Case Studies

L&L Builders Company: Building the Future

  • Written by: L&L Builders Company: Building the Future
  • Produced by: L&L Builders Company: Building the Future
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

L&L Builders Company (L&L) officially incorporated in 1979, though the company has been building for the future since the 1960s. L&L takes a proven approach to every project, leveraging years of industry experience, the best value-engineering strategies and a dedicated team of talented employees to ensure projects are delivered right the very first time.

L&L focuses on flexibility in all aspects of its operations, which enables the team to work with clients in a variety of capacities in the long term, from providing design-bid-build services as the general contractor and construction manager for a project to overseeing work as one of several prime contractors. In each scenario the L&L team keeps communication lines open and active allowing architects, owners and subcontractors to work more efficiently and effectively.

“We judge our performance by our ability to manage a project and work together as a team,” asserts Kirk Bohlke, one of the vice presidents of L&L. The company’s 75 employees operate from headquarters in Sioux City, Iowa, though the team will travel as far north as Redwood Falls, Minn., and as far south as Kansas City, Mo. The company’s relative size allows the team to provide ancillary services under the general contracting umbrella in addition to project management. L&L can pool its resources to oversee concrete work, rough carpentry, finish carpentry, excavation and backfill, as well as steel erection, especially for pre-engineered metal buildings.

Working Together

L&L is a merit shop, which also employs several members of the Master Builders of Iowa, one of over 100 chapters of the Associated General Contractors of America. The extra industry connection helps L&L stay ahead of industry trends with greater access to safety training programs and professional development opportunities, ensuring L&L’s team continues to reflect the very best of general contracting. Institutional and commercial work makes up the majority of L&L’s portfolio, but within those market sectors the team’s work runs the gamut of healthcare facilities, schools and retail.

The company has also completed its fair share of restoration work, including the restoration of the Egralharve Building in Sioux City. The Egralharve Building is just one of many examples where L&L lived up to its slogan of building for the future, as the project required a complete restoration of the original 1910 tin ceiling and the conversion of the space into two floors of Class AAA office space, which was completed in 2000. L&L was also honored with the award for Outstanding Historic Preservation for its work restoring Sioux City’s Commerce Building and its brick and terracotta exterior.

The company has more recently refocused its efforts on the education market, however, and managed to land the contract to build one of Sioux City’s newest elementary school. The Spalding Park Elementary School is one of several that the Sioux City Community School District will build to consolidate operations as its older facilities reach the end of their useful lifecycles. The site of the school was previously home to the underutilized Spalding Park on the south side of Sioux City, hence the school’s name.

Site work began in summer 2010 and construction followed in November 2010 to wrap up on schedule in July 2012, though not without a few surprises along the way. “The winter weather in 2011 was a real challenge, but we still managed to build it in the short timeframe,” adds Bohlke. L&L’s progress was facilitated by the fact that roughly 80 percent of all the subcontractors involved on the project had prior work experience with L&L, according to Bohlke’s estimates.

Above and Beyond

The two schools Spalding Park Elementary will replace have been in use for upward of 100 years. Both schools fell short of modern building codes for handicap access and fire codes, and creating a new space from scratch allows the school district to build a facility that takes modern education technology and instructional methods into consideration. The new school provides separate wings for each year of the school’s K-5 student body, with older classes located on the upper level.

Furthermore, each grade group has access to its own playground. The building will be heated and cooled with geothermal technology, while clerestory windows throughout the school will supplement available lighting indoors. Students of all ages will share two computer labs, a central common dining space, a library and a full-size gymnasium complete with a stage.

Hard-surface flooring will also be used throughout to save on the cost of waxing, stripping and regular cleaning costs, which the school district estimates will contribute to a 66-percent reduction in maintenance costs. The design has proven so popular that the school board has been toying with the idea of using a replica of the design to build a new Washington Elementary School, also in Sioux City.

Spalding Elementary School is just one of many projects L&L has delivered for forward-thinking clients, but it’s more than likely not the teams last either. The company’s ability to mobilize resources efficiently and effectively ensures that client concerns will continue to be heard and addressed, ensuring L&L Builders Company consistently delivers projects that set the standard for quality in the construction community.

Published on: March 16, 2013

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