used in the manufacture of precast concrete in the United States.

WATCH: Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley talks with Jodi Schwan of SiouxFalls.Business.

The new manufacturing facility will be located at 2800 N. Bahnson Avenue off of Interstate 229, in northeast Sioux Falls.

“We are celebrating our proud South Dakota heritage, the growing popularity of Gage Brothers products in national markets, our continuing investments in productive technology and our great employee owners who are the backbone of our success,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley.

Gage Brothers’ new space is expected to cost about $40 million, which will primarily be financed through Great Western Bank and Gage Bros. Land Company LLC, with additional funding from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and private investors. The Gage Bros. Land Company is comprised of the Gage Brothers board of directors along with Tom and Fred Gage.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting project with Gage Brothers as they enter into the next phase of their long-standing history in Sioux Falls,” said Ryan Boschee, Great Western Bank Group President. “Our organizations share many similarities in our missions and values while calling Sioux Falls home. Like Gage Brothers, we are big enough to handle projects of this scale while maintaining a local feel.”

“This new facility will benefit not only the Sioux Falls community but the entire region for years to come,” added Jay Mitchell, GWB Business Banker. “For more than a century, Gage Brothers has been a leader in the manufacturing of innovative architectural and structural precast concrete products. We’re honored to partner with Gage in this exciting project.”

“Gage Brothers is a 100-year-old company whose impact on the construction industry reaches far beyond the Sioux Falls-area,” said GOED Commissioner Scott Stern. “A $40 million investment in new construction and infrastructure means a lot more than a building—it’s a place where new and existing employees will continue to manufacture a quality product, in a safe and more efficient work environment. This is a very welcome expansion, by a long standing South Dakota business. It’s our pleasure to be a part of history in the making.”

Running out of room

A slow-and-steady rebound from the recession has evolved into consistent business growth for Gage Brothers, a company that continues to see customer demand for its products –particularly, insulated systems and thin-brick panels as well as a new line of ARCIS ultra-thin precast panels—grow beyond its existing capacity.

Gage Brothers has been at the same West 12th Street location since its founding in 1915, a locale that served its purpose until space could no longer keep up with demand.

“We’ve outgrown capacity to the point we’re turning down work on a regular basis,” said Kelley, who has been at the helm of Gage Brothers since 2001.

Once completed, the new facility will increase Gage Brothers’ manufacturing capacity by 60-percent and play a central role in expanding the company’s geographic footprint in the United States. Since 1963, roughly 92 percent of the building projects awarded to Gage Brothers have been located in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

Current operations are scattered between sixteen buildings on thirty acres. The new plant will consolidate machinery and employees into a single 210,000-square-foot facility spread across 45 acres.

Tom Kelley

“Our end goal is to continue to provide top quality products and create an even better experience for our clients,” said Kelley. “We want to continue to set the standard for the precast concrete industry and the new building gives us the space we need to do so.”

The architect of record for the new plant is the Sioux Falls office of JLG Architects. The construction management contract was awarded to Fiegen Construction, also of Sioux Falls.

“Making a 100-year move is a really big deal,” said Dave Van Nieuwenhuyzen, AIA, design lead for the project. “The new Gage Brothers manufacturing plant will help them remain a national leader in precast concrete for generations to come, and become the most automated precast manufacturer in the nation.”

Designed with employees in mind

Cafeteria Interior EntryThe well-being of current and future employees also played a paramount role in the design of Gage Brothers’ new home. Workplace amenities include a large cafeteria, locker rooms and collaborative areas. Large windows throughout the facility will allow ample natural light without compromising energy efficiency. Offices for Gage Brothers supervisors will be located on the mezzanine level, along with a training room and additional social spaces.

The facility has also been designed to attract great talent and create a highly engaged and happy workforce.

Approximately 95 percent of the precast concrete production process will be indoors, compared to 65 percent at the current Gage Brothers location. This will remove employees from risks associated with working outdoors, such as extreme cold and sun exposure.

Gage Brothers has also taken proactive steps to be prepared for the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) silica exposure rule that will take effect next summer for the manufacturing industry.

The rule reduces permissible exposure limits for respirable crystalline silica significantly and requires employers to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure. Industries have 1-to-5 years to comply with most requirements.

The elimination of sandblasting process will remove the health hazards associated with silica dust. Gage Brothers will also phase out its current acid-etching finishing process. This process will be replaced with a technique that will be more environmentally friendly.

“We are proud of our employees and the quality products they safely produce for our customers every day, and believe this new facility will allow us to create a world-class safety culture and injury-free work environment,” said Kelley.

Rise of the machines

Automation has changed the manufacturing landscape by making the production process more consistent, efficient, safe and less labor-intensive.

With its new plant, Gage Brothers will make a clean break from its previous approaches to production. The use of robust machinery and intelligent software will optimize the entire process chain and allow employees to complete tasks with “more brain with less brawn.”

“We are applying automation and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees,” said Kelley. “Through on-the-job training, we will also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as process control and quality control.”

Concrete will be delivered to pouring stations through the use of “flying buckets,” a system that has a long history in Europe but is relatively new in the United States. The buckets will reduce the time takes to deliver concrete to pouring stations by one third, all but eliminating the current wait time for concrete.

An automated rebar bending machine will produce the same number of beam and column ties in an hour that it currently takes six hours to produce by hand.

Additional intelligent machines such as hydraulic formwork systems will save worker hours and greatly reduce the risk of back strains and sprains for employees.

“Our new plant will harness both automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in Sioux Falls,” said Kelley. “Our goal is to increase production by 60 percent with only a 20 percent increase in workforce.”

Perhaps the most valuable benefit automation will afford to Gage Brothers employees is a more predictable work schedule.

All manufacturing operations will be under one roof, which will result in fewer bottlenecks, greater operating efficiency and streamlined use of space.

The use of flying concrete buckets will also reduce idle waiting times for workers and give them better control over daily tasks—making it possible to know what their day will look like and when they can go home.

“Automation will empower our workforce by streamlining processes and helping them to do their jobs more efficiently,” said Kelley. “I believe this technology will not only make jobs easier, it will also take away many mundane tasks which will create opportunities for more flexible and fulfilling work.”



A Sioux Falls Original

Gage Brothers has been creating concrete solutions in Sioux Falls since the Woodrow Wilson administration.

It all started in 1915 when William Gage and Harold Gabel began pouring sidewalks for Sioux Falls. Albert and William Gage, Jr. followed in their father’s footsteps and the company was incorporated in 1946. The cousin consortium of Fred, Tom and Al Gage Jr., became the third generation to lead the company in the late 1970s.

Gage Brothers continued to grow and built a reputation based on impeccable workmanship, attention to detail and a dedication to service. In 2008, Gage Brothers began the transition from a family business to an employee-owned company with the implantation of an employee stock ownership plan.

“For more than 100 years, Gage Brothers has maintained a significant manufacturing presence in Sioux Falls, and we look forward to building on that legacy through the construction of our new, cutting edge plant,” said Kelley.

Added Van Nieuwenhuyzen, “It is a true honor for our employee owners to work with Gage’s employee owners to see this building realized.”

Construction is expected to begin this summer, with completion slated for January 2019. A ground-breaking ceremony will be announced at a later date.



About Gage Brothers

Gage Brothers Concrete Products Incorporated ( 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 upper 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 registered $40 million in sales last year.


Gage Brothers named precaster for $89 million Kinnick Stadium renovation project

Artist’s Rendering of Kinnick Stadium (Neumann Monson Architects | HNTB)

Gage Brothers has been awarded the precast contract for a projected $89 million renovation to Kinnick Stadium, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes’ home turf since 1929.

The company received the good news on Tuesday afternoon.

Gage Brothers was chosen by general contractor JE Dunn Construction, a Kansas City-based firm with 20 offices scattered throughout the United States.

“We are proud to have won this contract and thrilled to work with JE Dunn on another stadium project,” said Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley. “Precast concrete was a critical aspect of the university’s goal to create a top-notch fan experience in a revitalized venue.”

Gage Brothers’ involvement with the Kinnick Stadium renovations is not a huge surprise, given its recent work with JE Dunn on South Dakota State University’s Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

Kelley added, “This will be a highly visible project for Gage Brothers in another Big Ten college football market.”

TCF Bank Stadium

Gage Brothers was also the precaster of record for TCF Bank Stadium, which brought Gopher football back to the University of Minnesota campus.

The Midwest’s premier precast company, Gage Brothers boasts a sports facility résumé that also includes Target Field, the Target Center and the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

Gage Brothers will fabricate more than 75,000 square-feet of precast concrete for the UI build, referred to as the “Kinnick Edge” project.

Formerly known as Iowa Stadium, the facility was renamed in 1972 to honor 1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick.

Club level looking west

The Kinnick Edge project will renovate the north stands and the related concourse area—which have remained unchanged since their original 1980s construction. The existing general admission seating bowl in the north end zone will be replaced with upper and lower general admission seating bowls, two concourses, and a premium club level – the Ted Pacha Family Club.

The north end zone will be also be transformed with new restrooms, concessions, videoboard, and more than 1,600 new premium seats.

“Kinnick Stadium is recognized as one of the iconic football stadiums in college football,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said in a release from the university. “Our primary goal is to enhance the fan experience. We are closing in the north end zone; fans will be that much closer, that much louder and the Kinnick Edge will be that much greater.”

The university selected Iowa City-based Neumann Monson as the architect of record, with assistance from national consultant HNTB. The two firms are quite familiar with the entire stadium complex; they also collaborated on the $90 million Kinnick Stadium renovation project that was completed in 2006.

The design plans call for 45,000 square-feet of precast stair tread and risers, along with 13,000 square-feet of precast tubs and close to 200 architectural panels. It will take roughly 70 days for Gage Brothers to manufacture the products in its 30-acre facility in northwest Sioux Falls.

rendering-580Construction will be completed over several years starting with some work taking place prior to the 2017 football season; the razing of the north end zone will begin after the 2017 season. The lower and upper bowl general admission seating and club seats are planned to be completed prior to the 2018 football season. During the 2018 season, temporary concessions and restrooms will be provided to fans and the club area will still be under construction.

All construction is set to be complete prior to the Hawkeyes’ 2019 season opener against the Miami (OH) Redhawks on August 31.

“University of Iowa football is built on tradition and the cornerstone of that tradition is Kinnick Stadium,” Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said in the release. “Every Hawkeye player and coach who has stepped onto that field knows it is a unique place that carries special meaning.”

Kinnick currently seats 70,585 fans. The renovation will drop capacity to around 69,000.

The Kinnick Edge project will be funded through private gifts and athletic departmental revenues with no cost to UI students or state taxpayers.

The university has also announced that the Tigerhawk logo, which former coach Hayden Fry brought to Iowa in 1979, will return to the midfield in 2017. The Hawkeyes’ season opener against Wyoming on Sept. 2 will be the first Kinnick game with a centerpiece logo since 1980.

                                          The Met Center

Founded in 1915, Gage Brothers has manufactured concrete products for more than three dozen high school, collegiate and professional sports venues throughout the Midwest. The company’s foray into sports facility construction came in 1957, when they produced concrete tread and risers for historic Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls. That was followed by the Met Center in 1966— best known as the home of the Minnesota North Stars.

Recent sports and recreation projects include the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Kirkeby-Over Stadium, Dakota Wesleyan University/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex and the University of South Dakota Sports Performance Enhancement Facility.

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.

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

Kyle_Brown cropped

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

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.

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.


About Gage Brothers 

Gage Brothers Concrete Products Incorporated ( 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.