10 Aug

Big-D Project: Long Canyon Under Construction

OASIS – Despite the gold price hovering just above $1,000, Newmont Mining Corp. is moving full speed ahead on construction of its newest mine: Long Canyon.

Newmont acquired the gold deposit from Fronteer Gold Inc. on April 6, 2011. Four years later, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved the record of decision for the mine on April 7.

“Once that was given to Newmont, we were then approved for full funding,” Gordon Mountford, project director for Long Canyon, said. “The project funding is $293 million.”

The mine site is about 30 miles east of Wells on the eastern side of the Pequop Mountain Range in Elko County and about five miles south of Interstate 80 at the Oasis exit. Long Canyon’s ground breaking was April 17.

The company began moving dirt to allow construction of the infrastructure and facilities, such as the temporary buildings placed at the site, and development of the pit began in May. The site will have a truck shop and wash bay, administration facility, geology building, heap leach and ponds, and a CIC — or carbon in columns — plant.

“Right now we’re doing the rough grading for the base (of the heap leach),” Mountford said July 30. “The excavation for the ponds will be complete this week, and then we’ll be looking at placing clay liner and starting to line the ponds with the plastic.”

“In January of 2016, Newmont will actually start up with the first fleet of trucks and shovel to begin actual mining,” he said.

He said crews will start mining about the same time the heap leach facility is ready, but material won’t be placed on the leach pad until about eight months after the facility ready.

To develop the pit at Long Canyon, the trees and other vegetation were removed and the top soil was removed. After that, the construction crews have to build the haul roads and establish the mining benches.

NA Degerstrom is handling the pit development, Mountford said.

Construction on the heap leach pad should be completed by February or March. Ore should be placed on the heap leach in August 2016, and the CIC plant also should be done that month.

Mountford said all the jobs for Long Canyon were posted to help Newmont plan for when the mine was in full production.

“We do want to try and pull employees from Wells and Wendover,” he said. “But we’re also looking at resourcing people internally who’ve already, you know, got the training and have already got the Newmont safety culture to start the mine up and also to help the training to new employees as we bring them on.

“That’s probably one of the most critical things is having some Newmont people. We’ve been on our safety journey for over five years, and we want to make sure that’s instilled immediately with new employees being hired, and it gives us the opportunity to do the proper training.”

Long Canyon has about 200 people working on the site and those construction contractors will peak at 325. Newmont personnel – project and exploration — total about 25 people. When the mine is at full production there will be about 270 employees.

Rocky Pray, project manager for Long Canyon, oversees the construction and the engineering being done by Big D, based out of Salt Lake City. Big D is Newmont’s general contractor that is handling construction of the infrastructure and facilities, and looking after the subcontractors.

“They’re basically looking after everything you see here on the valley floor,” Mountford said.

Construction at Long Canyon deals with a few challenges, including archeological issues. When a possible historical site is found on the property, an archeological team and tribal monitors handle the site. The archeologists work under the direction of the BLM and the tribal monitors are there to observe, Mountford said.

To view full article, click here.

06 Aug

Big-D Project: Natural Wayfinding, Soaring Glass Canopy Define New ED at Uintah Basin Medical Center

Click here to read about how Big-D played a part in restoring an undersized, disjointed emergency room in Roosevelt, Utah.


03 Aug

Big-D Lays a Foundation in Minnesota

By Brian Johnson, Finance & Commerce

Click here to view full article.

With deep roots in Utah and its neighboring states, Big-D Construction has long been a big player in the southwestern U.S.

The 48-year-old Salt Lake City-based company hasn’t made much of a splash in the Midwest, but that’s starting to change with help from a growing regional office in the North Loop area of Minneapolis.

Chris Grzybowski, a Wisconsin native and longtime Big-D employee, partnered with industry veteran Cory Schubert in 2013 to establish the Minneapolis office with a goal of expanding the company’s presence in and around Minnesota.

That first year was a feeling-out process, as the owners focused on finding office space, looking for clients, and networking. From a project standpoint, the goals were modest.

“Our expectations were we probably would do nothing for year one. So we met our expectations for year one,” Gryzbowski said with a laugh.

But the work has started to roll in, thanks in part to a strong apartment market, an experienced staff, and old-fashioned persistence.

Since early 2014, Big-D has landed $127 million in projects, ranging from apartments to a public works building, and has added 17 employees to its offices at 800 Washington Ave. N., suite 900.

Big-D recently bolstered its personnel ranks with the addition of industry veterans Ken Braun, Tim Sack, and Tom Etter, who have roughly 100 years of combined experience in the local construction industry.

The company also added Jessica Gust, a project assistant with seven years of administrative and support experience.

Braun, a vice president, has 36 years of experience, including leadership roles with Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson, and Doran Cos. in Bloomington. He has had a hand in building nearly 1,900 new housing units in the past four years.

Construction management is Big-D’s main focus. The company doesn’t self-perform and it has a good relationship with local subcontractors, Braun said.

“We have people here with good integrity, good reputations,” he added.

Gryzbowski said the company’s goal is to develop “long-term relationships” in the market.

“We are not developers; we are builders,” said Gryzbowski, who previously worked for Big-D as a project manager in Salt Lake City. “So we differentiate ourselves from a handful of players in this market by just purely being builders.”

Big-D’s sweet spot includes projects ranging from $5 million to $25 million.

One notable project just getting started is a mixed-use development with retail space and 115 apartment units at 1730 Plymouth Road in Minnetonka. Paster Properties and Bader Development are developing the project.

Other jobs in Big-D’s portfolio include the 155-unit Lake Calhoun Apartment project at 3118 W. Lake Street in Minneapolis, the 138-unit Siena Apartments at 6800 Cedar Lake Road in St. Louis Park; and a new public works facility for the city of Crystal.

Minneapolis-based Hunt Associates is developing the Siena project, which is nearing completion.

Dan Hunt, president of Hunt Associates, said he didn’t know anything about Big-D before the project started. But the Big-D folks called repeatedly and he agreed to include them in the bidding — to get them to quit calling, if nothing else, he joked.

Is he pleased with their performance?

“Very pleased would be an understatement,” Hunt said. “[The project] was in two watershed districts, which made it more complicated. They just hung in there and helped drag the ball across the goal line.”

Anne Norris, Crystal’s city manager, said she had never heard of Big-D when the city’s public works facility was put up for bid. Beating out four other bidders, Big-D came in with the low construction bid of just under $9 million.

The $13 million public works building, designed by Kodet Architectural Group in Minneapolis, is set for a ribbon-cutting in September.

“We are very happy,” Norris said. “Now that it is a building instead of a hole in the ground, we are getting positive comments from the community. Kodet gets credit for having the vision and Big-D for implementing it.”

Big-D gets its name from Dee Livingood, a carpenter who founded the company in 1967, according to its website. The company now has three offices in Utah, and one each in Arizona, California, Minnesota and Wyoming.

Gryzbowski says Big-D is in Minnesota for the long haul.

“It’s being received very well in the market,” he said.

20 Jul

Big-D Project: People’s Utah Bancorp Opens New American Fork Headquarters

Click here to view the full article.

AMERICAN FORK — An icon in the American Fork community, the historic Bank of American Fork structure that opened for business in 1905 is a bank building once again.

Decades have passed since the bank folded in 1932 during the Great Depression. The old brick structure at 1 E. Main Street in American Fork then saw a variety of uses: a boutique, a hospital, a flower shop.

People’s Utah Bancorp bought the well-aged building for its headquarters.

On Monday, bank staff welcomed the public to a grand-opening ceremony so visitors could see what a year-long renovation and reconstruction project had produced.

Even Utah Gov. Gary Herbert took notice of the commemorative event.

“It is my pleasure as governor and a Utah County resident to congratulate People’s Utah Bancorp on the grand opening of the newly restored headquarters of your company,” said Herbert in a letter to the bank’s president and CEO, Richard Beard.

“I commend you for preserving this beautiful neoclassical building,” he added.

It’s been nearly 10 years since People’s Utah Bancorp tried to first purchase the building.

“We tried to buy this building back in 2006, 2007, and it was pretty dilapidated,” Beard said. “We tried to buy it and we couldn’t.

“We couldn’t come together on the pricing, and then of course we went into a recession and we were kind of focused on doing that.”

The building’s owners again approached People’s Utah Bancorp in early 2014 offering to sell the building. This time they were able to agree on the price. People’s Utah Bancorp moved forward with its plans to establish the historic building as its headquarters.

“To me this is symbolic of community banking, it’s part of the community and we wanted it to look like it was taken care of and that we were putting the effort back into our communities,” Beard said. “We are delighted to have it. It kind of finishes off the block.”

The “like-new” building will house People’s Utah Bancorp offices and be the cornerstone on the west side of the block complementing its subsidiary, the Bank of American Fork, and its headquarters established on the east side. Initially called the People’s State Bank of American Fork when it was established in 1913, the current Bank of American Fork changed its name in 1963 and is a different company than the bank that initially owned the building.

Beard said they talked about whether to tear down and build new or renovate the old.

“We felt it was pretty close in the terms of economics,” Beard said. “This is much more community-oriented.”

Choosing the reconstruction route had its challenges.

“It’s hard because anytime you spend so much money or work on a project, the local code enforcement makes you bring the entire building up to code, so that was a challenge,” said Geoff Bird, Big-D Construction project manager.

“If there were a strong earthquake, this structure would not have stood. I’m confident that this building is very seismically stout now.”

Approximately eight inches of metal were added to the walls on the inside. In addition to the three layers of brick on the outside, the walls are quite deep, about two feet.

The brick and flooring are original. An original ornate ceiling was uncovered. Because it had been protected by a false ceiling, it was well preserved. The antique clock was also restored. As a time piece, however, its innards no longer tell passersby the correct time.

Roller shades, scions and lights were ordered to complement the original style. Dark wood finishes add contrast to the ornate neoclassic ceiling and soft beige walls.

Most of the tricky work had to do with the wiring, plumbing, spacing and making the structure seismically sound.

“Nothing you can see was very hard,” Bird said. “Bringing the building up to code between the drywall and the brick was the hardest part.”

Many dignitaries from the city attended the event. American Fork Mayor James Hadfield said he is very supportive of the Bank of American Fork.

“I have always been very supportive of the Bank of American Fork because as a young man, I applied for a loan with to buy my house,” Hadfield said. “I knew a member of the board and they financed my home.

“After 48 years, I’m still in the same house that has been paid for a number of times.”

Bank of American Fork is Utah’s largest community bank based on asset size and deposits. It operates 14 full-service branches throughout Salt Lake, Utah, and Davis counties, as well as a branch in St. George.

People’s Utah Bancorp also has another subsidiary, Lewiston State Bank. Both banks are state regulated and locally established. As such, the parent company makes an effort to be a presence and stay involved in the community.

They appear spot on with the restoration of the old Bank of American Fork building.

“It’s a beautiful building,” Hadfield said. “The bank has done a great job in restoring it.”

09 Jul

Big-D Teams Up with the Art Association of Jackson Hole

Our Jackson Hole office recently teamed up with the Art Association of Jackson Hole to sponsor a week of summer camp for elementary school students. Click here to check out the murals, created by the students, that now hang at one of our project sites.