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Wolgast Blog

Construction blog discussing trends, tips, and insider information from a commercial contractor specialized in general construction, design/build, construction management, and insurance restoration.

Hail Damage Risk for School Districts and Restoration Action

What do a pea, a quarter, a mothball, and a golf ball have in common? You probably guessed it, they are all used to describe sizes of hail. The bigger the diameter of hail, the bigger the damage it causes, especially for School Districts. You may wonder why a school would be worse off than most other structures, but when you consider that most Districts have a campus with multiple buildings in the same area, the cost to restore after a hail storm can add up quickly.

Certificate of Need and Your Design/Build Contractor

Updated 11/24/20: The controversial Certificate of Need (CON) program in Michigan is in question through several new bills that passed the Michigan Senate in February 2020.  It has yet to be decided in the House.  The debate has been ongoing and seems to be getting more and more heated with those against it arguing for an open market approach to drive down cost and those for it are claiming that the medical industry needs to be regulated to keep a high standard of care at an affordable cost.

All Things Touchless Boosts Protections for Onsite Staff

Through the pandemic, business leaders have learned that the importance of making work spaces safer within a commercial, industrial or institutional building and still be functional for workers, students, patients, patrons, clients, or whoever else may cross the threshold. Now, winter is predicted to elevate the Covid-19 spread as people are spending more time indoors sharing air. Even though many Michigan businesses are still closed from the shutdown or limited because they have made it possible for their work force to force work from home, some industries can’t have their staff working from home, schools have been going between open and closed as they navigate the infection levels, and healthcare offices are still restricting their service and who can come in the building. As these entities plan for the long haul of whatever amount of time the virus is going to be inflicting us, the keys of working at the “office” are separation, clean air, and making more things “touchless” in the business space – AKA All Things Touchless.

Fire Resistant Building Elements for Business Owners

To prepare for Fire Prevention Week the beginning of October, we have compiled information about making a business structure more fire resistant.

Michigan Schools Making Space for Robotics

At the 2018 FIRST Robotics World Championships in Detroit, there were 601 teams from Michigan. To say that robotics is growing quickly is an understatement. Through grants, bond programs, and sponsorships, Michigan School Districts are making room on their campuses to support those teams. The makerspace, as these rooms are more broadly called, can include a robotics lab. These areas are “dependent on the size of the robotics involved”, according to Douglas Rich of spaces4learning.com in his article, Designing Robotics Labs.   “There is no difference between learning to program a demonstration robot or full-size robotics arm; so many schools choose the smaller robots to save space and money”.

Expert Says Take Advantage of Large Rebates to Convert to LED Lighting

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are the most efficient light option on the market, and energy companies are making them more affordable for residential and commercial clients. The market cost can seem prohibitive for business owners with hundreds of bulbs to convert, despite the fact that LED lights last much longer and use significantly less energy. In 2019, 10.4% of electricity costs in the U.S. came from lighting our businesses.1   This figure has been trending downward from 38% in 2003 for commercial buildings2.

New Ways to Add Infection Control to Your Healthcare Office

Medical and Dental practice owners you’ve taken a big hit same as most other industries due to the Covid-19 shut down. You’re still fresh to reopening and making the extended measures to provide infection control and start treating patients safely again. Your building facility can be made more effective in protecting staff and patients better, including tools for surface cleaning, aerosol infection control and social distancing.

Five of the Best Reasons for a Commercial Building Renovation

Commercial Renovation to Stay Put


You either really like your building the way that it is, your location is part of your long-term plan, or financially speaking a new building is out of the question.  Those are all good reasons to stay where you are.  However, I’d like to share with you a few of the best reasons to consider renovating where you are currently.

1)  Improve traffic to your business – we have seen it time and again that renovating a commercial space peaks the interest of local people.  It also provides additional promotional opportunities because having a renovated space to talk about creates a whole new advertising campaign.  Whether you’re a doctor, restaurant or a school, you consistently want to attract new people to your space, right?  This is a great way to do it while improving your building investment.

Key Elements that Help Our CM Division Achieve Team Cohesion

Construction Management is the ideal delivery method for large, complex construction projects, such as those for School Districts.  School Boards and Superintendents rely on their Architect and Construction Manager (CM) to form dynamic teams to fulfill a project’s goals and seamlessly deliver their buildings on time and within budget.  Team cohesion is the goal on each of our projects. Taking into consideration that we are possibly working with new and diverse players with each new School District, this takes effort and coordination to achieve.  An experienced CM typically will have vast resources and relationships with a wide variety of Prime Contractors, but when bidding projects, an unfamiliar contractor may be more suitable in achieving the schedule, budget, or meet proximity requirements of local contractor, therefore, we have tools that we use to initiate them onto the team as a cohesive member.

Construction Training Program Offers Options for Rewarding Careers after High School

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and their Greater Michigan Construction Academy (GMCA) further supports Michigan contractors with an additional training program for interested high school students.  First a little history, Wolgast was one of the founding contractors to bring the local ABC Chapter to the Saginaw Valley Area in 1977.  Six years later ABC started the Merit Shop Training Program, now known as the GMCA, to train construction workers on skilled trades. They started by provided training for a variety of construction workers.  Until recently, their traditional student has been the adult learner taking evening classes.  In 2011, ABC expanded from the Saginaw Valley Chapter to the Greater Michigan Chapter, and included a total of 23 Michigan counties.

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