Downtown Rochester is getting a face lift with some new urban design

Rochester Ramp

Rochester, MN
General Contractor:
Kraus Anderson
Collaborative Design Group
City of Rochester

A moderately busy downtown block in Rochester, MN will get narrower as a result of a new $20 million, six stories high, parking ramp that’s being built. The ramp design features urban design standards that conform to Destination Medical Center guidelines and includes a pedestrian promenade, as well as one underground level. The year-long construction is expected to conclude in May 2018. The design conformed closely to the vision laid out in the DMC Design Guidelines, and while the design process started before the design guidelines were published, the final product matched the DMC vision. Overall, the ramp will have space for 640 cars. Ninety of those stalls are dedicated to the other building on the block, the under-construction Hilton Hotel building. The parking ramp and the Hilton will connect in several places, including at the skyway level.

Wells Concrete produced and erected more than 20,000 sq. ft. of precast for the project, including some unique arch pieces.  The top arch sits on a bottom arch on each side.  There are two complete arches, going over a railroad track that goes under the ramp.  These are precast with no strand, using curved rebar.  The top arch is 45′-9.5″ out to out with a rise of 9′-6″ to the top.  The section is 34″ deep, 16″ wide and a taper to 23’’ wide on the top side in erected position, with a sandblast finish. In addition to the arched pieces, Wells also provided architectural wall panels with beautiful cornices and terra-cotta accents.


Sq. Ft

Arch Solid Wall              20,603 215
Flat Architectural                     60 4

For more information about this project, contact Spencer Kubat or Josh Evan.

The Orono Public Schools’ indoor activity center is scheduled to be completed by December 2018.

Orono High School Activity Center 

Long Lake, MN
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.
Wold Architects & Engineers
BKBM Engineers, Inc.
Orono Public Schools ISD #278

The Orono Public Schools’ indoor activity center is scheduled to be completed by December 2018.  Plans for the new center include an elevated nine-foot-wide walking track, five multipurpose courts, a track around those courts, a training facility, a weight room, locker rooms, storage and two classroom spaces. The existing game gym at the high school will also get a bit of a boost with an additional set of bleachers.

Since the indoor activity center will be built onto the high school, yet remain open to the public, security was a concern. The public will access the center from an exterior entrance, so they won’t go through the school. There will also be a secure boundary along the common wall with the school that can bar people in the activity center from getting into the school.

You can watch some aerial footage from March 2018 here.

More than 40,000 square feet of precast concrete was produced and erected for this project.  Nearly 200 pieces of hollowcore were used for the floor, along with more than 50 pieces of insulated architectural wall panels with an acid etch and waterwash finish.  The architectural sill, wall caps and column caps were provided by Stoneworks Architectural

Products Sq. Ft. #
Arch Insul Wall 12,427 51
Hollowcore 18756 199
Struct Insul Wall 12,637 41
Total 43820 291


For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard.

With more than 200,000 square feet of precast concrete, the Rosedale Ramp is almost ready

Rosedale Ramp Phase I and II

Roseville, MN
General Contractor:
Callison RTKL
Jones Lang LaSalle

Rosedale Center, located in Roseville, Minnesota, is a regional powerhouse shopping destination with three anchor tenants, and soon to be a fourth. The center was originally built in 1969, and recently embarked on a 1.1 million square foot interior remodel, including a two story parking deck to add additional spaces to what is currently available.  Wells Concrete just completed erecting phase two of the parking structure portion of this project.

Between phase one and two, Wells Concrete produced and erected more than 200,000 square feet of precast concrete.  Beautiful flat architectural spandrels enclose the exterior of the parking structures boasting Endicott Coppertone Velour Modular thin brick surrounded by an acid etch edge.


Product Sq. ft. #
Beam 9,622 91
Column 7,014 151
Double Tee 171,152 269
Flat Structural / Solid Slabs 13,024 58
Spandrels with Thin Brick / Flat Architectural 16,922 61
Stairs with landings 1,510 8
Totals 219,244 638

For more information about this project, contact Matt Boie or Ben Ahneman.

Sophomores are getting more living space with NDSU’s new Residence Hall

NDSU Residence Hall

Fargo, ND
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.
Zerr Berg Architects
Heyer Engineering, PC
North Dakota State University

Future North Dakota State University sophomores will have more living space on campus thanks to a $39.5 million construction project underway on campus for the Catherine Cater Hall.

The six-story, 395-bed residence hall will be ready for students by fall 2019, and will be dedicated to sophomores who have found themselves squeezed out of campus housing after their freshman year. The dormitory, along with other construction projects on or near campus, is meant to trim waiting lists for campus housing, and will be paid for using student housing fees.

Every floor of the new residence hall will have a study room and a lobby with seating. The suite-style double rooms will share private bathrooms and the first floor will have a double-sided fireplace for the living room and kitchen areas, a media room, game room, and large and small conference spaces.

Wells Concrete produced and erected 73,657 square feet of precast concrete for this project.  Precast construction includes 414 members of insulated wall panels showcasing a thin brick and sandblast architectural finish.

For more information about this project, contact Zac Zimmerman.

The new Le Sueur County justice center will enable the county to more securely transport inmates

Le Sueur County LEC

Le Center, MN
General Contractor:
Adolfson & Peterson Construction Inc.
BKV Group, Inc.
Le Sueur County

Le Sueur County is constructing a new $23 million justice center that will enable the county to more securely transport inmates from their cells to the courthouse — and meet state requirements for long-term housing of inmates.

Sitting on five acres, the 65,900-square-foot justice center will include a 36-bed jail, courtrooms, county attorney offices, dispatch, a law enforcement center and more. The project also includes remodeling about 18,000 square feet in the historical courthouse.

Construction of the new justice center started in January 2018 with hopes of finishing within one year; the remodeling phase is scheduled for January 2019 through December 2019.

Wells Concrete is just completing their erection for this project, including nearly 40,000 square feet of precast.  The justice center boasts 12-inch insulated wall panels with a combination of cast-in thin brick, acid etch, and sandblast finishes

Product Sq. Ft. # Pieces
Insulated Architectural Wall Panels 37,972 157


For more information about this project, contact Jace Rossow.

Construction for the new Hiawatha Academy High School is in full swing

Hiawatha Academy

Minneapolis, MN
General Contractor:
Schreiber Mullaney Construction
U + B Architecture and Design, Inc.
Bunker and Assoc, LLC.
Hiawatha Academies

Hiawatha Academies, a network of charter schools in South Minneapolis, new construction project is in full swing on a new high school at the site of the former Canada Dry and Shasta bottling plant in the Longfellow Minneapolis neighborhood. The new high school campus, which is set to open in the Fall of 2018, will welcome over 400 scholars next school year, and will grow to a full capacity of 788 scholars and 84 staff over the next four years.

The $27.3 million project will result in about 105,000 square feet of school space including a new gym, soccer fields, media labs, a biochemistry lab and art, music and dance space.

Wells Concrete provided more than 70,000 square feet of precast concrete for this project.  329 members of hollowcore plank were placed for two floors.  Nearly 100 pieces of insulated architectural wall panels boasting an acid etch and sandblast finished frame the structure.  In addition, 25 pieces of solid wall panels were produced and erected helping to secure the building. Some of the exterior walls of the existing building were left in place and integrated into the design.

Products Pieces Sq. Ft
Hollowcore 329 34,200 sq. ft.
Insulated Wall Panels 92 38,650 sq. ft
Structural Wall Panels 25 8,125 sq. ft.


For more information about this project, contact Bob Geil.

A 360-stall parking ramp for North Loop moves ahead with 673 pieces of precast concrete

North Loop Ramp

Minneapolis, MN
General Contractor:
Synergy Builders
UrbanWorks Architecture
Mattson MacDonald Young
Schafer Richardson

A six-level, 360-stall parking ramp in the North Loop is currently being built and is one of the largest parking structures built recently for the neighborhood.

Besides parking stalls, the project also would have 4,000 square feet of commercial space. The ramp is made of precast concrete and clad with aluminum panels on three sides. The lot currently has 80 parking spaces, the expanded spaced is scheduled to be finished in the Spring 2018.

As the popular North Loop has continued to swell with additional housing and commercial businesses, parking has become a concern for both workers and residents.

Wells Concrete produced and erected more than 150,000 sq. ft. of precast for the parking structure.  Double tees, architectural spandrels and insulated wall panels were used to support this parking deck.


Product # Sq. Ft. / Ln. Ft.
12” wide Architectural Insulated Wall Panel 63 24,219 SF
12” wide Architectural Wall Panel 16 15,005 SF
Double Tee 162 98,856 SF
Beam 10 832 SF
Column 6 905 SF
Flat Structural 126 24,963 SF

For more information about this project, contact Matt Boie.

STMA Ice Arena is getting an expansion with some seriously beautiful wall panels

STMA Ice Arena Addition

Albertville, MN
General Contractor:
Breitbach Construction Company
Architects Rego + Youngquist, Inc.
Innovative Structural Solutions
St. Michael-Albertville School District #885

This $8,910,000 total precast project is a 37,000 square foot expansion of their existing ice arena. The expansion was necessary as the demand for the existing arena outgrew the services currently available; the school district’s hockey programs have outgrown the arena’s ability to accommodate their increasing number of spectators.

The exterior façade of the expansion looks amazing, with 10’ wide acid etch, sandblast and water washed insulated wall panels. In total, Wells Concrete manufactured and erected more than 31,000 square feet precast concrete, additional products included hollowcore and architectural wall panels.

The expansion includes:

  • A second sheet of ice parallel to the existing sheet of ice
  • Varsity locker rooms for girls and boys varsity teams
  • Additional locker rooms for tournament use
  • Toilets, sinks and showers to serve locker rooms
  • A meeting room for team and community use
  • Elevated lobby to maximize spectator viewing space
  • Parking to accommodate 220 spots (117 spots at current arena)
  • Spectator seating for 720 (existing rink has 400)
  • Standing room for 180 in the arena
  • Standing or sitting room for 50 spectators in the lobby
  • Standing or sitting room for 50 in the community room
  • Amenities including concessions and restrooms
  • Heated and accessible viewing options

The current ice arena is equally owned by the school district and the Cities of St. Michael and Albertville. The ice arena is utilized by the district’s high school boys and girls hockey teams as well as STMA youth hockey.

Progress video here:



Products Square Feet # of Pieces
10’ Wide Arch Insulated Wall Panels 26,949 98
Arch Solid Wall 370 1
Hollowcore 4,371 71
Totals 31690 170


For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard.

Shoreview Community Center is getting tropical!

Shoreview Community Center

Shoreview, MN
General Contractor:
RJM Construction
BWBR Architects
BWBR Engineers, Inc.
City of Shoreview

The 22,000 sq. ft. expansion project will create a tropical water park addition to the existing indoor pool, as well as an addition adjacent to the existing gymnasium.  The City Council approved the construction contracts on October 2, 2017 and construction started on October 23, 2017.  Construction is expected to be completed by August 2018.

Wells Concrete’s Role

Wells Concrete produced and erected more than 20,000 sq. ft. of precast concrete for the Center.  The gym and pool area boasted 12’ wide thin brick insulated exterior wall panels and precast hollow-core floor plank. Solid precast interior walls are used to frame the fire separation wall between the two structures.

Two Level Addition

A two level 15,000 sq. ft. expansion adjacent to the gymnasium. The lower-level expansion space will create a new entrance into the indoor playground area and it will be expanded to provide a larger playground, a greatly improved toddler play area, and improved seating for adults. The lower level also includes a series of four group fitness rooms/studios that will be used for our extensive group fitness classes and youth activities. Finally, the Wave Cafe seating area will be remodeled and expanded and include new booths adjacent to the gym. The upper level of this expansion will include four new multi-purpose meeting and activity rooms that will be accessed from a new hallway off of the Fireside Lounge. There will also be a new outdoor deck accessible from the Fireside Lounge.

Waterpark Expansion

The project also includes a 7,000 square foot expansion of the Tropics Indoor Waterpark. The Waterpark expansion a new zero depth shallow water splash pool and major aquatic play structure that includes slides and water sprays. Additionally, the men’s and women’s locker rooms will be renovated and the number of family changing rooms will be increased from two to seven. This is the first major expansion of the pool since 1999.

Product # Sq. Ft. / Ln. Ft.
Insulated Architectural Wall Panels 44 7,999 SF
Structural Wall Panels 3 956 SF
Solid Slabs 10 296 SF
Hollowcore Plank 121 10,863 SF
Beams 2 46 LF
Columns 2 62 LF


For more information about this project, contact Gary Pooley.

Driving Architectural Innovation

Whatever your mind imagines, you can recreate it in precast concrete to make a stunning, iconic façade.  The clearest advantage of architectural precast is found in the virtually limitless design potential that can be achieved with its use.

Maximum Flexibility + Limitless Design

Architectural precast concrete has quietly revolutionized the construction industry by creating a dramatic range of functionality and creative expression. This short video shows a few employees polishing a recent project.


This process uses a series of diamond grinding wheels to polish the surface, which results in exposure of the aggregate with a smooth polished finish similar to polished granite.

Wells Concrete has worked with numerous clients on polishing wall panels, including:

Graphic Concrete

Concrete is everywhere – but it actually becomes visible when graphic concrete is used. The beauty of the material comes to life when patterns and designs are exposed in the concrete surface. Graphic Concrete has developed the technology that enables aggregates to be exposed in precast concrete for use in façade elements and panels, landscape architecture and slabs. The permanent and environmental friendly process gives architects remarkable flexibility and opens up tremendous aesthetic possibilities. Through a partnership with AltusGroup, Graphic Concrete imaging technology is available throughout the US and Canada.

During our research and development process, Wells Concrete has created a variety of mock up samples using this new innovation.  We are in the process of working with clients to incorporate this new style into their design plan.


Terra-cotta is an ancient building material that translates from Latin as “cooked earth.” Architectural terracotta refers to a fired mixture of clay and water that can be used in a non-structural, semi-structural, or structural capacity on the exterior or interior of a building. It can be unglazed, painted, slip glazed, or glazed. Terra-cotta  can be composed of a hollow clay or solid clay, Wells is using a solid clay.

Wells Concrete has completed a few mock-up samples and is planning to use Terra-cotta on the Rochester Parking Ramp. 1,523 pieces of Terra-cotta will be cast into our 8” solid wall panels.  In addition, there are two large arches that Wells produced that will go over the top of the railroad tracks that pass through the parking ramp.


Since its inception, Wells Concrete has been a leader in the precast industry, bringing superior craftsmanship, innovative solutions and reliable design-build solutions to every project carrying the Wells name.   Architects, builders, and owners look to Wells Concrete to help realize the full potential of precast concrete in their projects.

When planning your next project, consider utilizing architectural precast concrete. The Wells team of precast innovators is ready to assist you with any questions you may have.

We look forward to helping you bring your vision to life on your next project.

Successful installation of Integrity Windows by Marvin – Partnership Progresses

Just over a year ago, Wells announced its partnership with Marvin Windows to exclusively offer Integrity Windows and Doors’ window products, installed at all our production facilities prior to shipping to job-sites.

Since that time, we have installed and are in the process of installing Integrity Windows in a variety of projects. With this process, Wells delivers a largely enclosed envelope very early in the building process, which reduces the amount of potentially conflicting activity on the job-site.  Wells installs the windows in a safe, controlled environment to not only deliver a high quality window installation, but also reduce the potential for job-site injuries. The result of these three items furthers our ability to deliver a superior product and service at a competitive price.

Integrity Window Projects

Blattner Energy  – Avon, MN

This project has more than 100,000 square feet of precast concrete, including 12’ wide insulated architectural wall panels boasting a sandblast and water wash finish. Double tees, columns, beams, and 12’ wide structural wall panels completed the precast construction.  Thirty-three Integrity windows were installed in our Grand Forks plant and shipped to the Avon job-site.  Because the windows are installed in the plant, they are completely enclosed within one panel, two of the windows were field installed, as they ended up being on a joint between the panels.

The client chose to utilize Integrity windows because they were very focused on energy conservation so they liked the fiberglass properties. This was also a fast tracked project, the client liked the idea of having the building being completely enclosed once Wells was done onsite. Wells had an advantage on this project because the majority of the structure was precast, including the roof. There was only one area that will be out of other materials and that didn’t have to be completed right away.


Wells Concrete – Wells, MN

Wells decided to replace all of the aluminum windows in the Wells, MN office because they were old and leaking. The windows throughout the entire building were replaced with 45 Integrity windows.  The windows come with a few color options for the outside, but a standard white option for the interior; Wells had the interior ones painted an ebony to match the office décor.

Original Painted

Integrity Windows were selected for this project because of their thermal capabilities as well as the ease of installation.  For an example of the ease of installation, watch this time lapse video. Note how long it takes to remove the aluminum window and how many pieces the window has vs how quickly and easily it was to install the fiberglass window.

Some of our design friends tell us they have concerns about the look of a “vinyl” or fiberglass window in their designs. Comparing the photo below, can you identify which window is fiberglass and which one is aluminum?

Cemstone Central Maintenance Facility – South St. Paul, MN

Wells installed 11 Integrity Windows in the wall panels of the maintenance facility.  The client worked with our sales team to discuss window options and determined these windows would be a good fit.  The client saw value in having natural light in their facility, which the windows would provide.  The contractor appreciated having less trades on job-site, which provided an overall safer environment.

Mock-up Sample Building – Rosemount, MN, Albany, MN, Grand Forks, ND

Three Integrity Windows were preinstalled in our Mock up Sample Buildings.  In the first panel, the window is framed in the center of the panel with a projecting header, a sill feature and the jambs are flush with the brick. In the center panel, a preinstalled window is framed in the center. The window is framed with a 4-inch smooth flush band. On the last panel, a sandbast finish and thin brick surround the window, and the window opening uses return brick to finish off the exposed exterior of the opening.

Comments from our clients:

  • “The integral windows is intriguing for multiple reasons (safety onsite, pre-hung enclosure for winter heat, etc.). May be worth looking into for more reasons than just the cost of windows. A wall system warranty may be worth looking into.” Mike Benike, Benike Construction
  • “Windows put in place at the plant is a very cool feature.” Justin Krukow, ERA
  • “Getting the window installed would be great for winter construction.” Will Forbord, Loeffler Construction
  • “Presetting of the windows could be beneficial to projects. Not only will it save the project cost by eliminating field labor, it is also a cost driver.” Joe Ngaima, Mortenson Construction


Preinstalled windows are not a good fit for every project designed and constructed, but one fact remains clear: there is always a place in the market for improved schedule, leaner construction methods, condensed trades on the jobsite, and improved thermal capabilities.

About Integrity Windows and Doors

Integrity Windows and Doors is the world’s largest and most experienced manufacturer of windows and doors made with Ultrex® — a state-of-the-art pultruded fiberglass material. They didn’t just join the fiberglass revolution — they pioneered it. Their heritage as part of the Marvin Family of Brands is built on more than a century of excellence and expertise. Based in Fargo, N.D., Integrity offers a comprehensive line of window and door products that are Built to Perform® and backed by first-class customer service. For more information, visit

Minnesota United FC’s new field is looking great!

Minnesota United FC, Allianz Field

St. Paul, MN
General Contractor:
Mortenson Construction
Walter P. Moore
MUSC Holdings, Inc.

The crews in St. Paul are making progress on the new stadium for the Minnesota United FC, an MLS soccer team. The new Allianz Field is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2019. You can already get a glimpse of what’s to come as Mortensen Construction has set up a webcam that’s live 24/7, so check back to see the progress.

Allianz Field is located in the St. Paul Midway, the 346,000 square foot, $200 million, privately funded facility will offer seating for nearly 20,000 fans, including 25 suites, 38 semi-private loge boxes, and four club rooms. The stadium design includes features specifically for Major League Soccer, like a natural grass field. The stadium will also include a safe-standing section for Minnesota United’s supporters groups, behind the south goal to cheer on Minnesota United. As well as a very large canopy for weather protection for the fans and to help keep the noise from the crowd contained within the stadium.

“This stadium is being built for the long-term. It is a very highly energy-efficient stadium,” Greg Huber with Mortenson Construction said.

Rainwater will be collected at a nearby park and then used to water the grass. Instead of using storm water as a waste product, it will be used as a resource to irrigate the site all around.

Wells Concrete is manufacturing and erecting nearly 25,000 sq. ft. of precast concrete for this project, including stadia and stairs as well as 140’ wall panels and solid slabs.

Product # Sq. Ft. / Ln. Ft.
Stadia 469 16,120 Ln. Ft.
Stairs 10
Wall Panels 54 6352 Sq, Ft,
Solid Slab 11 2116 Sq. Ft


For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard.