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Under pressure

By James Kogutkiewicz

As job superintendent for The Neuroscience Group of Northeast Wisconsin’s new two-story medical office building in Neenah, Jim Ziegler already had more than enough to do. But a series of unique challenges during construction left Ziegler, who works for Miron Construction Co. Inc., Neenah, juggling his normal duties with work crews twice the usual size and an archaeological exploration.

The Neuroscience Center of Northeast Wisconsin is set inside a wooded area. An entryway to the 38,900-square-foot building includes a bridge that crosses over a stream.

To build the bridge, the project team needed to acquire a specific Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources permit related to public waterways.

Ziegler helped the project earn the necessary permit, but during the review process the DNR determined the land for The Neuroscience Center potentially had value as an archaeological site, said Miron project manager Andy Derksen.

Ultimately, further exploration of the grounds revealed there was nothing to indicate the site had archaeological value, but no construction was able to start until the determination was made.

The setback forced Miron to race against the calendar.

It was May 2007 and dozens of things needed to be accomplished to close off the building before the Wisconsin winter moved in.

Derksen said Miron needed to use 40 tradesmen at once, twice as many as usually would be required, to complete the masonry in time.

Derksen said Ziegler did an outstanding job managing the oversized crew. Ziegler broke down the overall construction schedule into subsections and made sure the schedule was enforced, he said.

“It was pretty impressive,” Derksen said. “If you think about trying to coordinate 40 different guys, and that’s just the masons.”
Ziegler wasn’t the only unsung hero on the project.

For Appleton-based Faith Technologies Inc. – which installed all the lighting, electrical distribution, alarm systems and telephone hardware – field foreman Randy Groskreutz kept things moving, said Faith project manager Christine Rahlf.

Groskreutz led the effort to get conduit underground and ready before other tradesmen came into the building.

On an already hurried schedule for others, Rahlf said, Groskreutz’s efforts kept Faith Technologies’ workers “out of everybody else’s way.”

“Those are all things that contribute to a smooth project,” Rahlf said.

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