The doors officially opened to VAA’s Sioux Falls, SD office with an Open House last week. The gathering welcomed clients, vendors and school representatives. Shawn Vanhove, PE, Associate / Sr. Structural Engineer, manages the office bringing VAA’s engineering and design services closer to its clients in the Dakotas. “This office allows us to be more available to our clients,” says Vanhove, “being accessible is a priority for VAA, along with expanding our reach with new, meaningful relationships.”
The Sioux Falls office opening follows the recent announcement of VAA doubling its Minneapolis corporate space slated for a tentative completion in early 2018. For location of the Sioux Falls office, visit our Contact Us page.
Mulch. If there’s one thing VAA’s Community Outreach team learned this summer, it’s that piles of woodchips can enrich more than just soil. A group of seven VAA employees volunteered to mulch five areas throughout the grounds of Camp Eden Wood, a fully accessible facility offering camp and respite programs for people with disabilities.
Called out by True Friends staff as one of the camp’s most noticeable and lasting improvements, the team distributed about eight cubic yards of mulch to the areas around the main office / camp entrance, camper dorms and a flower garden. Some of the nearly 100 bags of mulch used were donated by Maple Crest Landscape Nursery in Medina, MN. VAA has partnered with True Friends over the past decade on a variety of volunteer projects. Championed by dedicated staff, our support of this organization stems from a genuine investment in improving the experience and environment for campers and their families.
Serving about 4,000 children and adults annually, True Friends is an organization dedicated to providing uplifting experiences to individuals with a range of physical and developmental disabilities.
VAA is doubling the size of its Plymouth, MN headquarters to accommodate growth in services and new amenities for employees. With the addition of 35,000 square feet, the new space allows for approximately 90 employees and will feature two kitchen areas, on-site storage for document archives, a large-group training center and fitness and game rooms to support employee wellness.
The company relocated to its current location in the spring of 2013 and reached capacity as employee numbers grew 60 percent in four short years. The growth spurt to over 175 employees is the result of VAA broadening its engineering and design capabilities from its long-standing services in structural engineering and equipment layout to added depth in civil, mechanical, electrical, marine, process engineering; rail design and industrial architecture. In addition to the Minnesota expansion, a branch office in Sioux Falls, SD recently opened to support VAA’s existing clients in the Dakotas.
“As we grow our existing relationships in markets fitting our Vision 2020 plan, VAA can offer more diverse services to its clients,” said Mark Mielke, PE, P.Eng, VAA Partner overseeing the project. “The 2017 expansion reinforces our Vision + Values - it’s equally important to provide a great work environment for our employees to be comfortable and engaged.”
The firm’s industrial architecture group created the plans pulling inspiration from VAA’s original Berkshire office renovation developed by RSP Architects. Construction will be completed by Bauer Design Build, LLC who also worked with VAA on its 2013 office. The expansion is in the construction phase with a tentative completion date early next year and will provide momentum toward celebrating VAA’s 40th anniversary in 2018.