2000 – 2010

At the start of the 21st century, business was steadily growing for Findorff with various high-profile projects in both Madison and Milwaukee. Much of the Company’s recent successes would not have been possible without its long-time employees, some of which included families of two or even three generations, as well as many healthcare, corporate, and education clients who continued to pursue construction even in a soft economy.

The Company also earned various honors, including the title of Large Firm General Contractor of the Year in 2000 by the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin. Although kicking off the new century with such a solid foundation and earned admiration marked the start of major initiatives, challenge and heartache weren’t far behind..

The year 2002 marked the completion of Findorff’s new, 38,000-square-foot corporate headquarters overlooking Lake Monona and this spectacular building was a complement to the Company’s history. Constructed of Minnesota limestone, the facility was just a few footsteps away from the site of Findorff’s original office, which opened in 1904. Its grand presence along John Nolen Drive not only symbolized how much Findorff has grown over the years, but also of its promising future.

Findorff earned additional honors in 2002, this time for the Company’s work in the Milwaukee area. The $32 million ASQ Center received an Award of Merit by Midwest Construction Magazine, recognizing the extensive renovation of five historic properties some of which are as old as Findorff itself. In February, the $62 million Wisconsin Probation and Parole Facility, the State’s first high-rise jail, earned an award for Excellence in Construction from The Daily Reporter. Later that summer, Findorff’s work on the 275,000-square-foot State Fair Park Exposition Center, which required over 30 various subcontractors, received great praise from Wisconsin’s Governor and Lieutenant Governor. In a few short years, such significant projects and accolades would continue in Madison.

In September 2004, Findorff completed construction of Madison’s most iconic building with exception to the State’s Capitol, the Overture Center for the Arts. Located on the City’s popular State Street, this 400,000-square-foot facility was composed of the finest marble, limestone, and granite. Construction efforts required a crew of 285 individuals to pour the Overture Center’s 91 million pounds of concrete around 464,788 pounds of reinforced steel bars. Additionally, the building was extremely customized with 18,000 square feet of glass, 600 miles of electrical wire, and 70,000 square feet of carpet. A total of 6,000 gallons of paint were even used in 85 different colors.

Towards the end of the decade, Findorff completed construction of a building not only special to many employees, but also special to its primary users. In August 2007, the American Family Children’s Hospital opened its doors. This $78 million, state-of-the-art facility was a new, vital part to the UW Health system. It became a home where the care for children facing various illnesses, diseases, and life-threatening traumas, would be supported by the Nation’s top specialists. Although this project marked a celebratory occasion, shortly afterward much of America faced darker times.

In 2008, many companies throughout the United States were experiencing the hardships of a recession. Mounting layoffs were being made and times for innovation were scarce. However, Findorff’s many generations of hard work and perseverance proved the Company’s resilience once again. To keep itself moving forward, Findorff invested in its people and infrastructure hiring new employees, conducting specialized training, as well as adjusting its internal processes to become more efficient upon opportunities for expansion. Such efforts proved successful. In 2008, Findorff LEED certified two projects as a result of its new expertise in sustainable construction. The First Unitarian Meeting House earned LEED Gold and Edgewood College’s Dominican Hall earned LEED Silver.

Although a thriving era, this decade for Findorff unfortunately was accompanied by sadness and tragedy. In March 2004, John R. Findorff, the last family member to head the Company, passed away after a long illness at age 85. Later in April 2006, Findorff’s former President and Chairman Gerd Zoller was hit by a car while bicycling near his home in Poynette. Tragically, at the young age of 67, Gerd passed away as a result of his injuries, but his legacy still carries on – much like the Company’s own. Gerd was active with the Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as the Rotary Club of Madison. Such initiatives are still part of Findorff’s many efforts as it supports it local communities in the past, present and future.

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Notable Projects

  • American Family Children’s Hospital
  • ASQ Center
  • Dominican Hall at Edgewood College
  • Ellen & Peter Johnson HospiceCare Residence
  • Epic’s Prairie Campus
  • Findorff’s Corporate Headquarters
  • First Unitarian Meeting House
  • Marine Terminal Lofts
  • Nolen Shore Condominiums
  • Overture Center for the Arts
  • Rowland Reading Foundation
  • University Club Tower
  • University Square
  • State Fair Park Exposition Center
  • Wisconsin Probation and Parole Facility