Lake Country Power new headquarters takes shape with nearly 200 pieces of precast concrete

Lake Country Power Headquarters

Cohasset, MN
General Contractor:
Hawk Construction
Architectural Resources, Inc.
Northland Consulting Engineers LLP
Lake Country Power

The new 68,000-square-foot facility will provide adequate space for the co-op’s fleet and equipment to be under cover and protected, which will be a vast improvement in the near-term and for the long-term. The new location is also expected to provide a safer access for employees and members as they enter onto U.S. Highway 2.

“This is a long-term investment that will serve Lake Country Power members and employees for the next 50 years or more,” said Greg Randa, general manager for Lake Country Power. “It’s also a positive change for the co-op’s future as the new building will replace a timeworn and over-crowded service center in Grand Rapids.

Wells Concrete provided more than 70,000 sq. ft of precast concrete for this new facility.  The exterior of the building boasts architectural wall and spandrel panels with a unique mix of thin brick, sandblast and acid etch finishes.  Formliner and reveals were also used in the façade to complete the design.  Additional precast components included Ultra-span hollowcore plank and structural wall panels.

Lake Country Power,, is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative serving parts of eight counties in northeastern Minnesota. The rural electric cooperative provides services to nearly 43,000 members and has offices located in Grand Rapids, Kettle River and Mountain Iron.

For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard.

United South Central – Wells, MN

USC School

Wells, MN
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.
ULS Engineers
USC Public School District ISD 2134


A new United South Central School in Wells, Minn., just west of Albert Lea was completed in September 2014. The 155,000-square-foot pre K-12 school replaces the former school, portions of which were originally built in 1933.

Construction on the $28.8 million school began in May 2013 and is located on a 66-acre site featuring a bus garage and athletic facilities, including practice fields, a track, a football stadium, baseball and softball fields, a playground and tennis courts. The K-12 school will serve approximately 625 students.

The new school is a total precast project, architects had designed the school to only include precast for the walls, but Wells was able to come in at the same price as steel, which convinced the architects to change their drawings.

Wells Concrete placed 722 pieces including:

  • Insulated wall panels     86,421 SF
  • Solid wall panels           4,220 SF
  • Columns                       1,247 LF
  • Beams                          1,098 LF
  • 42”double tees              26,984 SF
  • 32”double tees              57,524 SF
  • 24”double tees              67,358 SF
  • 20”double tees              675 SF
  • Hollow core                  14,000 SF

All screed side finish was hard trowel finish exposed to view.

The school houses two gyms, a high school gym with two regulation basketball courts and an elementary gym with one regulation basketball court. There is also a precast concrete etching of the school’s team name, the Rebels, and Mascot in the high school gym placed by Wells.

The new school includes a large commons area bordered on the right by 45 classrooms and on the left by gyms, shops, music rooms and the auditorium. Students eat in the common area, and concessions are sold there during sporting events.  To display the rough cut and beautiful side of a total precast project, the School’s commons area shows exposed aggregate and exposed columns beams tees.

The classrooms are for students in kindergarten through grade 12. The early education hall has bright colors painted by each group of classroom doors to help students find their classes easier. The interiors of the classrooms were also colorful, both with decorations and wall paint.

There is also a large auditorium that seats a maximum capacity of 602, with floor and balcony seating. In addition to the other new things at the school, there is a weight room that will have public access, and a computer-aided design lab for students. Wells also placed a 63,000 lb. spandrel with the school name cast in for a beautiful display for those that enter the school.

Another great feature of the new school is part of the Metrodome will live in the new football stadium, which will use seats from the former home of the Vikings and Twins. The district built the new facility following the passage of a referendum by taxpayers to fund the construction. But with a tight budget, local businesses chipped in to give the stadium a bit of extra special flair with the purchase of 840 Metrodome seats for $40 each. Wells Concrete was one of the business that contributed to the football stadium by donating the precast structure.

The United South Central School District currently serves the cities of Wells, Kiester, Bricelyn, Easton, Freeborn and Walters, Minn.

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