Welcome to the fall edition of the Weigand Newsletter! As a retired educator and school superintendent, I love this season. While working in K-12, I always enjoyed the new beginnings and fresh starts that each autumn brought as a new school year commenced.
Now that I’ve retired from education, it still brings me joy seeing the yellow buses out and about, and the many students on playgrounds and practice fields as I drive by their schools.
These days, I thoroughly enjoy new cycles vicariously through observing these little moments. Here at Weigand, we hope you are also enjoying the fall season and that you have your own reasons to love the page turn it offers us as the air turns crisp and the leaves change color.
With so many changes happening in education across the country, it has left many people wondering what the year ahead has in store for students, teachers, and administrators alike. I’ll be discussing topics like this and more in my new series, the K-12 Corner, premiering in this edition of our newsletter!
Thanks for stopping by, we’ll see you later this year with more news and project updates!
The Pearl, a mixed-used development being constructed at 247 Pearl Street in downtown Fort Wayne, reached a significant milestone today with a festive steel topping out ceremony held at the construction site. The event marked the completion of the structural framework and symbolized the progress made on this exciting project.
Weigand Construction and Surack Enterprises gathered to commemorate the placement of the final steel beam, which was signed by the construction crew as part of the ceremony. As the beam was lifted into place, adorned with an evergreen tree and an American flag, a sense of achievement and pride permeated the atmosphere. This moment marks a major milestone of the project, which has been in active construction since the spring of 2022.
The Pearl will be another gem in our downtown.
Larry Weigand, CEO, Weigand Construction
The Tree and the Beam
A time-honored tradition for hundreds of years, topping out ceremonies have been a staple of construction practiced by generations of builders across the globe. It is said that the pine tree, attached to the final beam, used to serve the purpose of signaling when wood frames were ready to cover, and symbolized. When the pine needles fell off the tree, it meant enough time passed for the timber to dry and cure. Though it is more symbolic than functional now, the pine tree is a special practice that binds its legacy to the builders that came before us.
Down to the Numbers
Throughout the course of the building phase, the construction crew at The Pearl has reached:
Over 11,000 yards of concrete poured to date.
50,000+ Weigand Construction man hours.
Over 100+ Field Staff on site and rising.
4000+ tons of rebar installed.
Zero recordable accidents or safety incidents to date.
By late summer in 2024, The Pearl will be completed, creating a new space for residents, employers, restaurants, and businesses to call home. It will feature:
76 Residential Apartments
5 Live/Work Storefronts
On-Site Residential Parking
Mail and Delivery Hubspot
On-Site Fitness Center
“It’s going to be a further expansion of the downtown and particularly of The Landing.” – Chuck Surack, Founder and CEO, Surack Enterprises
“Some of the tenants will take occupancy next year right around this time, and we are looking good as far as finishing up about a year from right now.” – Larry Weigand, CEO, Weigand Construction
With the project’s slated completion date, we are eagerly anticipating the wonderful addition this will bring to the downtown skyline!
Building is officially underway at the future site of Mishawaka Fire Station #2! Set to replace the current Fire Station #2, the upcoming facility will span 23,000 square feet. This expanded space will accommodate twice the number of crew members, feature a versatile training area that doubles as a public meeting space, provide ample room for future staff expansion, and will also be the first station in the region with separate living quarters for female firefighters.
12 Individual Dorm Rooms
6 Individual Restrooms
5 Apparatus Bays
Occupancy for up to 36 Firefighters
This station holds the promise of enhancing fire crews’ living conditions, fostering greater community engagement, and amplifying the fire department’s capabilities and operational prowess in the region.
Standing in the Gap
The ability to reside in quarters that brings a more private atmosphere at the station creates opportunity for more time with family, which is the backbone of support for men and women serving on the force.
“Your home family’s the big rock in your life and the most important thing ever. So, we want them to have their wives, kids, moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas to come see our firefighters at work and be proud of what they do.” – Bryon Woodward, Chief, Mishawaka Fire Department
However, this endeavor will not only improve living conditions for fire teams and their families. It will also strengthen the ability to respond to emergencies throughout the region.
“The need for this investment is being driven by the significant increases in calls for service. The Mishawaka Fire Department reached a new yearly milestone in 2022 by responding to 10,686 calls for service (an overall 11% increase) that included 21,660 total apparatus responses in 2022. This means the department receives, on average, 1.2 calls for service every hour. The greatest number of calls for service continues to be for emergency medical service (EMS) responses. Our ambulances and fire trucks responded to 8,098 (10% increase) calls that required medical care. Mayor Wood indicated ‘This is a significant investment in Mishawaka that will provide increased capabilities for public safety for generations to come’.”
City of Mishawaka
We take immense pride in our partnership with Mishawaka, as our dedicated South Bend Team works diligently to breathe life into this remarkable project.
This July, Muncie residents, community leaders, and YMCA staff came together, tossing dirt in the air to signal the start of construction for their new YMCA Facility. For years, Muncie has had two YMCA sites. One is downtown and the other is in the northwest region. However, the groundbreaking doesn’t just mark a new beginning for the YMCA. It also means new opportunities for the McKinley neighborhood, where the jobsite is located. To strengthen support and resources in McKinley, the city is also drawing up plans to build new housing units and townhomes.
The new structure will be 73,000 square feet when completed and will have amenities such as:
A Community Health Clinic
An Aquatics Center with two pools to be shared with the local high school
By the Numbers
Currently, the cost of the new YMCA is set at $31M. Through generous funding from multiple beneficiaries and $1 donation matches, about $29.6M has been raised to push the project forward. The YMCA of Muncie is optimistic that they can pull together the remaining funding with the help of the community.
“We still have fundraising work to do, approximately $1.4M left to go to reach our goal, and we’re hopeful that our community will continue to rally around this effort and the transformational change that will happen because of it and support this financially to bring it across the finish line.” -Chad Zaucha, President and CEO, YMCA of Muncie
Working as a Team
Organizations like Muncie Community Schools, Muncie Career Center, IU Health, Open Door Health, and The Healthy Lifestyle Center of Ball State are uniting their efforts on this project. For this group, it’s not just about the construction, but also setting up the new YMCA to support community programming for years to come.
“Collaboration, of course, is the biggest deal. If we can work together, then the beneficiaries are the kids, the families, and the community.” – Keith O’Neal, Board VP, Muncie Community Schools
There’s a bright future ahead for everyone here in Muncie, and we’re proud to play a part in bringing this facility to the city!
This August, we marked a momentous occasion and celebrated the completion of the steel framing at the new Canterbury Fine Arts Center. With an audience that included donors, architects, students, faculty, and staff, our crew carefully secured the final steel beam, a symbolic touch that signifies the culmination of this important phase.
Fostering Artistic Passion
Once finished, this 18,000 square-foot facility will provide students with a dedicated space to cultivate their artistic talents. From visual design to musical performance, acting in theatre to creating stunning artwork, or even recording audio, this center is meticulously crafted to offer learners an environment that will elevate their educational experience and empower them to pursue their dreams.
The Fine Arts Center will feature:
2D Art Studio
3D Art Studio
Theatre Dressing Rooms
Recording and Podcasting Studios
The wide range of artistic disciplines supported in the new building guarantee opportunities for students across a broad swathe of interests and focuses. For David Jackson, Head of School at Canterbury, the intent behind this project was to ensure that education in the arts wasn’t an after-school activity, but rather “a core part of the academic experience…This facility will ensure generationally that Canterbury students, and students from the Fort Wayne area will have access to an incredible arts education.” Jackson recognized the generous donations by the Surack and James families. Their philanthropy funded this $10.5M project, making a way for this dream to become a reality.
The Next Step
From here, our team will embark on the next steps, which involve enclosing the facility. We are eagerly looking forward to the day when students can step into this new home of the school’s Academy of Arts and embark on an exciting journey of creativity and discovery!
Students, athletes, parents, teachers, and school administrators gathered at Northwood Highschool to cut the ribbon to the new Baseball and Softball Complex! With four beautiful diamonds spanning the edges of the grounds, Northwood’s baseball and softball players continue the school’s legacy in both sports at its own state-of-the-art facility.
A Breath of Fresh Air
The complex is a timely update from Northwood’s older field. Coming in at just over 50 years, the original baseball facility could no longer meet the growing needs of the school’s athletics program. The replacement brings several features that enhance the experience for both players and spectators alike. The new ballpark has four diamonds, two dedicated to baseball and two to softball for junior varsity and varsity level games. Along with seating sections for each diamond, the fields feature dugouts, press boxes, ticket-booths, warm-up areas, and backstops. In the center of the complex is a concession stand and restrooms.
The turf fields allow for easier maintenance, making the upkeep of the entire facility more sustainable. Not only that, but the complex brings softball onto the Northwoods Highschool grounds. Until now, the softball team had to utilize an off-campus field for all their games. This project also includes new access points, which make it easier for students and their families to get in and out of the complex by road or on foot.
How It was Made
Built through the CMc method (Construction Manager as Constructor) by our South Bend team, project management got involved early in the planning process. This created space to identify potential issues before they surfaced. It also allowed our team to offer input with the design and budget to help improve build quality, pricing, and construction timeline.
“We worked with the architect and the school to put budgets to their design and help work through value engineering within the confines of the budget that they knew they had allocated for the full project.” – Aaron Holy, Director of Operations, Weigand South Bend
A Dream Come True
Getting this “Field of Dreams” has been a huge milestone for both the administration and the athletics department at Wa-Nee. Through the generous donation of a previous player, the school system funded this project.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for our kids to have a beautiful sports complex [with] Baseball, Softball, JV, and Varsity all in one location…A great, great benefit to our kids and to our athletic teams…just very excited for the future.”
The Noble County Annex Project was recently awarded as the 2022 Project of the Year by the Indiana Chapter of the American Public Works Association! This building, which was assembled in the midst of Covid-19, opened its doors June 3rd of 2022. Congratulations to the Noble County and American Structurepoint for this well-deserved honor!
The Annex is part of a bigger whole that’s happening in Albion. The project created space for offices and departments in the existing, outdated courthouse. Now that the move is complete, the next step is updating the courthouse building. We look forward to the benefits our next Noble County job will bring to the community!
A special thanks to our project management team and our field operations crew. The successful construction of this facility would not have been possible without their expertise and dedication. Their commitment to the client, even when building during a pandemic, paved the way for all of us to accept this award.
On Monday, April 10th, Weigand workers attached the final beams of the Steuben County Judicial Center’s frame, marking a new progress milestone for the project. When finished in 2024, the new facility will be over 56,000 square feet, making it the first new judicial system construction in over 150 years. The current Steuben County Annex, which was first built in 1867, has become increasingly outdated and unable to meet new municipal building accessibility requirements. After a period of putting together a plan that went between updating the Annex or creating an entirely new facility, community officials decided to move forward with starting from scratch with a new judicial center.
Bringing Officials Together
The 3 Story + Partial Basement structure brings several amenities and more space:
3 Courtrooms in the upper levels
With a significant increase in square footage, Steuben County’s justice system will be able to bring most of its public offices into one single building. All but the Sheriff’s Department will transfer to the new building, including some additional offices like the Clerk of Courts, Probation Department, and the Steuben County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
Despite the challenges that come with construction during the winter months, our team has completed 210 consistent days of project operations, putting us one-third of the way through the schedule. Steel erection was completed in just 2.5 weeks, paving the way for preparations on the first-floor slab deck like stairs, decking, detailing, and welding.
Starting from Rock Bottom
The success of completing the steel topping would not have been possible without the expert work of Weigand’s concrete crew, however. Beginning the job in the basement, crews spent weeks safely excavating soil and creating the bottom level of the structure. This part of the project was finalized with a well-executed, 9,700 square foot concrete slab pour. From here, crews began work setting the foundation for the building’s first floor. These individual milestones created a base for pillars and steel framing to go up, allowing us to see the “skeleton” of the facility for the first time!
Students from Hendry Park Elementary School attended the topping out ceremony, and many locals have voiced in favor of this project. There was debate initially on whether the original judicial building should be a renovation project instead of an entirely new structure, but once a decision had been made, the community rallied behind the conclusion and saw this construction as an important next step for the region. The Steuben County Government, RQAW Architecture, and the City of Angola have also demonstrated their show of support, partnering with Weigand in this venture. However, this is not just a municipal project for the county. It’s also an opportunity for Weigand staff to invest directly in the places they call home. Five employees from our firm reside in Steuben, including the Project Manager and the Superintendent assigned to the job.
The second quarter has arrived along with the Summer 2023 Interns! My name is Alexis Gregory, and I’m currently a senior at the University of Saint Francis majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Risk Management and Insurance. Here at Weigand Construction, the culture is unmatched, which has been evident since day one.
This summer, I get the pleasure of working with the Business Development Team as a Marketing Intern. As someone who came in knowing very little about this industry, the people here at Weigand are dedicated to one thing, and that is personal growth. Not only do they continue to build landmarks that impact the lives and communities they serve, but they also help others discover their purpose and set them up for success.
How do they do this? I’ve found in the last couple of weeks that, no matter the skill set or experience level, they never stop asking questions. There are always opportunities to learn more, and that mentality is what sets Weigand apart. Note taking, schedule organization, communication, and people skills are abilities that are remarkably demonstrated here. Every single employee is willing to lend a hand and help out in any way they can. The positive work environment also leaves little room for fear of making mistakes. The culture they’ve instilled encourages learning from your own mishaps and teaching others from your experience.
As an intern in a new industry, it can be overwhelming taking in so much information, and maybe even a little scary. That being said, Weigand Construction makes it their number one priority to instill trust in their employees and anyone they do business with. This assurance is a key value that makes me incredibly thankful that I have the opportunity to learn and grow here.
The results are in! We have two projects that have been awarded by the Building Contractors Assocation of Northeast Indiana. After careful consideration and reviewing the square footage, pricing, building process, functionality, and overall features of our jobs, the BCA has selected us as winners in two different categories:
Parkview Physicians Group Electric Works Clinic was chosen in the “$1 Million to $5 Million” Division.
This marks the 20th year that the BCA Annual Awards Program has highlighted standout construction projects in the Northeast Indiana Region. Electric Works, PPG Electric Works Clinic, Project Owners, and Weigand will be officially recognized during the Spring Membership Dinner & Awards Banquet on April 20th.
A Team Effort
We’re proud of what our team has accomplished across all our projects in 2022. It’s the dedication to quality, doing what we say we’re going to do, and our commitment to the client that guides us in each and every job we take on. That being said, those values mean little in the grand scheme if they’re not upheld by individuals, crews, and project teams that believe in their significance too. We’re lucky to have a group that’s devoted to integrity at every level of leadership. From workers to project executives, it’s our mentality to go there together that has helped us succeed time and again throughout the years.