F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company Newsletter for October 2013.

A new living room for Marian students

Marian University, a liberal arts college nestled just ten minutes northwest of downtown Indianapolis, is about to get a new living room, but it won’t be your average, hand-me-down couch and box TV.

Wilhelm is serving as construction manager for the new Alumni Hall, which will stand in place of the University’s Welcome Center.  This new 19,000 square-foot student lounge will be steel-framed with masonry brick and curtain wall exterior. 

Project Architect Kevin Huse of RATIO Architects, describes its style as timeless and modern.

“The building itself is sited to be a signature statement at the main entrance to campus at the DeHaan Family Forum,” Huse explains. “Its large expanses of glass will provide dramatic views of the mall and fountain while acting as a beacon at night to the campus and Cold Springs Road traffic.”

The project team, however, has not left functionality in the wake of style. According to Curtis Sattison, Wilhelm’s project manager for the student center, the building’s most impressive feature will be its flexibility.

“The most unique feature is going to be the student lounge that converts into a large banquet room,” Sattison says. “In order to accomplish both of these very different uses of the space, a lot of ‘flexible’ materials will need to be used.”

‘Flexible’ is a perfect word to describe the space, as it will have a variety of seating arrangements, small nooks for group work, computer network access, audio and visual support as well as a Papa John’s, grill and Starbucks café.  The lounge area has the capacity to convert to a banquet hall seating approximately 300 people.

Such a beautiful and utilitarian space is not without its challenges.  Sattison says Marian University will need its bookstore and student lounge open and running prior to Fall 2014 registration. In addition, working around a campus of students in the throes of full-time classes can be challenging.

“Wilhelm has put together a detailed schedule outlining milestones and deadlines the team is constantly working towards,” Sattison says. “Pre-planning and getting subcontractors on board with these milestones allows everyone to be working toward the same goals and makes them achievable.”
Audra Blasdel, Marian University’s project representative and the University’s Director of Projects and Procurement, adds that Wilhelm has been very helpful with keeping her updated with processes as the project moves along.

“[The] team I’m working with here has been a great resource, always available, and very patient as I came on board,” Blasdel says. She adds that she is thrilled for this type of project to come to Marian University’s campus.

“The space will provide a spot where students can hang out and enjoy food and coffee. They can interact with their peers as well as faculty and staff, outside of the classroom, providing a sense of community to their experience at Marian University.”

As if Alumni Hall won’t boast enough special features, the owner has also asked for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) features to be incorporated into the project. Not strangers to LEED certified projects, Wilhelm and RATIO have worked together to integrate features such as rammed aggregate piers, an environmentally-friendly process to ensure the structure’s stability; bio-retention rain gardens; high performance glazing; day lighting of interior spaces; reflective roofing; and energy efficient HVAC systems that are locally manufactured and supplied.

The groundbreaking for this project took place September 21st and is slated for completion in August 2014.

“This is a fast-track project with a goal of being open and operational in the fall of next year,” Huse says. “Having the construction manager on the team from the onset allowed the team to test solutions and their associated costs in real time. It has been an exemplary model of the owner, architect and builder working as a cohesive team.”

History, honor and a new self-performance record for Wilhelm

Since its groundbreaking in December 2012, the Joint Force Headquarters renovation and expansion project for the Indiana National Guard has been moving along in a timely and well-structured fashion, according to project team members.

Wilhelm is working as general contractor on this project, located at Stout Field on the southwest side of Indianapolis. The Joint Force Headquarters services the Indiana National Guard, the Indiana Army National Guard and the Indiana Air National Guard. The renovation and expansion project will provide new offices and meeting spaces for members who are currently working at other facilities. Additionally, conference space and practice rooms for the Indiana Army National Guard 38th Division Band, which is the premier musical ensemble for the State of Indiana, are included.

Mike Kerr, Wilhelm operations manager, says Wilhelm is working on the complete renovation of the existing 42,000 square-foot administration building and constructing a new 77,000 square-foot office building. Wilhelm will be relocating the existing communications center and renovating a historic air hangar to include new offices as well as renovating the entire site with new roads, parking lots, ponds and landscaping.

In fact, one special feature of this project is that Wilhelm is self-performing its largest earthwork, storm, sanitary and waterline scope of work to date, according to Mitch Davison, project manager. Davison said it’s a roughly $2 million package spanning ten acres involving 15,000 lineal feet of pipe.

Travis Fleetwood, general superintendent over Wilhelm’s earthwork, said that in just a couple of months, 66,000 cubic yards have been moved by Wilhelm.

“There were challenges,” Fleetwood says, “because there were a lot of existing utilities, and we started late in the year with a very wet spring, but we stayed on schedule.”

Pat Meehan, earthwork superintendent, says this project includes everything from demolition to finish grade.

“The challenges on this site were working around existing buildings and utilities,” Meehan says. “The site is still active with the guard so we have to work around people on the site.”

In its entirety, Stout Field will see $26 million in upgrades and renovations.

Government Project Construction Manager, Eric Holst says the entire project boasts several unique design features, including structural steel frame with light gauge framed exterior walls and exterior brick veneer on the building addition to allow as much daylight as possible into many areas. He adds the roof of the office addition will be arched to resemble the World War II Era hangar on the southeast side of the field, which is on the National Historic Registry.

“Everyone on site is working as a team,” Kerr says. “Starting with the men and women in uniform Wilhelm is working for, to the National Guard Contracting Officers, CSO Architects to Wilhelm and its subcontractors.”

Holst also credits the entire team for an on-schedule project and smooth conflict management.

“It’s my first time working with Wilhelm and it’s been a real pleasure,” Holst says. “They are on top of every detail. They’re very accessible. I’ve been in the industry over thirty years and I rank them as one of the top general contractors. The experience the GC and the design team has made it go a lot smoother than most.”

Kerr adds Wilhelm was recently awarded an addition to the project that will add a new performance auditorium for the 38th Division Band. Formed in 1917, its roots include wartime performances. All performing components of the band are in high demand statewide today.

Dan Arnold, Project Superintendent, says the project is 50 to 55 percent completed. Foundations are in place for the auditorium with structural steel components beginning October 23, 2013. Arnold hopes to have it under a roof by Christmas. This fall and winter, Arnold says the focus will be on interior finishes, trim, cabinets and carpet, so that the majority of the project is habitable by June.

Holst says in 2014 the west wing of the hangar will be ready by Spring, a partial occupancy date for the existing building and addition is set for Summer, and the east wing as well as the auditorium are scheduled to be open around the end of October.


Kurt Roadruck, 10 years
Preconstruction Manager

"The past ten years have been fortunate and successful in many ways both personally and professionally. The time has been filled with happy memories, supportive friendships and good stories. It continues to be a real pleasure working alongside the accomplished characters of the Wilhelm team. I am excited about the future and look forward to continue working with my friends and co-workers."

Matt Mueller, 10 years
Project Manager

"I am grateful I had the opportunity to join the Wilhelm team. Now that ten years have come and gone, I look back at the many projects I have been associated with and I know I would not have had the opportunity to be exposed to so much and gain so much experience anywhere else. Wilhelm truly is a great company to work for, with quality people from top to bottom. I am proud to be part of the Wilhelm family!”

New Contracts

F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company has been awarded the nearly $8 million, 57,000 square-foot addition to the French Lick Event Center in French Lick, Indiana. 


It's in our Lifeblood: Families of Wilhelm Construction - The Waughs

F.A. Wilhelm Construction is celebrating its 90th anniversary and through the decades, we have had several families join the ranks. We will be highlighting a few of these families in the coming issues in a series called “It’s in our Lifeblood: Families of Wilhelm Construction”.

Pat Waugh didn’t know anyone at F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company when he signed on right out of Roncalli High School 23 years ago.

Now, several co-workers are friends, and Pat’s younger brothers T.J. and Danny have joined him at Wilhelm through the years.

Pat is currently superintendent on the Hoosier Energy headquarters project in Bloomington, Ind.  T.J. worked as summer help with Wilhelm while at Indiana University. He has been full-time since and is now a carpenter for Wilhelm’s projects at Eli Lilly & Company.

Danny started as a carpenter 13 years ago and now supervises Wilhelm’s concrete form work on several projects.

Why Wilhelm?
T.J.: “Wilhelm put me through college. I couldn’t see myself working in an office cubicle so I got a full-time job with Wilhelm.”

Danny: “I went to IU for two years after graduating from Roncalli. Pat was working for Wilhelm and I liked working outdoors, so I applied for a job.”

What do you like about your job?
Pat: “I like the people and the push to get things done.”

T.J.: “I like the group I work with. [We] work hard. Wilhelm’s been great to me.”

What gives you the most satisfaction about your job?
Pat: “There is a new challenge every day. When you come to work in the morning you see concrete footings, but by the end of the day you leave behind a new concrete wall. That’s satisfying. Also it’s neat when I am driving around with my kids and I can point to a building and say, ‘I worked on that.’”

Danny: “[I like] being able to build the projects we do; planning, and the whole process.”

What are your favorite projects?
Pat: “I have several. I liked the Belterra (casino) project, particularly. It was out in the open and we created a facility resembling a small town.”

T.J.: “I worked with Pat on the VA hospital and some wastewater treatment plants. I’ve been at Lilly for 12 years and enjoy working day-in and day-out with the same group of guys. It’s like a brotherhood.”

How do you like working with family?
Pat: “We all enjoy our jobs, but we work on different jobs. When we are together as a family, we seldom talk about work.”

T.J.: “I’ve worked with Pat and for Pat. As a boss, he works hard and expects you to work hard.”

Danny: “I worked for Pat for the first couple of years and it was unusual, but we enjoy working in the same company.”

How has Wilhelm changed since you joined the company?
Pat: “In the summer of 1990, there were no computers and communication was challenging. As far as safety, I didn’t know what a safety harness was. Now, we have a world class safety culture. Everything is better and completely different.”

T.J.: “Wilhelm is an excellent company, and it’s been great to my family. The company's professionalism has increased year after year.”

Danny: “The technology has improved. I appreciate the opportunity to move up and do more as Wilhelm challenges me to be a better leader.”

Wilhelm in the Community

Wilhelm ACTS helping build home for Anderson soldier

Tim Senkowski has sacrificed a lot for his country. In Afghanistan two years ago, Senkowski, an Army infantryman, lost both legs and suffered other injuries in a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) planted roadside. A close friend only a few steps ahead of Senkowski was killed.

A year-and-a-half of painful physical and emotional rehabilitation followed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Senkowski is back in his hometown of Anderson, Indiana beginning life again with his wife, Erica, and their two children.

Housing is a big need; right now, the four Senkowskis (and one on the way) live in Tim’s mother’s house. This living arrangement relocates his mother, her husband and two other children to their garage.

Enter The Path Home. This organization raises money to assist veterans with food, rent, mortgage payments, house and car repairs, and other necessities, although, it hadn’t built a home until now.

The Path Home recruited F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company. Wilhelm’s Brian Keith says, “We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to help a deserving veteran. A lot of people are pitching in.”

Ricker’s gas station paid for the housing lot through customer donations at its stores. The other organizations helping with this project include:

•  Axis Architecture + Interiors
 Local 440 United Assoc. of Plumbers Pipefitters &    
   HVAC Technicians

•  Central and Northern Indiana Building Trades
•  Top Notch
•  Betts Engineering and Contracting
•  Home Depot
•  The Indiana Blue Star
•  The Blue Star Mothers

The Path Home board member Bob Luenebrink says, “We can’t say enough about Wilhelm Construction, all the Union trades and everyone else who is helping.”

The home will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Work is beginning now and ready for move-in after the first of 2014. It will be next door to Senkowski’s mother, Tamra Rigdon.

Rigdon says, “The Path Home is building a home for Tim that has features that will make life easier. He will be able to move around. The new home will allow Tim to live on his own, and with us right next door, we can assist in their daily living needs.”

Rigdon is a therapist and caregiver who has worked at the VA Hospital in Indianapolis and the Lifeline Youth & Family Organization in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She left work to devote her full-time attention to Tim’s rehabilitation at Walter Reed.

The couple has further challenges. Erica is partially disabled from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Their son, Dusty, suffers from autism. Rigdon says the new home will help all concerned live a normal family life.

Luenebrink says while Senkowski sacrifices every day, The Path work on Tim’s house will only last about a year.

Senkowski continues his long recovery, mostly at the VA Hospital in Muncie, Indiana. Rigdon reports Tim is much better since coming home, though he misses his friends in the military and looks forward to their safe return.

Senkowski, 30, is looking ahead. He wants to go back to school at Lincoln College of Technology. Rigdon says, “He is so excited. He wants to work on cars and get back into drafting.”

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Copyright © 2013 F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company, All rights reserved.
F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company
3914 Prospect Street
Indianapolis, IN 46203

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