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Project Overview: Seeds Farm

We partnered with Seeds Farm on their recent vegetable farm project located Northfield, Minnesota. The project consisted of a highly efficient structure with cement floors, vaulted ceilings, full kitchen space, and much more. Now that the project is complete, we visited with Greg from Seeds to learn about his experience partnering with NCC.

What was it like working with NCC on this project?

It was a really good experience. Their work is great quality. They are very approachable and great people to work with. They are really open to listening to what you want and helping provide a solution for your needs. They offer insightful advice based on their industry experience and knowledge.

Being An Integral Part Of The Community, What Connections Were You Able To Utilize For The Project?

We are very community minded which NCC is as well. We used as many local companies as possible for the different aspects of this project. Our choice to work with NCC was based on their dedication to quality and community. We really appreciated their local aspect and mindfulness.

Project Specs

Project Name: SEEDS Farms
Area: Northfield Bridgewater Township
Project Manager: Chris Smisek
Site Supervisor: Bill Barsness

General information: Vegetable Farm site
There are three parts to this building, employee & office space, packing area and Equipment Storage. The office and packing area are Structurally Insulated Panels or ‘SIP’s’ for short. These panels are a highly efficient means of panels for a building and the roof the panels consist of wood on the outside and insulation on the inside, they come premade to size and most window & door openings cut out. This part of the building has also got in-floor heating. Custom cabinets, Marvin windows w/ exterior metal clad trim, all office vaulted ceilings will have T&G fir, employee bathrooms, laundry, offices, kitchen, second floor has a studio and third floor is a large office. The Equipment storage is 3,040 sq. ft. has vaulted trusses for added height, three large Overhead doors and service doors. The floor is all concreted, and roof has 6 skylights. The East side of the building has a Portico roof and the West side of the building has a patio w/ a future Pergola planned. There are many concrete approaches and sidewalks, The owners moved the Greenhouse and concrete was added inside an 8’ center strip and aprons on the north and south side. The exterior roof in standing seam metal and the walls are a steel siding. Additional features include a cooler in the packaging area, wood stair railings, ceramic shower, granite countertops.

Square footage: 7726 sq. ft. w/ Equipment storage

Architect: SMSQ
Excavation: Barnett Brothers
Lumber: Lamperts
HVAC: Better Air
Cement: K Schroeder Masonry
Cabinets: Lamperts
Doors and Hdwe: Twin City Hardware
Roofing: South Metro Homes
Flooring: Biermans
Drywall: Wencl Drywall
Paint: K&D
Plumbing: KPPH
Electrical: Schulz

Meet the Team: Bill Barsness

How long have you been with NCC?

As of May I have been working here at NCC for 21 years. I was born and raised in Kenyon, and currently reside in the countryside of Bombay, Minnesota. Not Bombay, India, that would be a terrible commute.

What is your official title here at NCC?

My title is Field Superintendent, usually I am busy on commercial or industrial work. I work closely with the project manager who bids the job then we work to get the subs set up and work on scheduling.

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?

Some favorite projects I’ve worked on were Imminent Brewery, Americ Inn Motel and Seeds Farm, and several church projects. They were all pretty interesting.

What is your advice to someone in or looking to get into the industry?

The industry has really evolved. Now is a great time for younger folk to consider the trades. The average age in construction is 57 years of age which will soon leave the field wide open. If you have a good work ethic and the ability to learn, it might be for you. The machinery, tools, methods, and materials have all evolved as well. If you don’t learn something knew everyday or don’t think you do, you’re fooling yourself.

What is it like working for NCC?

I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been lucky enough to be mentored by some pretty great guys. All different types of management styles, but all really good.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

There are a lot of rewarding parts. I like to see a happy customer who gets what they want, that is exciting for them. And being able to drive by and know you took part in the process of a finished project where things went as planned is great too.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Learning to work with different communication styles. The biggest challenge is coordination and timing, that is everything. Sequencing is a big part of my job.

Different pressures from different places. Everybody wants speed, but they also want quality. If you are running in circles it doesn’t necessarily mean you are covering ground. Regulations and codes are needed, but keeping up with them is also a challenge.

How did you get started in the industry?

I’ve been interested in it my whole life. I went to school at Dunwoody Institute for Electrical Engineering. I worked in the field for a while as an electrician until things slowed down. That day I stopped for a beer and ran into an old high school friend, Craig Vold, I worked for his company for a couple years and the rest is history.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy family, hunting, shooting, and fishing. Susie and I live in the country so keeping up with that also takes some time.


Meet the Team: Chris Smisek

How long have you been with NCC?

This is my second stint here at NCC, I’ve been about 2 years this time. Prior to this it was 17 years before the downturn of the economy, I originally started in 1992. I initially started as a carpenter.

What is your official title here at NCC?

A couple different hats – mainly Project Manager and Estimator, but I also am a Safety Officer.

What does a Safety Officer do?

I work with the team to make sure they are safe – for example taking care of the tools and using them properly, ladder safety, how to clean a job site, put up railings, that sort of thing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

For the most part, I manage and work on the projects. Take the calls or get assigned the job. I meet the customers and run through the whole phase of the project. I will be involved with the design usually, some I design, others I have a draftsman come in for new additions or new homes. Sometimes people walk in with the plans, more so with commercial. Up until a certain point I am the point person for questions unless there is a foreman on site, then we work together. Counting jobs in the design phase and in the queue along with working jobs, sometimes we have as many as 18 at once. Typically its 6 or 7 working jobs. We generally travel within a 50 mile radius.

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?

I like a little variety – both commercial and residential. It’s nice either way. It is really interesting to meet new people and new clients. It’s fun working on projects that might not be the norm. For homes, typically we do custom and work with the clients. For kitchen remodels I will do some of the designing of the interior space which is fun. I work with the cabinet guys on the CAD drawings which makes it an enjoyable aspect of the project. Working on older homes it is always interesting trying to match the original uniqueness of the home.

What is it like working for NCC?

I like being able to take a project and run with it. Being a part of it from start to finish. I like seeing all the hard work paying off at the end. Rewarding when the owners get to see their dream as a reality.  I worked with a lot of the guys before I left so it is nice knowing where a lot these guys are and how to work with them. They are all great.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing a project up on its feet and going. And then seeing an end project that is functional for the owners. Then you stand back and look and say, “That place looks nice.” Getting things done ahead of or on time, and on budget is always great.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Communication. Understanding how much their know about building and how they are interpreting what we are explaining. Schedules are also always challenging, sometimes it is hard to find good labor to get the job done. We also really need to work the schedule to keep the project moving forward and maintain timelines.

The internet can sometimes be a deterrence – new products aren’t always available or may not work with their project. There is a lot of explaining and learning that goes along with it. Explaining that one thing sets off a motion for other aspects of the projects – sometimes it’s not that easy. On the flip side, sometimes I encourage people to go online and look things like layouts. It is also a good reference for people to bring in ideas from Pinterest, Houzz, or

What do you like about the industry?

I’ve always been interested in things I can look back on and see the changes each day. It’s great to get to say you helped with that.

What do you like to do in your freetime?

I enjoy fishing or taking trips up north to our cabin near Hayward, WI. I have a son and daughter in their early 20’s.


Project Overview: Canvas Church

How did Canvas Church come to be?

“Canvas Church start in my heart and mind about 10 years ago. I was a youth pastor in Eagan, MN, and my wife and I would drive down to Northfield often. We fell in love with the community and the small town feel.  After being a youth pastor for 15 years, I started thinking about what was next, and staring a church felt like the next step. Feeling lead to take the next step, we began to speak to our friends and family and the biggest questions was where? I was speaking to my friend on the phone while he walking the paths by St. Olaf and asked, “When are you going to start a church in Northfield?”  At that moment something opened my hear and mind to the idea, and after 3 years we launched Canvas.”

“We had moved to Northfield before starting the church, and I remember a conversation with my neighbor about what brought us to town. We told him we were starting a church. He looked at me a little strange and said ‘You know there’s a lot of churches in town right?’. We feel the type of church we are and the work we do is different.”

“On September 25th, 2011 we launched Canvas Church at Bridgewater Elementary school. Our first day we had 273 people attend. Week two is when you will really see who is interested in coming, and on week two we had 113 people. We continued to grow each year and eventually moved the portable church to the high school.”


How did you find the space that Canvas Church is located in today?

“When you are a portable church in Minnesota, people start to ask questions like ‘Are you permanent?’ or ‘Are you going to be around long-term?’. So for us that began the conversation of looking for a space to make this a permanent solution. We had a really random, awkward, amazing conversation with some people who were interested in buying the building that used to be Kmart. And that clicked for us. I had a faith piece about meeting in Kmart and always joked that we would one day build out in Kmart, because when you walk in and see the space and how open it is – it wasn’t a crazy idea. From a locational stand point everyone knew where it was. We went through the steps to sign the paperwork, then came the thought, who are we going to have build it out?”

How did you hear about NCC?

“We worked with an architect who drew up blueprints, but overall the plans were lacking, which we didn’t realize at the time. As we started talking to different construction companies, one company pointed out all the things that were lacking, and were unable to give us a bid based upon the plans. Then we began talking to NCC. We’ve known Chris for 7 years.  The biggest factors for us was, they were local, we knew Chris, and the price point. He said NCC would do their best to make it happen and our of 4 quotes they came in as the most reasonable, so we signed on with NCC.”

What was it like working with NCC?

“It was so great. On this side of the project if we would’ve gone with another company it wouldn’t have been done as well, in the timeframe it was done in, and at the financial amount it was done at. They took our architectural plans that were quite poor and made it happen. I was blown away by it. There is no one I wouldn’t recommend them to. This is our home now had we had our grand opening in August.”

“It was so great. On this side of the project, if we’d gone with another company, it wouldn’t have been done as well, in the timeframe it was done in, and at the price that it was done at. They took our architectural plans and made it happen. I was blown away by it.  I would recommend NCC to anyone!”

Tell Us About Canvas Church:

“At Canvas Church, your story matters.  We know that there are struggles in life and we’re all doing our best to survive those struggles.  But we believe that God made us for more then just struggle and survival… He made us for significance.  With His guidance, we can live a significant life that adds value to everyone we come in contact with.  We offer two services on Sunday mornings – 9:00 am and 10:45 am. They are identical services, just an early or late service depending on if you’re a morning person! We have an amazing kids area with a 17’ play land for kids to enjoy.  We also have a nursery, pre-school and K-5 space. Wednesday nights are our youth ministry nights for grades 6-12.”


If someone is interested, what should they do to learn more about Canvas Church?

“Check out our website to learn more about who we are and our beliefs. Our Facebook page is also a great place to look for live updates on what’s happening! We also have a YouTube  channel to watch or listen to our services so you can check us out before you attend. But the best way to get a feel of who we are is to walk in the door!”

Project Specs

Project Name: Canvas Church

Area: Dundas

Project Manager: Craig Vold

Site Supervisor: Jim Vold

General information: Remodel of existing building for new church with sanctuary, offices, education area, nursery and food prep kitchen. Interesting aspects of the project: Unique colors and space. Square footage: 15,500


Architect: DJ Medin

Lumber and carpentry: Lamperts

HVAC: Keith Pumper Plumbing and Heating

Cement: D & S Cement

Cabinets: Nerstrand custom Cabinets

Flooring: General carpet By owner-Tile done by Jerrys Tile service

Plumbing: Keith pumper Plumbing and Heating

Electrical: Schulz Electric

Paint: K & D Painting and by owner

Acoustical Ceilings by: Twin City Acoustics

Elevator by: Premier

Wall and concrete floor demolition by: Mahowald Services

Drywall: Tamarack

Structural Engineers: Larson Engineering

Building Officials: City of Dundas

Testing: WSB

Structural steel and metal fabrication: Briese Iron Works

Awning: Gopher Metal Fabrication

Doors, frames and hardware: Wheeler Hardware

Aluminum store front: Custom Glass & Mirror

Gypsum board: Steve Ceplecha Drywall

Signage, toilet compartments, toilet accessories and fire extinguishers: Twin City Hardware

Fire Protection: Olympic Fire Protection


Back to School Street Safety Tips

Kids are an important part of our community and now that school is back in session it is important to look out for them as they hit the streets. Safety is a top priority here at NCC, so here are tips to keep in mind for back to school time:

• Slow down.
• Stop at all stop signs, no rolling stops. Pay attention to Yield signs.
• Make sure to check all sidewalks and crosswalks.
• Look up and down the road, and then do it again.
• Be careful around parked cars, smaller children could come darting out that you may not see.
• Walk around your car to make sure no children are hiding in a blind spot.
• Make sure to give bikes and cycles their space on the road.
• Always minimize distractions while driving.
• Pay attention to school zones with posted speed limits during school hours, but also during practices or other school related events.
• Take extra precaution when you are behind, or approaching, a school bus. Leave enough space and know there will be a bunch of kids waiting to board or getting off the bus.
• Be prepared for more traffic, there are more cars on the road during commute times.