St. Louis County’s new Government Center is becoming the community corner stone with nearly 70,000 SF of precast concrete!

St. Louis County Government Center

Virginia, MN
General Contractor:
Max Gray Construction
DSGW Architects
Northland Consulting Engineers LLP
St. Louis County

The St. Louis County Government Services Center is a community corner stone located in downtown Virginia, Minnesota. The project has three distinct design goals: to welcome the community, to be safe for the staff and public, and to be a healthy building – in terms of both sustainability and the people using it.

With twelve county agencies located within the 61,000 sf building, not only is staff and public safety a concern, but so is the confidentiality of the information housed. To address this concern, the building was designed with a ‘public concourse’ on the first floor where the public can interact with a St. Louis County staff member or use the meeting spaces. The main public entry and concourse area is separate from the staff access.

Once complete, the GSC North will be a two-story, 63,000 square foot facility, and will serve as a centralized hub for people in Virginia and surrounding areas to access county services from more than 10 departments in one place. Approximately 180 employees will work in the building.

Wells Concrete manufactured and erected nearly 70,000 sq. ft of precast concrete. The architect’s inspiration was drawn from the natural beauty of the Iron Range including iron ore and timber industries for the interior and exterior finish selections of the building.  This resulted in using insulated architectural precast walls for the facade with a mix of acid etch, sandblast, thin brick and formliners to compete the design inspiration.  Ultra-span hollowcore plank, flat structural and structural wall panels supported the interior of the building.


Products Used Finishes & Colors Used # of Precast Members # of Square Feet
Wall panels, columns, spandrels, hollowcore Acid Etch, Sandblast, Formliner, Thin brick, formliner, architectural mix 499 67,335


Product                                                             Pieces    Sq. ft

Insulated Architectural Wall Panels 13″X10′      22           744
Insulated Architectural Wall Panels 13″X12′      14           1,521
Insulated Architectural Wall Panels 13″X12′      24           10,460 SF
Insulated Architectural Columns 13″X4′             16           2,539 SF
Insulated Architectural Spandrels 13″X7            11           1,864 SF
Floor Spandrels 13″X8′                                           16           3,008 SF
Stair Towers 13″X8′                                                 10           1,279 SF
Roof Spandrels 13″X9.333′                                    16           3,508 SF
Structural Wall Panels 8″X10′                              16           5,726 SF
Flat Slab 6″                                                               15           1,688 SF
Hollowcore Plank 8″                                             328         30,291 SF

For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard or Scott Gates.

Progress continues on the new St. Croix County Highway Facility with 400 pieces of precast concrete.

St. Croix County Maintenance Facility & Salt Storage

Baldwin, WI
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.
CBS Squared, Inc
St. Croix County

Progress continues on the new St. Croix County Highway Facility. The project includes construction of a 135,000 square foot highway and ancillary facility necessary for storage and maintenance of St. Croix County equipment. The new facility will replace the decades old Hammond buildings and support maintenance and construction activities for St. Croix County, other local governments and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.  The facility will encompass equipment maintenance, material storage, equipment storage, administration and other necessary items to fulfill core functions of transportation construction and maintenance.

This construction project represents a culmination of five (5) years of planning to create a facility that will service the highway and other departmental needs of St. Croix County. Construction started this past spring and the anticipated completion is mid-year 2019.

Wells erected and manufactured nearly 130,000 sq ft. of precast concrete for this project.  The office wall panels are a charcoal gray color with a combination of smooth, sandblasted and retard water-washed finishes.  The smooth recessed reveals will be painted. Maintenance/ Vehicle Storage and Salt Storage building walls are a concrete gray color with a combination of smooth and sandblasted finishes; the smooth recessed reveals will be painted. The building was also supported with 100’ double tees, beams, columns, solid slabs and structural wall and double tee wall panels.

Product Sq. Ft. #
Beam Inverted T 344 5
Column Stick 1,122 27
Double Tee Standard 51,075 71
Double Tee Wall Panel 20,679 75
Solid Slab 2,013 9
Wall Architectural Insulated 39,659 135
Wall Architectural Solid 160 4
Wall Structural Insulated 7,213 33
Wall Structural Solid 7,361 40
Totals 129,626 399

For more information about this project, contact Our Team.

The last piece of the Grand Forks Water Concept Plan includes the GFRWTP, which incorporates nearly 500 pieces of precast concrete.

Grand Forks Regional Water Treatment Plant

Grand Forks, ND
General Contractor:
Construction Engineers, Inc. and Ulliman Schutte
JLG Architects
City of Grand Forks

The GRWTP Project has been part of an overall Water Concept Plan for the City of Grand Forks which was developed following the Flood of 1997. Since the 1997 flood, the City has completed over $52 million in water system improvements including a new raw water intake facility, a new 7 million gallon clearwell and high service pump station, dual 30-inch water transmission pipelines from the existing WTP site to the new clearwell, various distribution piping tie-back improvements, treatment residual handling facilities, and an additional $1.8 million in upgrades at the existing WTP to extend the life by 10 years.

The GFRWTP is the “last piece of the puzzle” and has been the most recent key project of emphasis for the City of Grand Forks. Once completed, the new GFRWTP will address aging infrastructure, heightened regulatory requirements, and the expansion limitations of the current WTP site. The new facility will use advanced treatment technologies to provide high quality water at an increased capacity with provisions for plant expansion on a long-term water infrastructure site.

Wells Concrete provided more than 150,000 sq. ft of precast concrete for this project including double tees, columns, beams and flat architectural and structural wall panels. The wall panels boast an acid etch and unique formliner / sandblast architectural finish. Building is expected to be completed in June 2020.

Products Sq. Ft. #
Beam 1,815 32
Column 812 38
Double Tee 74,414 151
Flat Architectural 56,103 177
Flat Structural 19,727 91
Total 152,872 489

For more information about this project, contact Rick Hodek or Cory Peterson.

Rochester Sterling State Bank’s new corporate office features nearly 300 pieces of precast concrete

Sterling Bank Corporate Office

Rochester, MN
General Contractor:
Benike Construction
CRW architecture + design group
Structural Services and Design Inc.
Sterling State Bank

Sterling State Bank’s new corporate office features a 30,000 square foot commercial building with three levels. This marks an expansion from the Bank’s current retail and corporate space of approximately 18,000 square feet. Site preparation and construction began this summer with completion anticipated for the summer of 2019.

The new site will include a complete retail banking branch, along with space for key departments including information technology, centralized loan processing, commercial lending, internal audit, accounting, electronic banking, and bank operations. “Sterling State Bank first expanded into Rochester in 1992,” said Sterling State Bank President Justin McNeilus. “Since then, we’ve grown along with the city, locating our corporate office here in 2001 to better support new markets. Between the growth that we have experienced as an organization and changes in banking, it became increasingly important to expand into a larger, purpose-built headquarters to support our growth.”

This is a total precast project for Wells, producing and erecting nearly 46,000 sq. ft. of precast concrete.  The new headquarters will look beautiful with a mix of architectural wall panels boasting acid etch, sandblast, waterwash and polish finishes.  Double tees, columns, beams and solid slabs support the interior of the building.

Precast concrete is ideal to optimize office construction creating high performance structures. Precast concrete envelope and structural systems are used for all types of offices, from low-rise to high-rise construction, and in mixed-use applications.

Product Sq. Ft. #
Beam Inverted T 894 14
Beam Ledge 81 3
Beam Rectangular 45 1
Column Haunch 388 6
Double Tee Standard 25,265 62
Slab Solid 1,735 21
Spandrel Rectangular 90 1
Wall Architectural Insulated 12,786 132
Wall Architectural Solid 1,137 19
Wall Structural Insulated 263 1
Wall Structural Solid 2,910 14
Total 45,594 274

For more information about this project, contact Mat Boie.

Arches installed on Rochester Ramp, a unique precast concrete sandblast feature.

Rochester Parking Structure

Rochester, MN
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.
Collaborative Design Group
City of Rochester


A moderately busy downtown block in Rochester, MN will get narrower as a result of a new six story parking structure 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.


Product Sq. Ft. #
Architectural Solid Wall 23,905 235
Flat Architectural 60 4
Totals 23,965 239

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

Plymouth manufacturer adds two-story building onto campus with 219 pieces of precast concrete

Buhler Inc. – Food Application Center

Plymouth, MN
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.
Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates, Inc.
Buhler Inc.

A multibillion-dollar Swiss manufacturing and tech company, Buhler Inc., is adding office space to its North American headquarters in the Twin Cities. The food processing technology division expansion project is 8,500-square-foot, two-story building and 66 parking spaces that sits within the 12.4-acre campus. The new application center will be used to test, develop and validate multiple grain applications; Buhler Inc. currently employs 310 people at its Plymouth location.

Wells Concrete provided precast concrete for this project; manufacturing and erecting nearly 28,000 sq. ft of product.  More than 50 members of insulated wall panels showcase architectural acid etch and sandblast finish.  Inverted T, ledge and rectangular beams and haunch columns were used to support the 12” and 8” flat slabs.  Our precast concrete structural and envelope system is able to meet the demands of projects like this one by providing cost-effective open spans, smooth and ledge free surfaces, meets USDA surface standards, fire resistance, and durable, low maintenance building envelopes.

Project Summary

Product Sq. Ft. #
Architectural Insulated Wall 12’ x 10’ 10,795 52
Architectural Solid Wall 64 2
Haunch Column 1,314 25
Inverted T Beam 1,522 33
Ledge Beam 916 24
Rectangular Beam 40 1
Solid Slab 12” and 8” 13,264 82
Totals 27,916 219


Project Stats #
Total Production Hours 4,901
Total Production Days 61
Number of Truck Loads 109
Erection Days 11.47

For more information about this project, contact Mat Boie or Scott Gates.

Project Showcase: Focus on Higher Education

Precast’s Versatility Makes the Grade. With a growing number of students attending college, many campuses have found themselves in perpetual construction mode. To address this challenge and satisfy both the student and university requirements, many forward-thinking institutions are turning to precast as an alternative to conventional construction.

Institutions have been selecting precast concrete because it integrates easily with other systems and inherently provides the versatility, efficiency, and resiliency needed to meet their requirements. Precast concrete structural and envelope systems provide exceptional life-cycle performance through reduced operation and maintenance costs. Wells has manufactured more than 400,000 sq. ft. of precast for higher education projects in the past three years alone, a few example of these projects include:

  • University of Minnesota Pioneer Hall: The majority of Wells’ work was done in the expansion of the south and north courtyards, with a great deal of ingenuity put into producing the architectural precast panels to match the historical look of the building. Each panel has two windows with architectural precast frames and an intricate cornice, all surrounded by cast-in brick. The brick itself is laid in a Flemish bond, and is a blend of three brick colors chosen to best match the color of the original brick. The frames around the windows were made using 3D printed molds, and the updated look is all brought together with rollcast panels made using the tilt table in the Albany, MN production facility.
  • North Dakota State University Residence Hall: Wells produced and erected 73,657 sq. ft. of precast concrete for the NDSU sophomores’ six-story residence hall. Precast construction includes 414 members of insulated wall panels showcasing a thin brick and sandblast architectural finish.
  • University of Minnesota Athletes Village: Wells manufactured and erected 309 pieces of precast concrete for the 340,000 sq. ft. for this project; products included wall panels and stairs.  Architectural insulated wall panels boast sandblast, acid etch, and formliner finishes and features.
  • Augsburg College Norman & Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion: The exterior façade of this building features Endicott thin brick embedded in precast concrete to provide the visual appeal of traditional masonry with the durability and economy of precast. Wells produced and erected 294 pieces of 10 1/2″ insulated precast panels with cast-in Versa-Brix® 3D thin brick inlay system from Architectural Polymers.

College and university campuses in many ways resemble small towns. They require offices, classrooms, residential units, specialized laboratories, libraries, parking structures, community-gathering facilities, recreational centers, gymnasiums and even athletic stadiums.  Their design and construction can become even more daunting when the new buildings must fit seamlessly into an existing campus aesthetic, be constructed without disrupting activities around them, and be ready for the new semester when students arrive back at school.

To balance all of these needs, designers frequently turn to precast concrete envelope and structural systems. Clients are finding that precast concrete components can help them achieve their goals in a cost-efficient way. Total precast concrete structural solutions offer a variety of benefits in speed of construction, quality control, elimination of site congestion, sound and vibration control, fire resistance, and other areas. Architectural precast concrete panels offer many of these benefits, as well as the plasticity to blend with any existing aesthetic style, from historic to contemporary. Precast concrete also contributes to an energy efficient envelope system, which has become increasingly important, especially as sustainable design requirements continue to increase. The material’s use is growing as well because developers familiar with precast concrete’s benefits from other projects are becoming involved in more higher education projects as states encourage public-private partnerships.

Precast concrete colleges and universities are designed and built for the future. Every educational institution demands value, durability and beautiful design for building projects. Precast offers the best of all worlds, now and for generations to come.

Coming Soon: Screen Wall at Albany Plant

In January 2017, Wells Concrete began offering tours of our Mock-up Sample Buildings – built specifically to showcase the many different finishes and features Wells has to offer the construction community. With more than 800 people visiting these buildings, it’s safe to say the Mock-up Building has been a great success.

Our clients have been very gracious in providing feedback through our after-tour survey. The majority of our feedback has been in regards to the benefits of having a variety of finishes and features on display right next to one another makes it much easier for our clients to see and compare them. Most of the time you would need to travel around the metro and look at various different projects to view the assortment of finishes and features that Wells now has on display in one, single location through the Mock-up Buildings. In addition to helping contractors and architects visualize a project, it has the potential to help owners make a more resolute decision on how they want their building to look.

To expand on this already successful effort, we are in the process of creating an “L” shaped Screen Wall that will be displayed next to our Mock-up Sample Building in Albany, MN.  The Screen Wall will have 40’ and 50’ wings with 14’ tall panels. In addition, it will showcase some of our newer finishes and features that we are offering to our clients, including:

  • Four panels will boast graphic paper finishes from Graphic Concrete
    • Two panels incorporate supplied patterns: Caleidoscope, Crumple, Vertices, and Vertices Negative
    • One panel utilizes a photo that Graphic Concrete turned into a printable image
    • One panel has Wells’ own custom design printed on it
  • Three panels will be made to show off a new simulated natural stone, including limestone and travertine
  • One panel will demonstrate cast-on Terra Cotta
  • Two panels will showcase our new light-weight wall panel options – Slenderwall and IES; both include a factory installed Empirehouse windows. The windows have anodized aluminum frames, typically used for low rise building capacity and are 8’x6’ on a panel that will be rotated after the windows are installed.

The Screen Wall is expected to be completed in September 2018 and once complete, we invite you to take a tour to learn more about all that is possible with precast.

NEW Light Weight Wall Panels

The aim of our precast research and development efforts at Wells is to continue to find innovative ways to provide more value to our clients.  With this in mind, we would like to introduce to you our newest precast product line; an integrated enclosure light weight wall system.

This unique precast concrete enclosure wall system combines precast façade, insulation, windows, and electrical that is all connected to a steel frame; all pre-assembled in our enclosed manufacturing facility. This results in a durable, high quality, lightweight, and low maintenance cladding system that installs quickly and offers designers a wide range of color, texture and detail choices.  This new, high value precast solution reduces costs, improves schedules, and decreases on-site trades.

Light Weight Wall Panels – A Complete Integrated Enclosure System

  • A hi-performance, thermal and fire code (NFPA 285) compliant, architectural precast composite cladding system.
  • Fiber reinforcing and welded wire mesh increases durability
  • Designed to be lightweight (66% less than traditional architectural precast), reducing foundation and superstructure requirements as well as reducing shipping and installation costs
    • Exterior precast concrete cladding and integrated frame system is isolated from the structural stresses associated with wind loading (tested to 226mph), steel frame movement, and expansion and contraction
    • Panels weigh approximately 35 pounds per square foot and are an excellent choice for high-rise buildings, hotels and office buildings
    • Factory controlled continuous spray foam insulation
  • Architectural façade with many finish and feature options, including thin brick, polish, and form liner options
  • Its durability and lower life-cycle costs make a cost competitive solution
  • These lightweight walls can accommodate 1/2″ deep reveals, small bullnoses, and small returns
Basic Composition:
  • Pre-installed windows by Empirehouse (consult precaster for sizes)
  • Pre-installed electrical
  • Sheetrock ready
  • Exterior surface is 2.5” to 3″ of architectural precast concrete
  • Factory-applied continuous closed-cell foam insulation, affording significant advantages for the building’s envelope design and energy savings

We Invite You…

Wells Concrete invites you to join us for a demonstration of lightweight enclosure samples located in our Maple Grove, MN office. To see a glimpse of the demonstration, watch this short slide show.  If this is something that would be of interest to you and your colleagues, please let us know and we can schedule a date and time for your showing.

We look forward to showing our lightweight wall options to you and your team.

The Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram dealership is looking amazing with 12” returns and three finishes-smooth form, sandblasted & waterwash

Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Coon Rapids, MN
General Contractor:
RJM Construction
Baker Associates, Inc. Architects
Ericksen Roed & Associates
Carousel Motor Group

Carousel Motor Group, a Minneapolis-based company, is building a new two-story Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram dealership in Coon Rapids. The project, which started in early March, will nearly double the facility footprint from 44,000 square feet to 86,000 square feet.

The facility will also have additional space for the dealership to start servicing used vehicles; the additional space will allow the company to service larger trucks like the Ram 4500 and 5500 models. The new dealership is slated to open in early spring 2019.

Carousel Motor Group is working with Golden Valley-based RJM Construction and Minneapolis-based Baker Associates Inc. as its general contractor and architect for this project.

Wells Concrete is currently manufacturing and erecting nearly 80,000 sq. ft. of precast concrete for the new dealership. The precast includes insulated architectural wall panels with a sandblast and waterwash finish, as well as hollowcore plank and spandrels.

Precast helps car dealerships go up faster and open sooner. Because time is money. Once the contract is signed and the dirt is pushed, delays from weather and getting skilled labor on site can kill the momentum of a car dealership construction project. That’s why precast concrete was the go-to choice for this project as we produced the precast components in a controlled environment and then shipped and erected them at the job-site.


Products # Sq. Ft.
Flat Structural 12” 1 116 SF
Insulated Architectural Wall Panel  12″X10′ 132 24,996 SF
Architectural Wall Panel  8″X10′ Roof Screen


2 179 SF
Insulated Wall Panel  12″X10′ Metal Panel 64 8,505 SF
Structural Wall Panel  12″X10’Solid Walls 8 2,038 SF
Spandrels Beams 12” x 8’ 6 1,200 SF
Structural Wall Panel  8″X10′ 132 23,305 SF
Hollowcore Plank 12” 165 16,571 SF
Hollowcore Plank 8” 52 2,845 SF
Columns 12 x 16 3 51 LF

For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard.

Production and erection is complete on the St. Cloud Tech High School with more than 100,000 sq. ft. of precast concrete

St. Cloud Tech High School

St. Cloud, MN
General Contractor:
ICS Consulting, Inc.
Cuningham Group Architecture & IIW Minnesota
Clark Engineering
St. Cloud Area School District ISD #742

Construction is well underway on the new 324,000-square-foot St. Cloud Tech High School. The facility, set to open in the fall of 2019, will accommodate 1,600 students in grades 9-12 and cost just over $100 million.

The building will be divided into six integrated learning communities on two levels and will feature a combination of flexible learning spaces, group collaboration spaces, project and science labs and collaborative teaching spaces. Career and technical education spaces will be integrated throughout the building. The design is intended to be adaptable for the future, support a variety of learning styles and foster global preparedness.

Wells Concrete completed production and erection for this project at the end of June 2018. The project included more than 100,000 square feet of precast concrete for the fieldhouse, auditorium and pool portion of this construction project. Nearly 20 pieces of stadia risers were placed in the pool area awaiting future spectators. 150 insulated wall panels showcasing a polish finish were used and erected in the auditorium and pool areas. In addition to polish, acid etch and sandblast finishes were used on various wall panels and spandrels.

Polish is a newer architectural feature for Wells Concrete and we are proud to be able to use it on this project.  This polish 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.

Product Sq. Ft. #
Arch Insul Wall 80,617 143
Flat Architectural 236 4
Rectangular Beam 116 1
Rectangular Spandrel 1,080 4
Single Rise Stadia 2,006 19
Solid Slab 199 5
Standard Tee 12,438 15
Stick Column 72 2
Struct Solid Wall 5,532 28
Totals 102,295 221

Watch the construction progress here:

For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard or Andy Henkmeyer.

Whey Dryer erection week 12 demonstrates innovative precast concrete driven solutions from the inside out

Agropur Whey Dryer / Expansion

Lake Norden, SD
General Contractor:
Miron Construction Co., Inc.
E. A. Bonelli + Associates, Inc.

Agropur to triple capacity of Lake Norden cheese plant as one of South Dakota’s largest dairy plants, they will be capable to producing three times as much cheese once a major expansion project is complete.

The $250 million Agropur expansion will have an estimated $1 billion economic impact on the state. Construction began in fall 2017 and is expected to be complete in early 2019. The plant won’t run at full capacity right away. Agropur will grow into it based on milk supply and demand for its products. Once complete, the Lake Norden plant will be the largest of Agropur’s 39 processing plants.

The plant will be capable of processing more than 9 million pounds of milk daily, making 1 million pounds of cheese and 540,000 pounds of whey powder. Currently, the plant makes mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and cheddar cheese. It supplies all of the mozzarella to the Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza chain east of the Rocky Mountains. The cheese plant opened in 2003 as an addition to Lake Norden’s whey processing plant.

Wells Concrete manufactured and erected more than 400,000 sq. ft. of precast for the Lake Norden project. Products produced for this project include haunch and stick columns; rectangular, inverted T and ledge beams; rectangular spandrels; solid slabs; double tees; and structural insulated and solid walls.

Our precast concrete structural and envelope systems are able to meet the demands of projects like this one by providing cost-effective open spans, smooth and ledge free surfaces, meets USDA surface standards, fire resistance, and durable, low maintenance building envelopes.

Product Sq. Ft. # Pieces
Arch Insul Wall 10,097 41
Double Tee Wall 7,744 22
Flat Architectural 10 2
Haunch Column 6,227 71
Hollowcore 5,491 61
Inverted T Beam 2550 42
Ledge Beam 4,585 93
Rectangular Beam 4,494 125
Rectangular Spandrel 1,729 12
Solid Slab 73,325 416
Standard Tee 116,193 220
Stick Column 3075 75
Struct Insul Wall 156,532 523
Struct Solid Wall 37,749 158


429,801 1,861

For more information about this project contact Jeff  Holt or Scott Andreasen.