Case Studies

Spindler Construction Corp.

A leader in Utah’s educational and utility construction sector

Located in Logan, Utah, Spindler Construction Corp. is a general contractor serving commercial and industrial clients throughout northern Utah, southern Idaho and western Wyoming. With over 40 years of experience in the tristate area, Spindler has completed more than 400 projects and grown to become one of the largest general contractors in the region.

Spindler delivers ground-up construction for a variety of clients, with a majority of the firm’s work concentrated in the education and utility sectors. The general contractor has completed a number of projects for the U.S. Air Force, the State of Utah and Utah State University, as well as PacifiCorp, one of the Northwest’s largest electricity suppliers.

Spindler Construction Corp.

The company’s roots in Utah’s Cache Valley stretch back to 1973, when founder Lynn Spindler set out to form his own construction firm after ending a 16-year relationship with John. H. Mickelson Construction. Lynn learned the construction trade from John Mickelson himself, completing projects throughout the Cache Valley and surrounding area and learning the value of integrity and trust in the construction industry.

The go-to contractor for Utah State University

Spindler recently completed work on Huntsman Hall, home of the School of Business at Utah State University (USU). Named after Utah resident, chemical industry billionaire and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman, the $42 million, 117,00-square-foot facility features 21 classrooms, 29 student study rooms, labs, large and open common spaces, a café, three outdoor areas and a state-of-the-art events facility.

The new four-story facility wraps around the existing Eccles Business Building, and provides the university with more classroom space to house not only USU’s burgeoning business program, but students from all majors.

While construction on Huntsman Hall was largely without incident, college campuses are often rife with pranksters and overenthusiastic sports fans. This became evident at USU when Spindler crews showed up to the construction site one day in October 2013 to find a banner targeting USU football rivals Brigham Young University, hanging from the company’s 185-foot crane. The banner, featuring a crossed-out version of BYU’s signature “Y” logo, was quickly removed by the Spindler crew.

Huntsman Hall is just the most recent in a long line of Spindler projects at USU. Over the past 40 years Spindler has delivered a number of efforts at one of the state’s largest public universities, including Romney Stadium, Dee Glen Spectrum, Fine Arts Phase I and II, the Seer Building, Old Main Phase I, II, and III as well as the Widtsoe Chemistry Laboratory.

For the $10 million Romney Stadium project, Spindler was responsible for constructing a three-story, 63,000-square-foot training facility at the northern end zone of USU’s football stadium. Completed in 2007, the project involved pouring 3,200 yards of concrete and included the addition of new locker rooms, coaches’ offices and hydrotherapy pools. Poor soil conditions at the site necessitated the use of a unique mat slab foundation and the approaching football season meant a narrow eight-month window in which to complete the project.

Spindler’s work in the education market extends beyond its work with USU. The company has worked to complete a number of schools throughout the Cache Valley, including Sky View High School, Sunrise Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Adele Young Intermediate School in Brigham City. In northern Utah, Spindler was selected as in the design-build contractor to complete a repair facility for C-130 cargo planes at Hill Air Force Base. With a solid record of completing projects in its own home state and offering a guaranteed maximum price, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers selected Spindler, out of a nationwide list of defense firms, to complete the project.

The project required Spindler to plan for nine hanger complexes, as well as infrastructure development that included new substations, force main sanitary, sewers, water line extensions and communication systems. The construction effort presented a number of challenges, including the placement of more than 15,000 yards of concrete, 4 million pounds of structural steel, along with precast concrete, standing seam roofs and 240-foot-wide hangar doors.

Spindler’s sustainability efforts surpassed the federal government’s green building guidelines, which call for a minimum of a LEED bronze rating on all new construction efforts. The Hill Air Force Base expansion earned a LEED gold rating, an accolade that Spindler credits to the company’s familiarity with green engineering practices. Energy-saving features include an infrared heating system that uses stratification fans to evenly disperse warmth throughout the hanger.

Extensive in-house expertise

Depending on the time of year and roster of work ahead of the company, Spindler has 30 to 60 employees on staff at any given time. Like many in the construction industry, labor and insurance make up the lion’s share of expenses for Spindler.

Spindler owns much of its own equipment and utilizes its own in-house workforce to complete the majority of its projects. This approach allows Spindler to pass on savings to project owners, making the construction company more competitive when it comes time to bid. “We don’t rent equipment and we only charge owners for the actual time we use a piece of equipment, not a monthly rental fee,” Spindler says.

The general contractor self-performs all of its own steel erection and finish, concrete and earthwork, an approach that reduces the need for subs and ensures that every project lives up to Spindler’s exacting standards. While Spindler largely uses local subcontractors, the company occasionally reaches out to businesses located in the Salt Lake City area.

The recession was a tough period for many in the construction industry, but by not overextending themselves, Spindler was able to weather the economic storm. “We were pretty stable because we didn’t borrow any money and stayed within our means,” says Spindler.

As the market continues to rebound from the recession, Spindler sees some new areas of growth potential on the horizon. “We’re looking for niches to do more private work and get more into the local retail market,” he says.

Strong leadership, an array of in-house capabilities, vital relationships with partners such as Utah State University and a niche in the utility sector will see Spindler Construction Corporation continue to serve clients throughout northern Utah, southern Idaho and western Wyoming for years to come.

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