New Classroom Building for Racine Montessori School


It wasn’t a matter of if, but when to start expansion of the school’s teaching space for the Racine Montessori School (RMS) in Racine, Wisconsin. This is a very determined community of faculty, administration and parents. And we are delighted they gave Industrial Construction & Associates the opportunity to help them meet their goal of doubling the class room space for the upper elementary students.

RMS, originally located in the historic DeKoven Center in Racine, moved to the current building in 1996. The building was formerly used by a public school called Lakeside School. However, Lakeside School closed in the 1950?s and the building was purchased by J.I.Case Corporation (now CNH), who used it as office space. The RMS Board of Directors and Case Corporation worked out an agreement regarding the building and Case moved its operation from the site in the spring of 1996. Since then, RMS has significantly expanded its program and its enrollment, which required extra teaching space.

Finding the Right Solution

The Board of Directors and its advisors considered expanding the main building and analyzed the associated costs. Although they had the room for it, building out to the east would be too expensive. Fortunately the property contained an unused garage building that with the right changes would make an ideal teaching space. According to Rita Lewis, school administrator, “RMS owns the property out to Center Street so it felt right for us to unify the campus and pull the whole property together.”

ICA worked with Rita and the RMS Board of Directors for about a year in finding the right combination of additional space and budget. Over that time, the plans went through a number of revisions. A better approach would be to split the additional building in two and have two classrooms. The parents were behind it; they were excited because they saw it as a positive statement that the school was growing. Staff and alumni supported it as well.

The former garage is now a standalone classroom building featuring:

  • 1,566 Square Feet in Classroom and 2,440 Square Feet of total space.
  • Dishwasher, stove, refrigerators, two bathrooms.
  • Added HVAC, two roof top units.
  • Used LED lighting on the exterior. Would consider solar panel there in the future.

The most compelling feature of the new facility is the east wall which is now 7/8th windows allowing an abundance of natural light to fill the classroom. In fact, you don’t even need lights in there during daylight hours! The room feels open and spacious because the entire wall is 14′ high with a 3′ foot high knee wall. ICA removed two 19′ service doors to accommodate this.

Because the structure was formerly a garage (essentially a shell of a building) ICA didn’t have much to demo. First ICA took care of the utilities: electrical, sanitary sewer and new water service. They gave it its own electrical panels and tied the electrical to the main building. They tore the floor out for underground plumbing. The building couldn’t meet energy code so ICA built out the walls and insulated the ceiling.

Obtaining financing was a challenge, but once the project was underway it was a positive experience for everyone involved. There was no problem that couldn’t be worked out. Issues like difficult plumbing and some bad soil that kept caving in and filling in with water only slowed things down a little.

Why Select ICA?

Rita had this to say about selecting Industrial Construction & Associates for the project, “ICA has such a good name in the community. People on the board know the people and the company. There was no question about going elsewhere. The company bent over backwards coming to parent meetings and being available whenever we had questions. They jave an open book policy. We had timelines whenever we needed. They are very transparent, we never had a worry about that.”

John Elicson, the project architect, has worked with ICA on several different projects. According to John, “I’ve done both new construction and remodel. This went well; everyone involved had an accommodating and creative attitude. I’ve been an architect for 25 years and worked with many contractors. Two of them stand out as exceptional and ICA is one of them!”

Complete Renovation For Beauty Salon


Polished Beauty Bar is different than standard beauty salons.  From the moment their clients walk in the door, they can see that the facility, staff and equipment are there to exceed expectations. This was the premise behind the retail build out project we performed for salon owner Errika Stark. We served as general contractor. Butterfield, Rudie & Seitz (Ryan Rudie) was the architect.

The 2,700 square foot space is located on a relatively high traffic part of town on Highway 20, just west of Green Bay Road.  The front of the salon is a large open space for manicures and pedicures. Eight rooms make up the back half of the salon.

Noteworthy components of the project included:

  • Mirrored lighting and a 150 pound chandelier is the centerpiece of the main area of the salon. The chandelier was mounted below an acoustic paneled ceiling. We built the frame and housed the structure with acoustic panels.
  • The feature wall at the front of the salon is semi-circular, giving the space a dramatic and unique look.
  • There were extensive plumbing upgrades throughout the facility. Each pedicure station has its own sink. And in the restrooms, the lavatories are wall-mounted instead of floor mounted. It’s referred to in the trade as “carrier mounted”. While it’s rare in commercial settings, it can be found in high-end residences and some institutions. It provides a clean look and it’s easier to wash the floor and walls. There is a small risk in that if something goes wrong with the toilet, it requires opening up the wall.
  • Electrical upgrades help create the appropriate atmosphere. Every light fixture is on dimmer switch. Every fixture was hand chosen by the owner.
  • One of the requirements of a nail salon is the 750 cubic foot per minute exhaust requirement. By comparison, the requirement for households is 60 cubic feet per minute of exhaust. This called for the development and installation of a massive exhaust system.
  • The salon is situated between two restaurants. That means extra steps had to be taken for noise attenuation for the two massage rooms. During the open house event, several potential salon clients put the effectiveness of the sound attenuation to the test. Folks laughed in the hallway and could not be heard inside the rooms.


The owner of Polished Beauty Bar envisioned much more than a standard nail salon. She required a retail space that reflected the high expectations she has for her business and the pampered, luxurious environment she envisioned for her clients. The business has a space where its clients can relax and be pampered.

“We’re especially proud of the work ICA provided on this project. And that our business philosophies & skill sets complement one another. They stand behind their work just like we do at ICA.”

Among many accountabilities, our role was to get the business owner lined up with the right experts in terms of fire alarm system, smoke system and entry alarms. We also helped in terms of communication of responsibilities – those of the landlord and those of the retail tenant. This project had several complexities; we were there to guide the client through them. For example, we handled a number of challenges associated with state inspection requirements. In the end, we were successful in maintaining the overall budget.

General Contractor on New Wastewater System

Butter Buds Inc., a Racine, Wisconsin based manufacturer of concentrated flavor technology, selected ICA as the General Contractor for its new wastewater management system project. The company develops and markets innovative, all-natural concentrated dairy flavors and specialty flavor ingredients. Their goal was to create and install a wastewater system in compliance with city, state and federal requirements.

ICA worked directly with Butter Buds, Inc. Butter Buds selected an engineer to design their wastewater treatment system. They specified the equipment and decided where the waste was going to be stored. The company’s production takes place in their main building, which is where the waste product is generated. However, the waste is stored in a separate, adjacent building.

A private drive separates the two buildings so the new system transports the wastewater underneath the drive. ICA oversaw the boring of three separate lines under the road as well as 5 lines that went into the second building into their tanks. All the work was performed in conjunction with the city plumbing inspection department.

As General Contractor, ICA’s Project Manager managed the job. Contractors that worked along with ICA included the client’s equipment supplier (providing the pre-treatment equipment), the underground boring company and the electrician. ICA also worked with Digger’s Hotline and Private Lines to identify potential underground utility infrastructure (electrical, phone, sewer, sanitary, etc) for the boring company.

Once the system was tested and was up and running, ICA poured the floor. Our next step was the build out of the adjacent building.

ICA provided the following:

  • Built a 60′ x 25′ x 6″ demising wall (dry wall on either side of the wall to separate tenant space).
  • Installed a 4′ x 8′ hole for a fresh air louver as well as a 10 x 10′ overhead door.
  • Create a 40′ L-shaped curb to form a containment area (end of January).

The project was completed on budget and on time, enabling Butter Buds, Inc. to meet its deadline.

New Community Room for Sacred Heart Church

The parishioners and staff at Sacred Heart, a Catholic Church located in Racine, Wisconsin, had only one option for its gatherings. They had to walk across the parking lot to the school’s multi-purpose room.

That all changed with their new community room project designed by BMR Design Group and built by Industrial Construction & Associates. Its capacity is 300 and it consists of a 7,000 square foot addition including a kitchen and restrooms. It was build adjacent to the original church entrance. The new addition was designed with architectural features and matching brick that make it hard to distinguish from the original construction which was completed decades ago.

Another major component of the project was the extensive site work including new underground gas, sewer and water utilities. An existing circular drive was updated and exterior lighting installed. Motion detection lighting inside the addition is expected to provide energy savings in the long run. The facility had always been handicap accessible, but we made the facility more handicap accessible with push button doors.

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with BMR Design. In fact, BMR did the design work on the Church when it was built in 1968. It is very gratifying for us to note that the original architect from BMR helped consult on the new addition.

We are also pleased to have worked with Sacred Heart Church officials, including Father Crewe, Al Pfeiffer (Business Manager) and Larry Hobbs (Facilities Manager) during the construction process. It was particularly challenging coordinating the construction process around daily and weekend masses, other Church activities and the elementary school located on-site.

The new addition was named Haban Hall after Mr. Joe Haban, a major donor to the parish. Thanks to Haban Hall, the parish now has a comfortable space in which to hold meetings, visitations and events. According to Al Pfieffer, “We truly enjoy having a great area for gatherings and luncheons. Seniors have a great place to get together twice a month for games and fellowship. This was a very important project for Sacred Heart and ICA did a great job from start to finish.”

Marriott’s 20 & Oaks Redesign

Marriott Hotels wanted a change from the previous stuffy hotel restaurant to a more casual type atmosphere. This redesign included the installation of a new bar with granite countertop, new liquor/wine cabinets, coolers, a new gas fireplace, and lighting. A highlight of the redesign includes the buffet area with built in cook-tops, heating elements and refrigeration units. Additional finishing touches included flooring, wall coverings and ceilings work.

Industrial Construction & Associates recently renovated the former Chats lounge into the new 20 & Oakes Bar and Grill at the Racine Marriott. The Director of Food and Beverage, Bob Crawford explains the reason for the change: “Marriott Hotels wanted a change from the previous stuffy hotel restaurant to a more casual type atmosphere. In keeping with Marriott’s new plan, the next phase will open up the restaurant further with additional seating.”

Demolition included removal of the dated bar, brass railings, raised gaming area and infilling the sunken floor with concrete. Installation of a new bar with granite countertop, new liquor/wine cabinets, coolers, a new gas fireplace, and lighting. A highlight of the redesign includes the buffet area with built in cook-tops, heating elements and refrigeration units. Additional finishing touches included flooring, wall coverings and ceilings work.

Patrons can enjoy the four new large screen televisions, large fully stocked bar, fireplace and cozy atmosphere. Chef Skipp Worden has created a new and exciting menu including everything from land to sea. 20 & Oakes offers an all day dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere. Stop by and sample from over 50 Craft Beers and 50 Wines.

Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce and ICA presented 20 & Oakes with the Gold Key Award. This award recognizes businesses for commitment to the Racine area, informs the public and increases awareness of business growth in the Racine area.