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.



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.

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.

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.
Sioux Falls-based’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.”

Gage Brothers Strategic Partner Profile: Kraus-Anderson

It’s not often that you get more than 200 years of combined experience to bear on a building project. That’s the depth of knowledge a client receives when Gage Brothers Concrete and Kraus-Anderson Construction join forces.

For more than a century, Gage Brothers Concrete has used superior craftsmanship to create precast products built to stand the test of time as well as provide maximum design freedom and flexibility to our clients.

Our story began in 1915, when William Gage, Sr., began pouring concrete sidewalks in Sioux Falls. Gage Brothers Concrete was incorporated by Gage’s sons, Albert and William Jr., in 1946.

Gage Brothers has evolved in step with the changing times and advancements in construction technology. A small company that poured miles of sidewalks during the Depression years has evolved into an industry innovator with a product line that includes thin-brick systems, CarbonCast architectural panels and ARCIS ultra-thin panels.

Kraus-Anderson Construction Company also builds on more than 100 years of construction history.

Minneapolis YMCA Building

The firm was founded in 1897 as the J.L. Robinson Company by James L. Robinson, who was responsible for several Minneapolis buildings near the turn of the century.  A tribute to Robinson’s workmanship is the Gothic-Revival style YMCA Central building in downtown Minneapolis. Built in 1919, the 12-story structure was converted to apartments in 1994 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1929, Robinson sold his namesake company to a pair of employees, Mathew Kraus and Amos Andersen. Lloyd Engelsma purchased Kraus-Anderson in 1938 and the company has been owned and managed by the Engelsma family for more than 70 years.

Today, Kraus-Anderson is one of the Midwest’s largest commercial general contractors and a Top 50 mainstay in the Engineering-News Record’s list of the top 100 general contractors in the United States.

And according to Gage Brothers president Tom Kelley, KA is also one of the most and respected construction firms in the country.

“We take a team approach to all of our projects, and KA has always been a valuable partner because we both recognize the expertise the other brings to the table,” said Kelley. “They also have a long-term perspective that is invaluable in our industry.”

A partnership formed out of respect and shared experience has resulted in Gage Brothers and Kraus-Anderson collaborating on nearly 50 building projects in the past 44 years; the majority of which are in the North Star State.

Aberdeen Federal Building

The first project to include Gage Brothers and Kraus-Anderson was the federal building in Aberdeen (S.D.) in 1972. That project was followed by the Western Life Insurance building (1976) and 330 2nd Avenue South (1980), an 8-story Minneapolis office formerly known as the Galaxy Building.

One of the most recognized Gage Brothers/KA projects is Edina’s Centennial Lakes, one of the original large urban mixed use redevelopments in Minnesota.

Centennial Lakes

The class “A” office park spans 100 acres and consisted of nine total jobs for Gage Brothers from 1989-1997.

In 1986, Gage Brothers and KA also did work on the old Minneapolis Star-Tribune headquarters on Portland Avenue. The nearly 100-year-old building was demolished late last summer to make way for a 4.2-acre park that leads to the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Other jobs include Macy’s Mall of America (1991), Modern Woodman of America (1993) and the Royal River Casino (1996).

Gage Brothers and KA also brought their development expertise together for the new TRIA Orthopedic Center location in Woodbury, MN. The facility will offer a full range of sports medicine and orthopedic services, including an acute injury clinic and physical therapy.

With similar outlooks on business, Gage Brothers and KA have set themselves apart from their respective industries.

“I think that both companies approach a building project with the intention of exceeding our clients’ expectations for safety, quality and aesthetics,” said Kelley. “It’s the kind of partnership that helps transform the visions of our clients into award-winning projects.”

A New Home for KA

Since its founding in 1897, Kraus-Anderson has grown into one of the largest privately held construction firms in the country and one of the most trusted names.

A clear sign of the KA’s success was their need to accommodate the company’s growth and provide extended sales services to customers.

Artist’s rendering of KA’s new corporate headquarters

A new chapter in the Kraus-Anderson success story began on April 28th, when the company broke ground on its new corporate headquarters facility in at 8th St. and 5th Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

The build-to-suit LEED facility will house approximately 300 employees, doubling the current downtown staff with room for additional expansion down the road.

Designed by Pope Architects, the 5-story, 100,000 sq. ft. building will consolidate KA operations from three separate locations. The new downtown digs will house a wide range of functions, including the company’s construction, realty, development and mortgage operations, as well as the parent corporation, Kraus-Anderson Companies.

The consolidation of these groups makes logistical sense and will provide a collaborative work environment for KA employees.

It will also provide proximity to the city’s strong technology talent pool. A recent study by Los Angeles-based CBRE Group ranked Minneapolis as the 15th top market for tech talent in U.S. and Canadian cities.

Amenities will include spacious conference rooms, a training center, a cafeteria, fitness area and a fifth floor outdoor deck with downtown views.

The plan also includes two levels of underground parking to serve KA’s office employees.

Gage Brothers was awarded the precast contract for KA’s new home earlier this year and will manufacture roughly 24,000 square feet of architectural precast products for the building.

“We have been working with Gage in our exterior planning,” said KA project superintendent Terry Coleman.

The bottom level is fitted with charcoal-colored precast panels, while the second to the fifth floors are clad with buff-colored precast panels with a sandblast finish to achieve an exposed aggregate finish.

Coleman added, “Their active participation in our pull planning sessions has helped us achieve an optimal schedule and their insights identified strategies that reduced the cost of precast by 5%.”

Construction of KA’s new headquarters  

Great weather throughout the fall has led to rapid progress in construction of KA’s new home.  On October 6th, the company topped off its headquarters building with a beam signed by employees. (view the webcam here)

KA’s assertive and strong emphasis on the revitalization of the East Town neighborhood goes beyond their new headquarters. The master plan calls for a mixed-use redevelopment of the company’s current downtown block with rapt attention paid to Portland Avenue.

KA has recently begun the construction of a new 17-story residential tower on Portland Ave., named “H.Q.” Development plans also call for a 160-room hotel called The Elliot, and Finnegan’s microbrewery.

“We’re thrilled to provide the exterior of KA’s new home and to be part of the revitalization of east downtown Minneapolis,” said Kelley.

KA plans to occupy their new home by late 2017.

Kraus-Anderson is just one of many thriving companies that make the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area a hub for headquarters. That corporate list includes such venerable names as UnitedHealth Group, Target, Best Buy, US Bank, 3M and General Mills.

“The strong partnership between Gage Brothers and Kraus-Anderson has been beneficial for both parties,” said Kelley. “We are mutually supportive of each other’s businesses and I expect to continue this relationship for many years to come.”

Gage Brothers carpentry at its best; company named a winner of the 2016 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award

Gage Brothers was recently named a winner of the 2016 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award for its production of panels for the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota.

The purpose of the Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Awards program is to recognize PCI certified plants for excellence in manufacturing and craftsmanship of architectural precast and glass fiber reinforced concrete structures and individual components.

The award is named in honor of Sidney Freedman, longtime PCI Director for Architectural Systems. The award was established in 2012 as a lasting tribute to Freedman’s numerous contributions to the architectural precast community, most notably related to production and quality.

Joe Bunkers (second from left) receives the Sid Freedman Craftsmanship Award from longtime PCI Director Sidney Freedman (second from right).

“We are honored to have received such a prestigious award in today’s competitive and challenging construction environment,” said Joe Bunkers, Vice President of Preconstruction. “Our team of carpenters, led by supervisor Bill Crossley, production manager Gary Steinke and project manager Adam Struck are truly the ones who deserve this award for their dedication and superior workmanship.”

The Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Awards focus on issues such as forming, overcoming obstacles to production, finishing, and quality of individual architectural precast/prestressed units and glass fiber reinforced concrete rather than architectural design. In this regard, the Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Awards differ from the Design Awards and Harry H. Edwards industry Advancement Awards, which recognize architectural design and innovation ideas to advance the industry for completed structures and bridges.

Added Bunkers, “We would like to thank all of our partners involved in this project including HKS, Endicott Brick, Mortenson Construction and Landwehr Construction.”

With nearly a $500 million budget, no expense was spared on the 11-story Sanford Medical Center —which has been described as the largest hospital project in North Dakota history.


Sanford Fargo is the largest contract ever awarded to Gage Brothers. At the final tally, 2,326 panels and 334,480 square feet of precast was manufactured at the Gage Brothers plant in Sioux Falls, while the thin-brick was provided by Nebraska-based Endicott Brick.

The Gage Brothers precast that covers the outside of the hospital ranges in size from 10 pounds to 36,000 pounds (roughly the weight of four Chevrolet Suburban SUVs).

The HKS-designed Sanford Medical Center is a classic collegiate gothic architectural style; Sanford’s chosen design for all its new properties. The look is timeless, low-maintenance and serves as a visual embodiment of Sanford Health. From the arches at the arcade to the spires on top, these details can be seen throughout the soaring, 11-story structure.

Gage Brothers worked directly with HKS for more than two years before construction began to create solutions that adopted craft methods to modern requirements or introduced new technology while retaining the look, scale, and feel of traditional design – human scale. It was a constant push/pull between design preference and constructability.

The end result of this collaboration was a highly detailed façade that Gage Brothers could cast and strip.

Carpenters spent almost 22,000 hours building forms for the project

Using a variety of large and small wood-working tools, the team of Gage Brothers carpenters were able to shape, cut and mold standard dimensional lumber into flutes and scrolled arches.

Gage Brothers printed many templates to use while setting up the forms to help keep everything consistent and aligned. Since some of these panels stacked 10 floors, it was very important to ensure that all the relief and details would align as they ascended the building.

A precast panel with a two-barred Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of Sanford Health

To make this vision into a reality, Gage Brothers carpenters spent 21,968 hours building, placing and changing forms for this project. Gage Brothers cast 2,213 in all for a total of 6,599 yards.

“At HKS Inc., we place tremendous value on the solid and lasting relationships we have with our trusted clients and industry partners,” said Clifford Horsak, HKS Associate Principal and Senior Vice President. “Though modesty is what I saw during the collaborative process, elegance and excellence is what we got in the delivered product.”

He added, “Having Gage Brothers on our next team will allow us to further leverage relationships, best practices, knowledge, and expertise to deliver award winning architecture.”

The other co-winner of the 2016 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award was Forterra Structural & Specialty Products of Irving, Texas. Forterra was recognized for its work on the Payson Utah Latter-day Saints (Mormon) Temple in Payson, Utah.

Both projects represented the finest standards in craftsmanship for PCI-certified plants.

Joe Bunkers received the award on behalf of Gage Brothers earlier this month at the 2016 PCI Committee Days and Membership Conference in Rosemont, Illinois.

With 384 beds and one million square feet, the new Sanford Medical Center Fargo stands as one of the top-10 largest healthcare construction projects in the nation. The new medical center is on schedule to begin seeing its first patients in 2017.

Click here to view more photos of the new Sanford Medical Center- Fargo.

Shakopee High School addition to be built with Gage Brothers precast

Summer came to an early end for students in Shakopee (Minn.) as school got underway on August 22nd in the southwest-metro district — two weeks before Labor Day.

The Shakopee district kicked off classes early to make way for construction on the district’s high school, which is nearly doubling in size to fit 3,200 students from 1,600. With heavy construction starting next summer, the district decided to start school early and end early to have more time for construction.

Shakopee school.jpg
Rendering of the Shakopee High School addition (Wold Architects)

The Shakopee High School addition will span 335,000 square feet and calls for more than 78,000 square feet of Gage Brothers insulated wall panels. The panels will require more than 545 tons of grey cement and have a combined weight of 8,874,548 pounds.

"102,000 s.f. new 7-12 school.  Rozeboom Miller Architects."
Rendering of the Shakopee High School addition (Wold Architects)

Gage Brothers has worked on close to 500 school building projects since the early 1960’s, including more than 50 in Minnesota. Recent work in the North Star state includes Lake Crystal Wellcome school expansion project, Two Harbors High School and Earle Brown Elementary School.

The Wold Architects and Engineers firm has been hired for the multi-million dollar project. Wold also designed the current Shakopee High School building. This is the fifth collaboration for Gage Brothers and Wold since 1988.

The building contract was awarded to Shaw Lundquist Associates, Inc. Shaw-Lundquist is a family owned, minority owned general contractor headquartered in Minnesota. Totaling just over $73 million, the Shakopee High School Addition and Renovation project is the largest project award in Shaw-Lundquist’s history.

MDA/MDH Collocation Laboratory

This is the third building project that Gage Brothers has worked on with Shaw-Lundquist. Previous collaborations consist of a new clinical sciences building for Minnesota State, Mankato (2015) and the collocation laboratory for the Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Health (2004).

Shakopee residents overwhelmingly supported this renovation project to create a “megaschool,” rather than build another high school to support the growing community.

The Shakopee High School Addition and Renovation project is geared to improve academic and athletic experiences of students under a new learning model: the academy model. The academy model is based on the Academies of Nashville, a learning network that opened 10 years ago and is considered one of the nation’s best academic models. Nashville families have their choice of more than 40 different academies within the 12-zoned high schools.

Under the new academy model at Shakopee, elective courses would be split into six main areas of interest, or six academies: science and technology, engineering and manufacturing, arts and communication, business and entrepreneurship, human services and health sciences. The seventh will be a freshman academy, which will help ninth-graders with the transition to the high school and serve as a home base for them until they choose an interest-based academy of their own.

The goal of academies is to give students the chance to delve into an interest area before they graduate so they get a better idea for what they want to do after high school.

A rendering of the new performance auditorium (Wold Architects)

The design of the school addition (and redesign of some of the existing spaces) will also tie into the new academy model. The traditional classroom setting of 30 desks in neat rows facing the blackboard will disappear for the most part, and in its place will be spaces that encourage collaboration. The addition will be more accommodating to new technology, as well, with group meeting areas that are electricity and internet accessible. Each academy will be housed in its own wing of the school.

The community of Shakopee will benefit with upgraded and technology enhanced classrooms, innovative collaboration spaces, upgraded kitchen facilities, multi-use performance auditoriums, and three new gymnasiums. Two new spaces will be constructed including a 350-seat performance auditorium and a 125-200 seat multi-use flexible performance space.

Outdoor facilities will include a new track and turf field, and expanded plaza area and parking lot, among other updates.

A ground breaking was held in early August, prior to students returning to campus for the 2016-2017 academic year. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2018.