While Friede & Associates was busy constructing Vintage Brewing Company in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 2017, planning had already begun for a fourth location on Madison, Wisconsin’s near eastside. Vintage Brewing Company President Mark Kraemer disclosed to the Friede team in the Fall of 2016 that they were in negotiations to lease the first floor of a building that would be built at the corner of Livingston Street and the 800 block of East Washington Avenue.
When the Sauk County Parks Department (SCPD) chose to replace their failing park offices, they recognized the potential of building a community space—one that could host events and serve as a hub for park visitors. That’s when Friede & Associates was tapped to construct a new building for the SCPD at White Mound Park, the crown jewel of the Sauk County parks system.
The new, 3,000-square-foot conventionally-framed building designed by Galbraith Carnahan Architects of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, is located in Hillpoint, Wisconsin and replaces the original White Mound County Park building, a log structure constructed in the 1980s. Over time, the original building become a maintenance burden to the county due to significant insect infestation and log deterioration. This small, outdated space was cramped and did not adequately accommodate disabled park users.
For nearly two decades, I was a member of an elite group of construction entrepreneurs from the U.S. and Canada who came together twice each year to present to each other and share war stories. That group—the Jack Miller Network—was a place where I learned how to streamline our business procedures and got help solving problems from other general contractors who had “been there, done that.”
When Jack Miller passed away in early 2016, I was part of a group of 21 members that gathered in Chicago to plan the future of the organization. It was there that the idea of the Construction Leadership Network (CLN) came to fruition. CLN was formed on the same principles as the Jack Miller Network—bringing together top construction leaders and their key personnel to exchange ideas and share best practices to improve the industry, themselves and their organizations. I firmly believe we become better contractors by learning from others, and our peers become better contractors by learning from us. A rising tide lifts all ships.
In addition to staying connected throughout the year using online tools, members meet every winter to share, learn and build together. We have met twice in Dallas, once in Tampa and most recently in Tucson, Arizona.
Friede & Associates had the recent opportunity to add to what we—and our client and their guests—believe is the ultimate Midwestern spa. When Sundara Inn & Spa at the Wilderness Resort in Lake Delton opened 15 years ago, it quickly became one of the true gems in the state of Wisconsin. Rated not only one of the top spas in the Midwest and the U.S., it also ranks one of the top spa destinations in the world by the readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine. Our recent work there involved the new construction of woodland retreats and a quiet room designed to build on that legacy.
If there’s a trend criss-crossing the country, it’s the growing popularity and ubiquity of craft breweries. Nearly 1,000 new breweries opened in 2017 and the numbers for 2018 have remained steady. Friede & Associates joined the party in 2018 with the construction of the new, 26,000-square-foot Vintage Brewing Company Sauk Prairie that opened in January 2018.
The Vintage Brewing Company joins two other locations in Madison, Wisconsin and is one of the latest additions to the state’s growing craft beer scene.
The facility features panoramic views of the Wisconsin River, 40 tap lines in the main bar, and a posh 250-seat wedding and banquet facility. Plus, it’s expected to “pave the way for a hotel, bring more business to the village’s downtown, and draw customers from Madison, Wisconsin Dells, and nearby Devil’s Lake State Park, which drew nearly 3 million visitors last year,” noted the Wisconsin State Journal.
One of the more violent storms to hit central Wisconsin during the summer of 2017 resulted in one of the more distinctive projects of the year for Friede & Associates.
On the evening of July 19, 2017, witnesses reported that a strong thunderstorm had passed through the area, and waterpark guests recalled being startled by a loud noise from the roof. An hour later, a guest at the resort noticed flames coming from the top of the building’s parapet wall. Firefighters from the Kilbourn Fire Department arrived and quickly scaled the 60-foot walls. There they found one of the walls ablaze and noticed substantial damage to the adjoining roof area. They extinguished the fire and left the resort.
Oscar Wilde once said "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Well, if that’s the case, then the owners of the newly-renovated Nelson Agri-Center True Value in Viroqua, Wisconsin should be flattered by what their customers were asking for. In 2015, Friede & Associates designed and constructed the award-winning Nelson True Value in Prairie du Chein for owners Mark Brueggen and Dan Kanis. No sooner had we completed their new retail building that both staff and patrons of their Viroqua location started asking for a similar upgrade. So, in the beginning of Fall 2016, with the help of our design-build partners Shulfer Architects, plans were developed to transform an aging retail store into a bright, modern space.
Substantial renovations were going to be required at the Agri-Center in Viroqua to match the overall aesthetic of the Prairie du Chien location. The Friede team started indoors by removing inoperable overhead mechanical equipment and installing white acoustic ceiling panels. The exposed steel beams were painted white, new electrical fixtures were added and new windows were installed to create more natural lighting. Suspended signs were also removed to further enhance the open feel of the retail store.
The Friede & Associates team recently completed the site work and has begun the next stage in a multi-phase plan to more than double the footprint of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Conference Center in The Wisconsin Dells. The existing conference facility will be expanded to more than 200,000 square feet to make room for additional meeting and banquet spaces.
Early last year, we began working closely with Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Architectural Design Consultants, Inc. (ADCI) and Vierbicher Associates to plan and design this $35 million project.
There was no magic involved, but our clients at Therapy Without Walls in Reedsburg, Wisconsin reacted as though there might have been. That’s because the Friede team began with a big, old red barn and magically transformed it into an inviting, new office space.
As a result, Therapy Without Walls’ new facility earned 2017 Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Project of Distinction honors, earning the Gold Award in the Restoration & Renovation category. The project involved the remodeling of a 5,200-square-foot former bargain furniture store to accommodate offices, therapy rooms, meditation rooms, a large break room, and a dual-purpose conference room.
What business wouldn’t choose a building process that offers opportunities to save money, to reduce construction time, to allow customization, to optimize quality, and to streamline the entire experience?
No hands raised in the audience? That comes as no surprise to all of us at Friede & Associates. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the last seven decades, and those are key advantages that every one of our clients has valued.