APPLETON, Wisconsin – The Appleton-based team at Consolidated Construction Co. faced a job like no other.
Create a COVID-19 quarantine and isolation facility. And that in just a few months.
“We knew we were running a COVID isolation facility – nobody knew what that meant,” said Brett Christofferson, project manager at Consolidated. “It was something that nobody had any idea how to do, what to do, what to install. Between Consolidated and our project team, we were able to find various ways and means to bring the customer a product that gives them this safe haven. “
The facility is vital for the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe to help control the spread of the virus through its South Dakota community.
“We have two or three generations living in almost every house,” said Jesse Larsen, a tribe’s construction specialist. “If someone tests positive, three generations will test positive. So it only becomes an epidemic in this one house. “
The tribe chose to use the CARES Act money for the 16-unit facility. The catch: it had to be done by the end of 2020.
That meant the trunk, the consolidated, and the HKG architectural firm had to work on an aggressive timeline. Work on the building began in late summer and met the deadline.
A tape cut for the first construction phase took place at the end of February.
“It was really special to see the excitement on the faces of the tribe members that they completed the project and saw this project start and go through the whole process,” said Christofferson.
Work on the facility will continue with another 22 units under construction.
The quarantine and isolation facility is a first for many team members and was specially developed for the community.
“The purpose of the facility was so that our tribe could preserve their culture, language, stories and people,” said Matt Thompson, the tribe’s director of planning.
In addition to the COVID-19 facility, Consolidated worked with the tribe to build a pantry and early childhood learning center.
Tribal officials say the projects inspire a sense of optimism – even in the difficult circumstances created by the pandemic.
“We have great confidence that we can do everything again,” said Larsen.