Friede News & Updates

You Otter See What We’re Building Now!

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 12, 2017 7:51:12 AM / by Scott G. Truehl

Scott G. Truehl

Baraboo Zoo Otter Project Groundbreaking | Friede & AssociatesBreaking ground on the new North American River Otter Exhibit at Ochsner Park Zoo in Baraboo.

While Friede & Associates does most of its work for two-legged creatures, some of our most unique design-build projects are built for our four-legged friends.

In fact, we recently broke ground on construction on a brand new North American River Otter Exhibit for Ochsner Park Zoo in Baraboo, Wisconsin. This $355,000 project is scheduled for completion in November 2017.

Barboo Zoo Bear Exhibit | Friede & AssociatesOur longstanding relationship with Oschner Park and The Friends of the Baraboo Zoo spans 15 years. During that time, our work has included construction of two other specialty animal habitats: the Black Bear Exhibit (pictured here) in 2002 and the Lynx Exhibit in 2012. The upcoming otter showcase will be located near the bear exhibit. While all animal exhibits have water features, this project will require a largely aquatic environment for the otters.

We were pleased when the Baraboo Parks Commission and the Baraboo City Council voted unanimously to authorize city officials to draft a contract with Friede & Associates and our design partner Mente Engineering to head up the much-anticipated river otter exhibit. Rather than navigate another time-consuming bidding process, the city and the Friends of the Baraboo Zoo chose our firm to build the exciting, new exhibit.

Design-build construction—Friede’s specialty—is a smart method of project delivery for this work. For starters, it allows for an accelerated start of construction. Time savings are achieved because a less detailed design is required prior to the start of the project and there is more of an overlap of design and construction activities. This helps to shorten the project schedule. The design-build team also offers the owner a single source of responsibility and accountability for the entire project—providing all the project’s required planning, design and construction services in a single contract. This team approach means everyone—the owner, the designer and the contractor—are in lock step from the start of the project through completion.

For this design-build project, Friede and Ochsner staff are working together to guarantee that specific exhibit needs are met, while ensuring the project meets the budget, schedule and quality standards our client requires.

Otter Exhibit | Friede & Associates | ConstructionZoo visitors will find the otters delightful to watch. Extremely social animals, otters engage in play in groups of adult females and pups, and batches of adult males. Their energetic lifestyle requires them to eat often; the high-metabolism otters eat a variety of fish, frogs, and small reptiles, as well as various aquatic plants.

The otter exhibit will be the latest addition to this popular Wisconsin attraction, which got its start when Dr. Albert Ochsner donated 2.5 acres of land to the city of Baraboo. The city purchased an additional 9.5 acres of land from the Ochsner Family to create what would later become the initial Ochsner Park and Zoo. The zoo first opened in 1926 with two bear cubs and now has more than 18 different animal species. The zoo also offers regular educational and enrichment programs. A USDA licensed facility, the Ochsner Zoo accepts animals born in captivity from licensed zoos and animals not releasable in the wild due to injury. 

Friede & Associates is pleased to be working on this fun, new project and appreciates the trust our longtime client has placed in us to help expand the Ochsner Zoo. We can’t wait for you to see the new exhibit…and be sure to bring your significant otter!

Please consider making a contribution to help The Friends of the Baraboo Zoo complete their fundraising efforts to enhance Ochsner Park Zoo by adding the North American River Otter Exhibit.

To donate online, visit the gofundme page>>


Friede & Associates does more than just build structures. We take our clients' ideas and make them a reality. Our pre-construction services include site analysis, financing, approvals, permitting, cost control, scheduling, and much more. If you need a well-oiled team to help you get your project off the ground, contact us today...

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Topics: Baraboo Zoo, river otters, Ochsner Park

Scott G. Truehl

Written by Scott G. Truehl

Executive Vice President & Partner—With more than 30 years of experience in site selection and commercial development, Scott is responsible for assisting clients with not only their project development, but also their site analysis/acquisition, municipal approval and development needs. Scott is an active member and presenter at the international Construction Leadership Network and is a speaker at both national and state contracting conferences on topics including: creating a positive corporate culture; marketing construction services; design-build construction; and working with Realtors and developers. He also routinely participates in “Meet the Generals” programs around the state of Wisconsin and speaks to hundreds of trade contractors each year on how to effectively work with general contractors. For more than three decades, Scott has served the Wisconsin community in various roles: as a city councilman in Madison and Stoughton, as well as on numerous municipal boards, committees and economic development commissions.

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