2/20 Consolidated Construction Honored with Gold “Projects of Distinction” Construction Excellence Award from ABC

Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin has recognized Consolidated Construction Co. Inc., a full-service design/build firm headquartered in Appleton, with a Gold Projects of Distinction Award for construction excellence for the United Public School District’s Des Lacs (N.D.) High School project.

The projects receiving ABC honors judged in a rigorous process by a panel of construction experts based on a number of criteria, including safety, quality, owner satisfaction, execution and coordination, budgeting, difficult and unusual challenges, and overall distinctiveness.

“This is an opportunity to recognize our contractor members who perform outstanding work for a wide variety of clients in areas like manufacturing, hospitality and education,” said John Mielke, ABC of Wisconsin president. “What makes the Projects of Distinction Awards program so special is that none of these award winning projects are ordinary. Each one is unique and interesting.”

After an initial unsuccessful referendum in 2017 for capital improvements, Consolidated was hired for the Des Lacs High School project to assist the school district in paring costs of the high school’s original $15.4 million expansion plans. The company leveraged its referendum, preconstruction, and engineering expertise to trim more than $3.4 million from the budget without eliminating any classrooms or educational facilities. Consolidated also crafted a meticulous four-phase approach to the project, allowing much of the work to be done while school was in session, while putting paramount importance on the safety of students, staff, and visitors. In addition to planning and budgeting work, the company regularly communicated with citizens and faculty, holding regular listening sessions and town hall meetings.

The new referendum passed definitively, with 62% of voters saying “yes” to the revised budget and plan. Construction began in June, 2018. Consolidated’s team oversaw construction, supervised site security and logistics, and managed safety on site for students and workers. The measures put in place resulted in a spotless safety record, zero interruptions to school operations and student activities, and an early completion before the first day of classes in August, 2019.

Jim Perras, Consolidated’s Principal in Charge of the project, understands the community impact of the project. “In rural communities, projects of this magnitude come around only once or twice in a lifetime. Consensus is key and requires us to consider all viewpoints.” Perras continued, “In the case of the Des Lacs High School, the community agreed that improvements were needed. Our job was to find common ground on the ‘how.’ The time we spent listening up front satisfied all the adults, but ultimately the kids have been the real beneficiaries.”

The new Des Lacs High School boasts a new gymnasium, kitchen, and commons, and houses classrooms for high school and middle school students.

The Projects of Distinction Awards were presented at a Feb. 13 banquet in Wisconsin Dells.