Case Studies

Central Roofing Company

The trusted Twin Cities' commercial roofer

For the better part of a century, Central Roofing Company (CRC) has been the trusted source for full-service commercial roofing, from complex historical restorations to federal buildings and even the Minnesota Zoo. “Our service department, with 18 trucks, is the key part of our success,” shares Gerry Ann Stock, CEO of CRC.

Based in Minneapolis, the family-owned company has been serving the Twin Cities with wide-ranging capabilities since 1929 when the Somers family first established the business. “The original founder was a banker in the late 1920s prior to the stock market crash,” recounts Jessica Tesdall, third-generation and communications director at CRC. “When banking was no longer an ideal profession he started CRC out of his garage.”

The CRC evolution

CRC remained in the Somers family for the next three generations until it was sold in 2000 to Tecta America (Tecta). Meanwhile, Gerry started Stock Roofing Inc. as a small residential company of her own in 1987, growing it into a complete commercial and residential roofing company. She, too, sold her company to Tecta in 2003.

When the opportunity arose, Gerry and the rest of the Stock family purchased CRC in 2011 from Tecta. “The corporate world was not for me or my family,” says Gerry. For Gerry, purchasing CRC was more than just buying back into the industry and running her own business again; it was buying back into her history.

“My dad started at CRC in 1956, my brothers, brother-in-law and husband all worked at CRC through the years, so for me, turning CRC back into a family business was the perfect opportunity personally and professionally,” Gerry says.

CRC remains a family- and woman-owned business today. With a longstanding name in the construction market throughout the Twin Cities and the greater portion of Minnesota, the company continues its 85-year tradition.

CRC has main locations in Minneapolis and Rochester, Minn. “We opened our Rochester branch in 2013 to better serve southern Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa,” notes Jessica. “Our home base in Minneapolis allows us to cover the Dakotas and Wisconsin, but we have the ability to go anywhere. We have 130 year-round employees, but that number can ramp up to over 200 in the summer because we are somewhat seasonal because of often long and harsh Minnesota winters.”

CRC’s ability to mobilize in an emergency can lead crews to all parts of the country. For example, when New Orleans needed to clean up and rebuild in the wake of destruction following Hurricane Katrina, CRC was there. “We had our guys staying in trailers for four months, working on multiple roofing projects,” reveals Jessica. “We also sent multiple crews for the better part of a year to Florida during a hurricane surge there.”

The complete package

CRC’s service is often called upon from near and far, because the company offers the complete package. “We specialize in the entire building envelope,” says Jessica. “From waterproofing the skeleton of a building up to the roof itself, we cover it all. Our service departments have experienced the most growth in recent years with over 30 full-time employees available 24/7. Full capabilities in waterproofing and a custom sheet metal division round out the entire building envelope.”

For more than 85 years, CRC has protected a wide range of buildings in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas, including hospitals, universities, corporate headquarters, federal buildings and museums. “We recently commenced work on the Loring Park Apartment Tower, a 36-story high-rise that’s the first one of its kind to go up in the city in nearly two decades,” reveals Jessica. “CRC was in charge of the full scope of the building’s envelope, the roof, as well as waterproofing the entire building and the underground parking garage. This project is set for completion in early 2015.”

Three of the large domed auditoriums on Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) display CRC’s skilled craftsmanship and specialized capabilities. “The original coppered sheet metal design was not holding up to Minnesota’s huge temperature changes but the unique architectural design needed to be saved,” details Jessica. “Terry Thone and his team at Roof Spec Inc. of Minneapolis designed a replacement that kept the design but incorporated more modern materials. They came up with a custom colored Sarnafil PVC with décor ribs duplicating the standing seam look and diamond shapes. CRC made the custom panels off-site of the project in downtown Minneapolis, delivered and installed them.”

Jessica goes on to note that the results have been a win-win, as the domes still have the unique standing copper look, but are watertight. “The city of Minneapolis saved over $8 million by using the new design rather than attempting to replace with copper, Gerry explains. “In all, we crafted 468 custom panels and heat welded them together. If you were to place the panels end to end, they would extend 4 miles with 13 miles of welded deco ribs and 26 miles of seams. We delivered the project on time after 16,000 hours of work and 1,100 hours of overtime to hit the deadline. Overall, it was an enormous effort and was nominated for Project of the Year by Sarnafil.”

CRC’s skill is also trusted when there is precious cargo underfoot. “We have completed several projects for the Walker Art Center and the Walker Library in downtown Minneapolis,” adds Jessica. “Both involved working over multimillion-dollar artwork and some of the rare artifacts housed there.”

The company is also completing the reroofing of the entire Hennepin County Medical Center. “The trauma centers and intensive care units need to be watertight and operate 24 hours a day,” Gerry says. “We’re also currently in the final stages of the Target Northern Campus headquarters expansion, which is a huge nine-story complex. Our range as a company is quite extensive.”

With so many in-house abilities, Gerry says CRC has plans to further diversify into more specialty architectural sheet metal in the near future. “We eventually want to build a new state-of-the-art sheet metal shop and we’re focusing on expanding our service department in Rochester,” she reveals.

It is evident that Gerry is proud of how far the company has come. “None of our successes or future plans would be possible without the right team concept,” she says proudly. “We continue to emphasize CRC’s long history and our family-held company culture. We also know that as we continue to grow, it is the diversity of our employees and practices that will help this generation working at CRC pass on a stronger, even more capable company, to the next.”

The company has proved capable of taking on any roofing, waterproofing or construction project, anywhere. After 85 years, Central Roofing Company remains a trusted roofing contractor.

Published on: July 22, 2014

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