Construction Safety Week: Thank You For Using Your Voice

We all have something to contribute when it comes to safety, and it’s important to demonstrate that every voice matters when forming a plan.  Diversity of thought creates more efficient and effective solutions and helps teams take ownership of preventing incidents together.  When our craft trust their team and use their voices to raise concerns or provide best practices to protect each other, it helps increase their and their team’s understanding of a task and the associated hazards.  Thank you for your participation in Construction Safety Week 2024! We know it’s a collaborative effort, and one that we all must participate in.

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Construction Safety Week 2024: Strengthen Our Culture

Having an effective safety culture is a critical component of our successes.  Communication is the key – trust is the cornerstone.  The schools we build, the stadiums we erect, the high rises and shopping malls; the playgrounds and hospitals and the infrastructure projects we work on; they’re each a part of our legacy.  They’re a sum of work greater than all of us, and for most of us, they are projects we can be proud of.  The rewarding “I built that” message we give to our friends and families is bound by the culture we establish and the safe work habits we engage in.  Culture exists in every corner of our lives, and our work culture echoes our own, both at and away from our project sites.

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Construction Safety Week 2024: Embracing Every Voice

Embracing every voice creates an environment where every team member feels valued and heard.  When people feel their voice is heard, employee morale and engagement improve, teams are more productive, and a variety of perspectives are brought into the conversation.  In contrast, if people do not feel heard, they are substantially less likely to bring forth concerns, which then directly correlates to decreased morale and productivity.  We embrace every voice with open communication, active listening, communicating concerns, encouraging engagement, and conducting follow-ups.

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Construction Safety Week 2024: Encourage and Welcome New Ideas

Valuing every voice makes sure all team members have a chance to add ideas and are not restricted to the perceived best practice of the loudest voice on the crew.  Instead, they are empowered to ask questions, challenge norms, share different ideas for improvement and solve problems in a collaborative and more effective manner.  The dialogue created through everyone’s contribution to the discussion brings forward all the expertise on the crew and leads to better hazard identification, and safety improvements in the work process.

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Construction Safety Week 2024: Driving Personal Ownership

Although the construction industry has extensive safety standards, processes, and procedures in place to keep us safe, serious accidents and dangerous events can occur at any time unless we continue to maintain consistent focus. It’s important that every one of us accepts a greater level of responsibility for our own safety and the safety of others.  When it comes to safety, whether it be an unsafe condition or behavior, if you see it, you own it, if you walk by it, you condone it.

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OlympiaTech Welcome Shane Rucks to its Project Management Team

Shane Rucks is the newest addition to the growing project management team at OlympiaTech Electric. Shane was recently hired as an Associate Project Manager. In this role, Shane will oversee electrical construction projects including new construction and tenant improvements. Shane has 16 years of experience in the electrical industry and spent 14 of those years working as a journeyman electrician.

Ensuring Continuity: The Importance of Emergency Backup Systems in Commercial Construction Projects and Buildings

In commercial construction and building management, ensuring continuity of operations is very important. From unexpected power outages to natural disasters, disruptions can occur at any moment, posing significant challenges to business operations and occupant safety. That’s where emergency backup systems come into play, serving as lifelines during times of crisis and safeguarding against costly downtime. These systems are essential for both commercial construction projects and existing buildings.

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Building the Future: A Smart Approach to Commercial Building Integration

As technology continues to change the way we interact with our surroundings, the concept of smart buildings has emerged in the commercial construction industry. From intelligent lighting and HVAC systems to advanced security and occupancy sensors, the integration of smart technologies offers unprecedented opportunities for enhancing efficiency, comfort, and sustainability within commercial buildings.

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Maximizing Efficiency: Upgrading Commercial Buildings for Energy Savings

In an era where sustainability is imperative to doing business, the need for energy efficiency in commercial buildings has become increasingly important. From reducing operational costs to meeting environmental regulations and enhancing corporate reputation, there are numerous benefits from optimizing energy usage. Fortunately, advancements in technology and innovative strategies have made it easier than ever for businesses to achieve greater energy efficiency.

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Anticipating Electric Vehicle Charging Needs at Commercial Properties

As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution gains momentum, commercial property managers and builder owners face a new challenge: preparing for the rising demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. With an increasing number of businesses and individuals embracing sustainable transportation, the need for accessible and efficient charging solutions is becoming paramount. Below are some proactive strategies to meet the growing demand for electric vehicle charging at commercial properties.

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OlympiaTech Employee Chili Cookoff

Last week we held our annual chili cook off in the office. Our service manager, Daryl Sittig, took first place, our project manager, Matt Backus, took 2nd place, and our service coordinator, Juli, Durant took 3rd place. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Identifying and Mitigating Workplace Electrical Hazards

Electrical hazards in the workplace pose a significant threat to the safety and well-being of employees. From office settings to industrial environments, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of the potential risks and preventive measures. Below is a list of some of the top electrical hazards in the workplace and strategies to mitigate these risks.

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The Real Cost of Deferring Electrical Maintenance

While deferring electrical maintenance might seem like a cost-saving measure in the short term, it can have far-reaching consequences and ultimately result in higher expenses and risks. Electrical systems are critical for maintaining day-to-day operations, and neglecting upkeep can lead to equipment failures, fire hazards, increased energy consumption, compliance issues, shortened equipment lifespans, safety risks for occupants, and potential legal or insurance complications.

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How to Keep your Electrical Systems Running Smoothly this Summer

In the summer, facility managers and property owners should take certain steps to ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of their building’s electrical systems. Here are some important items to consider during the summer season:

  1. Inspect and clean electrical equipment: Regular inspection of electrical equipment, such as circuit breakers, transformers, and panels, is essential. Ensure that they are free of dust, dirt, and debris. Clean or replace air filters in electrical cabinets or control rooms to maintain proper ventilation. Continue reading “How to Keep your Electrical Systems Running Smoothly this Summer”

Byron Bacon Retires from OlympiaTech Electric

Byron Bacon recently retired from OlympiaTech Electric His last day was May 26, 2023. Byron worked at OlympiaTech for the last 8 years and most recently held the position of director of estimating. Join us in wishing Byron well in his new adventures in retirement!

Engaging Electrical Contractors Early in the Design Build Process

Engaging electrical contractors early in the design build process for commercial buildings is important for several reasons:

  1. Expertise: Electrical contractors bring specialized knowledge and expertise in electrical systems, codes, regulations, and industry best practices. By involving them early, you can benefit from their insights and input during the design phase. They can provide valuable guidance on the feasibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of various electrical design options. Their expertise ensures that the electrical systems are properly planned and integrated into the overall building design.
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Rebekah Curran’s New Role

Rebekah Curran recently took on a new position as a special projects coordinator. She previously worked as an administrative assistant. In this new role, Rebekah works with the service department and special projects division to assist with project related organization, communication, and administration.

Bruce Larson joins OlympiaTech as Senior Estimator

Bruce Larson recently joined OlympiaTech as the newest member of the estimating team. Bruce will take on the role of senior estimator. He has many years of experience in the electrical industry and brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. Welcome to the team, Bruce!

Electrical Considerations for New Construction Projects

Reviewing electrical considerations before constructing a new building is crucial for safety, compliance, functionality, integration, and future-proofing. It ensures that the electrical system is designed and implemented in a way that meets the building’s needs, adheres to regulations, and provides a safe and efficient environment for occupants. Here are some of the important aspects to consider:

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Considering a Renovation? Here are some electrical considerations to review.

When renovating a building, property owners should take several electrical considerations into account. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Electrical System Evaluation: Before starting any renovations, it’s crucial to assess the existing electrical system’s condition and capacity. Determine if the system can handle the increased electrical load that may result from the renovation. Consider consulting with a licensed electrician or electrical engineer to evaluate the system and provide recommendations.
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The Importance of Arc Flash Studies

An arc flash study, also known as an arc flash hazard analysis or arc flash risk assessment, is a comprehensive assessment conducted to evaluate the potential for arc flash incidents in an electrical system. It involves analyzing the system’s electrical components, equipment, and configurations to determine the incident energy levels and arc flash boundaries that may be present during a fault or abnormal condition.

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Paul Kosmides Inducted to NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting

OlympiaTech Principal, Paul Kosmides, has been inducted to the Academy of Electrical Contracting. The Academy of Electrical Contracting honors outstanding leaders in the electrical contracting industry who have rendered exceptional service to the industry and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

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OlympiaTech Welcomes Tony Kosmides to the Team

We would like to welcome our newest team member, Tony Kosmides. Tony recently joined OlympiaTech as a Tool & Technology Support Assistant. In this role, he will assist field operations with the planning, implementation, and coordination of on-site technology needs at our project sites. Tony will also oversee the asset management process as the Hilti OnTrack administrator.

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OlympiaTech Helps Inspire the Future of our Industry at Power Girls Camp

OlympiaTech was proud to join forces with other industry partners to volunteer at the Power Girls camp hosted by Girl Scouts River Valleys. The week-long camp is organized by Girl Scouts River Valleys and gives school-aged girls the opportunity to learn about the construction trades and participate in hands-on construction projects alongside trades workers and other industry professionals.

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How to Prepare for Increasing Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Commercial Properties

Electric vehicle use is increasing rapidly as adoption becomes more mainstream and as more and more automakers are coming out with electric and hybrid model offerings. Rising gas prices are also contributing to the accelerated demand for electric vehicles.

Additional growth is on the horizon due to the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in November which includes $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers across the country. This act is part of a larger national agenda aimed at reducing carbon emissions, which includes a goal to make 50% of all new vehicles sold in the United States zero-emission vehicles by the year 2030.

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Supply Chain Disruptions in the Construction Industry

As you know, major supply chain disruptions are still taking place in our industry and changes are happening daily. The two main issues we are experiencing are price increases and extended lead times. We are working closely with our vendor and supplier partners to optimize inventory, negotiate pricing, and manage logistics to the best of our ability but we are unable to control the constantly changing market conditions.

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OlympiaTech Electric CEO Seaen Kosmides Appointed President of Minneapolis Chapter, NECA

OlympiaTech Electric CEO Seaen Kosmides was recently appointed as president of the Minneapolis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). She was officially sworn in on January 8, 2022 at the Minneapolis Chapter Recognition Dinner and Installation of Officers held in Minneapolis. Ms. Kosmides is the first-ever woman to hold the presidential seat in the chapter’s 69-year history.

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Lighting Efficiency Improvements and Rebate Programs

Save your Business Money with Lighting Efficiency Improvements
When you make the switch to energy-efficient lighting, it can drive long-term energy and cost savings to your bottom-line. With lighting rebates you can help lower your upfront costs and speed up the payback on a wide range of lighting efficiency improvement projects, including LED upgrades.

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OlympiaTech Electric Receives WBE Excellence Award from Mortenson

OlympiaTech Electric was recently recognized for “WBE Excellence” by Mortenson Construction at the Mortenson Choice Awards. The WBE Excellence award is presented to an outstanding woman-owned firm that has worked on a project with Mortenson within the last two years. OlympiaTech was selected for its “excellent communication practices and strong commitment to teamwork” on the Fort Snelling revitalization project.

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Bridgewater Bank Headquarters Unveiled

Bridgewater Bank HQ

OlympiaTech Electric recently completed the electrical construction of the Bridgewater Bank Corporate Headquarters building in St. Louis Park, MN. In addition to the corporate offices for Bridgewater Bank, the property also houses a full-service, ground-level retail bank branch, restaurant, fitness studio, and expansive outdoor plaza with greenspace and public seating.

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Cherne relocates HQ and Manufacturing to Shakopee, MN

Cherne Industries, part of the Oatey Co. family of brands, recently completed a historic move of its headquarters and manufacturing operations — its first in more than 60 years — to a newly constructed, 130,000-square-foot facility located in Shakopee, MN, situated 25 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. OlympiaTech was proud to be the electrical partner for the project.

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OlympiaTech Shares Industry Insights at Power Girls Camp

OlympiaTech Electric was proud to join forces with other industry partners at the Power Girls Camp in June. The week-long camp is organized by Girl Scouts River Valleys and gives school-aged girls the opportunity to learn about the construction trades and participate in hands-on construction projects alongside trades workers and other industry professionals.

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WIN-TC Hosts Panel Discussion on Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Construction

Women-in-NECA Twin Cities (WIN-TC) founder and OlympiaTech CEO Seaen Kosmides, along with the rest of the WIN-TC chapter, hosted a virtual panel discussion on advancing inclusion and diversity in the construction industry. The event was planned in conjunction with Women in Construction Week 2021 which is organized by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).

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Electrical System Preventative Maintenance & Safety Best Practices

With the start of the new year, property owners and managers are preparing for their 2021 projects and improvement programs – including preventative maintenance for building systems. Preventative maintenance of critical building equipment can help identify and correct issues before they become major problems. These proactive actions will help ensure that electrical systems are performing at optimal levels and reduce the chances of costly downtime. Now is also a great time to review safety best practices to ensure your facility is operating safely, in compliance, and up to code.

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Preparing Your Facility for The New Normal

As we navigate these times of change together, we want you to know that OlympiaTech is here for you and we can help prepare your facility for the transition to the new normal. The pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of working and many of our clients are turning to us for help with the implementation of new concepts and technologies at their facilities, including:

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OlympiaTech to Participate in NECA Safety Stand Down for COVID-19 Pandemic

As a longtime member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), OlympiaTech will participate in the NECA Safety Stand Down for COVID-19 taking place on April 29, 2020 to recognize its own essential workers, as well as the many electricians across the country, who continue to work on critical construction projects during the pandemic.

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OlympiaTech’s COVID-19 Update Regarding Executive Order 20-20

Valued Clients and Partners,

As you know, Governor Walz has issued a “stay at home” order requiring all Minnesotans to stay at home, subject to certain exceptions, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OlympiaTech is considered an essential and critical business sector so we are exempt from this order pursuant to the Emergency Executive Order 20-20.

This means OlympiaTech will remain operational during this two-week period which begins on Friday March 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM and ends on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

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Women in Construction Week: Q&A With Tiffanee Kiecker

In honor of Women in Construction Week 2020, OlympiaTech is proud to feature a few of our female team members. Today’s feature is on Tiffanee Kiecker. Tiffanee is finishing up her electrical apprenticeship program and working towards becoming a journey(wo)man electrician. Here is what Tiffanee has to say about her experience working in the construction industry.

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Women In Construction Week: Q&A with Electrician Jenna Johnston

In honor of Women in Construction Week 2020, OlympiaTech is proud to feature a few of our female crew members. Today’s feature is on Jenna Johnston. Jenna completed her electrical apprenticeship program with OlympiaTech and is now working as a journeywoman. Here is what Jenna has to say about her experience working in the construction industry.

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OlympiaTech Educates Future Workforce on Construction Career Paths

On February 5, 2020, Mortenson Construction hosted a group of young women from Girls Taking Action at their headquarters office in Minneapolis for an event focused on construction careers. The goal of the event was to educate the future workforce about the many exciting career paths available in the construction industry. The event featured a variety of  booths educating middle-school girls about different career choices including human resources, marketing, accounting, project management, virtual reality, construction field operations, and electrical construction.

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OlympiaTech Electric Announces New President, Chad Gasca

OlympiaTech Electric has appointed Chad Gasca as its new president. Chad has been with OlympiaTech for 21 years and most recently served as vice president. He started his career with OlympiaTech as an electrical apprentice and has occupied many roles within the company. He is also the master electrician for OlympiaTech. Mr. Gasca will be taking the reins from 20-year president, Paul Kosmides who is a co-owner of OlympiaTech along with his sister and business partner, Seaen Kosmides.

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Benefits of Performing Electrical Preventative Maintenance

Property managers, facility managers, and building owners know how disruptive the loss of power can be. Being without power, heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, security, and a fully functioning facility can be more than just an inconvenience. When a building experiences electrical failure, tenants are at risk of losing information, damaging equipment, disrupting schedules, and costly downtime – all of which can lead to costly repairs or equipment replacement costs. That’s why electrical preventative maintenance is a necessary investment. While it may seem costly to perform regular preventative maintenance, it really can save you thousands in disruption and repairs.

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OlympiaTech Electric Appoints Seaen Kosmides as Chief Executive Officer

Seaen Kosmides

OlympiaTech Electric has appointed Seaen Kosmides as the company’s chief executive officer. Ms. Kosmides has been with OlympiaTech full-time since 2001 and has held the role of vice president for the last eight years. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a diverse background to her new role of CEO having strategic leadership experience that spans finance, investments, operations management, human resources, safety, technology systems, and entrepreneurship.

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Seaen Kosmides Sits on Panel for NAWIC 2018 Midwest Region Fall Conference

OlympiaTech vice president and partner, Seaen Kosmides, joined four other women in a panel discussion at the National Association of Women in Construction’s 2018 Midwest Regional Fall Conference last Friday. The women spoke about overcoming hurdles and finding success in the construction industry.

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Maximize Your Operating Budget With Occupancy Sensors

In an era of rising energy costs and declining budgets, energy conservation is a must for property owners. An easy way to reduce energy consumption in commercial and industrial properties is through the use of occupancy sensors. Occupancy sensors allow lights to be turned on only when a room is occupied therefore eliminating unnecessary lighting.

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OlympiaTech Participates in Alliance Housing’s Pillsbury House Renovation Project

OlympiaTech is proud to have participated in Alliance Housings’ recent renovation at 2011 Pillsbury Avenue South in Minneapolis, MN. Alliance Housing builds and manages quality housing for people with low incomes or those who need transitional housing to get back on their feet.

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Employee Spotlight: Rich Storck

The driving force and momentum behind OlympiaTech Electric is our dedicated team. We are truly powered by our people! Get to know the members of the OlympiaTech team more personally in our employee spotlight feature.

Today, we’re introducing you to superintendent, Rich Storck. Rich has been with OlympiaTech for 17 years. He started out working in the field and then held the role of service manager for many years before moving into his current role as superintendent.

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The Hub Minneapolis is Recognized as a MNSHARP Worksite for Exceeding OSHA Standards

The Hub Minneapolis, a 26-story residential tower on the University of Minnesota campus, recently received recognition for becoming a MNSHARP construction worksite. The Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Program (MNSHARP) is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Workplace Safety Consultation division and is awarded to projects that exceed OSHA standards. Continue reading “The Hub Minneapolis is Recognized as a MNSHARP Worksite for Exceeding OSHA Standards”

The Hub on Campus Minneapolis Holds Grand Opening & Ribbon-Cutting

The newest housing development geared towards students and young professionals on the University of Minnesota campus is almost ready for tenants to begin moving in. The project team for The Hub on Campus Minneapolis, a high-rise residential tower adjacent to Moose Tower, celebrated the completion of construction with a grand opening event complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

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LED Lighting Benefits for Property Owners and Facility Managers

LED is one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. Quality LED lighting lasts longer, is more durable, and offers better light-quality than other types of lighting. As the purchase price of LED lighting continues to decrease, more and more property owners and facility managers are upgrading their lighting systems with LEDs, given the benefits LED offers compared to traditional technologies.

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OlympiaTech Electric’s Seaen Kosmides Elected to Mpls NECA Board of Directors

Congratulations to Seaen Kosmides, vice president of OlympiaTech Electric, for being elected to serve on the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Minneapolis Chapter’s Board of Directors for an initial 2-year term. Other new members elected this year include Jerry Hein of ECSI and Phil Myers with Collins. Seaen will be recognized for her appointment to the board, along with the other new members, at the upcoming Recognition Dinner and Installation of Officers on January 5, 2018.

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Minneapolis Public Schools’ Adult Education Facility Breaks Ground

Construction has begun on the 3-story facility that will house the Minneapolis Public Schools’ Adult Education and Transition Plus programs which are currently being offered at other locations.

The MPS Adult Education program offers classes and resources for  more than 6,000 adults annually in the areas of academics, workforce literacy, and basic life skills.

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Shell Building and Two Tenant Build-Outs Well Underway at Northern Stacks IV

Northern Stacks IV, an office/warehouse project totaling 177,600 SF, is moving right along with completion scheduled for fall of 2017. The building is part of phase three of four phases located within Northern Stacks, a master-planned urban-industrial development located along the Mississippi River in Fridley, MN.

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Finance & Commerce Top Projects of 2016

Finance & Commerce recognized it’s Top Projects of 2016 at its annual awards ceremony held on July 26, 2017 at Minneapolis Event Center. A panel of experts in construction and closely-related industries selected the 33 honorees for 2016. OlympiaTech was proud to have provided electrical construction services for two of the recognized projects including Hewing Hotel and Star Exhibits. The Hewing Hotel project entailed renovating the historic Jackson Building in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood into a Nordic-influenced, boutique hotel. Star Exhibits was a design-build, new construction project to house Star’s Minneapolis headquarters.

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New Service Team Members Added to Serve You Better

We have some exciting changes happening in the OlympiaTech Electric Service Department. Rich Storck, our service manager of many years, is transitioning into a new position as superintendent. In this new role, Rich will oversee project manpower. As such, we are excited to introduce to you, the two newest members of our service team who will be taking care of you, Julie Chapman and Daryl Sittig.

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A New High-Tech Headquarters for Star Exhibits

A new 200,000 SF office, warehouse, and manufacturing facility was built for Star Exhibits, a tradeshow and retail design company. As the design-build electrical contractor on the project, OlympiaTech worked closely with Star Exhibits to understand its goals, requirements, areas of opportunity, and future capacity needs, to design a tailored facility-solution.

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Rosedale Center Mall Renovation Underway

Work is well underway on the Rosedale Center expansion and renovation project. The two-year renovation project will include updates to the interior and exterior to provide an enhanced experience for visitors as well as a new parking deck and other exciting additions. The mall will remain open and fully operational during construction and the project should be complete in time for the 2017 holiday shopping season.

26-Story Apartment Tower Breaks Ground at University of Minnesota Campus

The newest housing development at the University of Minnesota campus is underway on the corner of Washington Avenue SE and Harvard Street. When completed, the 26-story tower will house 407 units and ground-floor retail space, comprising 429,041 square feet. The tower will boast views overlooking the Mississippi River, the University of Minnesota Campus, and the downtown Minneapolis skyline.

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