Olympus Precast LLC
To paraphrase Robert Frost, good fences make not just good neighbors but good neighborhoods as well, and Olympus Precast LLC seems to be making both of those and more in Utah’s Wasatch Front and beyond.
It’s even helping to make what should be a pretty nice city, in the process.
For within easy proximity to Utah Lake and the state’s many other natural gems, the ambitious community of Waters Edge is taking root, with townhouses, single-family homes and recreational and retail facilities aplenty in a town formerly called Vineyard that, according to the 2010 Census, was home to all of 139 residents.
Now designated a city, Vineyard’s population is certain to swell many times once Waters Edge is ready for full occupancy later this year.
And with privacy and the need for quietude near the interstates being concerns, the mini metropolis will be surrounded by more than three miles of 6-foot-high fencing manufactured and installed by Olympus Precast, and adorned in places with the kind of decorative masonry that befits its scenic, southwest setting, the company says.
As Roger Arnell, Olympus’ business development manager, explains, Waters Edge had long been the site of a massive World War II-era mill, 1,750-acre Geneva Steel, that outlived its usefulness and was demolished around a decade ago.
Desiring a residential community on the newly decontaminated land, Vineyard officials negotiated with various builders, and when it came to the fencing aspect of the project, Olympus was a logical choice.
Operating in nearby Bluffdale since 1991, Olympus prides itself on being a one-stop operation for specialty fencing. Long an industry heavyweight, in 2015 the company enhanced its operations with additional indoor casting beds so all concrete can be produced—custom-made if need be—on premises.
On-site quality control ensures product caliber prior to shipment, and the plant’s Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) certification further attests to Olympus’ high standards.
“Because our manufacturing process is so integrated, we perform all the processes and functions necessary for such a project, and reduce the number of trades the general contractor would need,” says Arnell.
“We produce concrete with steel reinforcements, batch it, control that part of the schedule, build our own molds and have our own transportation, so we control that part of the schedule, too. It makes it much easier for the GC; saves him the time and money he’d have to spend dealing with four or five companies.”
While Arnell describes residential community walls as Olympus’ “bread and butter,” the company’s selection attracts many commercial customers, as well. Recent design additions include the neo-classical look of the Renaissance mold and the wicker look of Basketweave.
But perhaps, especially in the Southwest, the timeless and realistic look of stone is the favorite of most clients in need of a privacy wall to complement any surrounding. Olympus is Utah’s exclusive supplier of Verti-Crete privacy fence, available in many designs and molds to achieve that natural look.
Whether for commercial or residential use, the Verti-Block retaining wall look might be most appropriate for retaining walls, with its stacked-stone appearance coming in a multitude of weather-resistant stains.
Spancrete Hollowcore plank also is becoming an industry favorite, says Arnell, with its advantage being the ability to span long distances while using fewer support beams than needed by traditional building materials. Easy to install, it’s cost-efficient and lends itself to not only residential, but offices, hotels and industrial buildings.
Beyond the wall
Olympus’ versatility with concrete lends itself to endeavors beyond privacy walls, fences and garage floors. Its precast monuments and signs mark the entrance to many residential subdivisions and commercial developments throughout Utah and other western states. Signs can be custom built, the company says.
Olympus is now in the process of constructing one of its biggest total precast projects: A multimillion dollar facility for Prime Trucking’s western base in Salt Lake City, with amenities including office space, trailer-inspection facilities, a truck wash, café, doctor’s office and quarters for the long-haul truckers to unwind.
To meet the aggressive construction schedule and the demanding design criteria, precast concrete was the logical choice. Needing a producer with the manufacturing capacity, design expertise, installation know-how and PCI Certification, made Olympus Precast the right choice, says Arnell.
Olympus designed, produced and inventoried 15-inch insulated, load-bearing wall panels, structural columns, beams and long-span double tee roof members as well as specialty canopies and architectural spandrel features. The production process used more than 6,000 cubic yards of concrete to complete the current phase of the project. That allowed Olympus to minimize its on-site presence, with the company installing 695 precast pieces in fewer than 100 days.
“That highlights our ability to do the large, institutional work that’s so critical to our growth,” Arnell says.
Olympus also partners with governmental agencies for such projects as sound walls, median barriers, bridge decking and, of course, municipal walls such as the one going up around Waters Edge.
In growth mode
With Utah’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation among its selling points, the state’s construction industry is recovering quite well from the downturn of 2007 and ’08, and Arnell says Olympus’ increased manufacturing capacity is meeting what has been a robust demand for all things concrete.
“The Wasatch Front has been growing very steadily; comparable to the Phoenix or Las Vegas valleys—a measurable, consistent growth,” he says.
The past year saw consistent growth in residential construction that leads to more commercial projects, he says, anticipating the two industries will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. While the Wasatch Front has yet to be mistaken for Silicon Valley, the “Silicon Slopes” in north-central Utah does have a growing technical base that’s bringing in smart, talented young people.
And more homes create demand for more retail, cultural, health-care and educational facilities, which bring in more people—a favorable trend for the economy in general, and for an industry leader in precast concrete.
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