On this episode of Radio Free Acton, award winning news anchor Anne Marie Schieber speaks with James Morgan about his job at Kerkstra Precast, an industrial plant. We get a look into James’ daily work and how he finds meaning and motivation in what he does.
SUMMER 2018 FEATURE
“Precast concrete was a key component in meeting the goals of the project; not only for its physical properties, but also for its aesthetic capabilities,” says Lynn Bolek, senior project manager.
Bedrock - Building the future
Kraemer Design Group worked with Kerkstra Precast to maximize the site limitations of the L-shaped parcel. The result is a total–precast concrete system with a contemporary feel. The façade features a thin brick veneer on the lower levels; the upper floors complement that finish with buff and gray concrete. The multifamily project is sited on a cast-in-place concrete podium with precast concrete hollow-core slab as the floor and roof system above. The wall on the north end of the building serves as both a fire wall and shear wall as the structure extends out to the property line.
The final exterior design, which Klymson refers to as “quietly modern and timeless,” alternates between full-floor solid and glass using nine unique panels for the entire building; however, 80% of the panels were identical in size. To break up the design, the architect alternated the direction of the rectangular panel from floor to floor. They also integrated tall, narrow glass modules between the panels to provide more light in the building and in the individual offices at less square footage than smaller strip windows. “It created great efficiency for cost and manufacturing,” he says.
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DECEMBER 14, 2017 BY TRENTON TRIB
BY BRIAN RZEPPA
In what might be seen as a hopeful sign of the times, Trenton recently welcomed a large manufacturer that has decided to expand into the Downriver area after years of production on the west side of the state.
Kerkstra Precast, a prefabricated engineered concrete products company based out of Grandville, purchased a 365,000-square-foot facility located at 1717 Fort Street (on the corner of Fort Street/King Road) that most recently was home to the Huron Valley Steel Corp. The building itself goes back to the 1960s, when it was constructed for the Dana Corp.
Greg Kerkstra, the president and CEO of Kerkstra Precast, noted that the city itself was an important selling point in expanding his company to Trenton, as is its proximity to other major manufacturing areas.
“It was a really great building and the area surrounding it is beautiful and safe, too,” Kerkstra said. “The city has been great to work with and we want to service east Michigan and go south into Ohio, so this location works well in trying to accomplish those goals.”
As a resident of Michigan, Kerkstra was duly inspired to be able to take part of the revitalization that has been occurring over the past few years in Detroit. He feels that Kerkstra Precast can help keep products and jobs within both the country and the state of Michigan.
“We are 100 percent Michigan,” he said. “If Detroit is strong, so is Michigan. Many construction materials are coming from outside of Michigan, including Canada and we want to keep this work inside of Michigan for the benefit of our state and the benefit of Detroit and the Downriver communities.”
They begun production from the Trenton facility in 2017 and are in the process of converting it to meet their needs, citizens may already be familiar with some of the work that they have played a role in creating.
“We produce prefabricated engineered concrete products indoors in a controlled setting and deliver them all over the Midwest. We create insulated wall panels for stores like Meijer and large industrial buildings and also parking structures like the Z deck or dormitories and multi-story buildings, in addition to architectural concrete like casting in brick.”
As they slowly work their way into the Trenton facility, Kerkstra hopes to be able to play a major role within the community. Throughout the company’s history, they have been consistent in donating 10 percent of their profits to local non-profit organizations and they plan on continuing that here.
“As an individual, I am committed to giving back,” he said. “I believe that blessing others can be a blessing to us as a company as well. We want to and will continue to support local nonprofits and efforts around the world.”
After officially announcing their purchase of the facility in January of this year, Kerkstra has had nearly one year of working with the city and the company as a whole has felt very positively about those interactions.
“Working with the city has been great,” Kerkstra said. “All of the staff at the city has been good to work with and we would like to continue to be a member in good standing and we also want to help the Trenton community thrive.”
With their history of giving back to the communities that they work within and the added benefit of another employer entering Trenton, Kerkstra Precast has all the makings of a perfectly compatible fit with the city.
There are multiple production positions open with pay starting at $14.00/hr, great benefits, 401(k) matching and long term career opportunities with company growth. The Job Fair is happening from 7am-11am and 1pm-7pm in Grandville, MI. Participation is by appointment only so call now to schedule your interview at 616-974-3503. Know of someone else that may be interested? Make sure to share the news with them!
What is in store for the future of Parking?
Will parking demands change in the future? Kerkstra.s team has been working closely with PCI to provide solutions for the future. The growing use of public transit and car sharing combined with recent advancements in autonomous driving technology will lead to a decline in parking requirements.
Kerkstra has been approaching these changes through structure adaptability. By making initial design modifications, parking structures have the ability to be re purposed in the future. Parking levels can later be renovated into offices, apartments, or retail stores. This will ensure the structure remains purposeful even after parking is no longer needed.
This model displays floors being converted from top down. As each level is renovated, the exterior parking ramp can either be removed or re purposed. Parking layouts have been modified to meet increased live loads for office and residential spaces.
This model displays our approach toward designing an adaptable parking structure. Floor heights are increased to 14 feet to meet office requirements. Each levels drainage slope would be leveled by adding access floors. Plumbing and electrical can be installed through the precast double tee stems, or underneath the access floors.
The Detroit River needs your help. The Humbug Marsh is located near our Trenton Facility. Fundraising is taking place for the Wildlife Refuge School Ship Dock and Fishing Pier. Kerkstra Precast recently supported this cause and wanted to share the opportunity.
Congratulations to our photo contest winners! Thank you Brad, Emily and Mark for sharing and joining in on the fun.