Friede News & Updates

Construction Update: Kalahari Resorts Conference Center

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 28, 2018 7:35:00 PM / by Scott G. Truehl

Scott G. Truehl

Kalahari Conference Center | Friede & AssociatesThe 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.


The nearly $5 million site work phase, which began in September 2017, involved the excavation and construction of 600 parking spaces in the north lot of the complex, as well as 1,400 parking spaces in a new south lot and a 330-car employee parking area.

This part of the project ultimately began at the end of September and included the mass excavation and removal of 105,900 cubic yards of fill. Once the grading was complete in this area, more than 13,000 tons of gravel were placed and 1,450 linear feet of concrete curb was installed. When the asphalt installation was completed in the spring, more than 27,000 square yards of paving was necessary to finish this new lot. 

Once the mass excavation was completed on the north lot, the project team then turned its attention to the much larger south lot development. In large part, this work would involve the relocation of the fill from the existing Kalahari site to a location just a few hundred yards to the east. Most notably, this would require the removal and relocation of more than 650,000 cubic yards of fill to create the new 1,400+ car guest parking lot. The large hill that ran along the east side of the existing parking lot and the interstate, which originally blocked the view of the conference center from northbound travelers on the interstate, would need to be lowered by nearly 40 feet.

Kalahari Convention Center Construction | Friede & AssociatesUltimately, the adjacent roadway, Bunker Road, would also be relocated to the east side of the Kalahari property. This also allowed the many large pieces of excavation equipment to cut and capture the fill on the west side of the former roadway. Crews then transported the fill a few hundred yards to the east where it would be used to raise the adjacent lot and to create a detention pond to meet the requirements of the new site when the project is completed. 

Underground electrical wiring to serve the new parking lot lights and light pole bases, concrete curbing, and an extensive storm drainage system were also part of the site project. During early summer, 14,000 linear feet of concrete curb and gutter were installed in the south lot. In August, the final part of the site project was completed with the installation of the first lift of asphalt in the south parking lot. 

Kalahari Resorts Conference Center | Friede & AssociatesThis massive undertaking has some impressive statistics! In total, approximately 788,000 cubic feet of fill was removed, 47,000 tons of gravel was laid, 105,000 square yards of asphalt was poured, nearly 52,000 linear feet of pavement marking was applied, and 15,850 linear feet of concrete curb and gutter was installed—all to produce more than 2,000 parking spaces.

Structural Steel

Kalahari Conference Center | Wisconsin Dells | Friede & AssociatesWith the site work complete, the actual building construction began with the erection of structural steel  in September and will be finished within the next few weeks. Guests and other visitors can now begin to feel the true magnitude of the expansion with the roof and wall structures in place.

The Friede Team is proud to be involved with the Kalahari Resort Conference Center addition which will once again make the Wisconsin Dells location one of the state's largest privately-owned conference centers. Stay tuned for future construction updates as we work to complete this project by the end of Summer 2019. 

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Topics: Wisconsin Dells, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, construction management

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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