Executive Summary: Construction for the brand new 48,000 sq. ft. Ascension Medical Group Clinic in Wausau, Wis., was a challenge due to the site’s aggressive slopes and grades. The project design called for an immense engineered and tiered retaining wall that was necessary for leveling out the site for the building and parking lot. Ghidorzi Construction Company determined Rib Rock Landscape Block manufactured by County Materials Corporation would be an excellent choice for its ability to build large walls and reduce installation time.
About: The 48,000 sq. ft. facility is the nation’s first newly built Ascension Medical Group Clinic. Ascension was formed in 2012 when Ascension Health and subsidiaries formed the new organization. Today, Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and includes 2,500 sites across the nation.
Ghidorzi Construction Company is an integrated architecture, construction and interior design firm based in Wausau, Wis. Ghidorzi specializes in commercial buildings, real estate developments, medical, office, retail, industrial and transportation projects. Ghidorzi was uniquely suited to be the general contractor for the Ascension Medical Group Clinic for their past experience building on the same bluff.
Challenges: Attentive coordination between Ghidorzi and the landscape contractor, Big Bull Retaining Wall Systems, LLC, eliminated the need for additional work. At the start of the wall’s excavation process, Ghidorzi completed the footing and foundation work for the building. Before the backfilling was accomplished, the retaining wall contractor installed the walls next to the foundation on the east and west side of the building.
A lower wall was installed to create a level surface halfway up the slope. This allowed the clinic’s south east side to be fully exposed to the stunning views overlooking Wausau. The upper wall was built a full story high to match the highest point of the site, and it leveled out the property to accommodate a parking lot on the front side of the building.
In addition to the extreme slopes, another challenge was the site’s small size. This meant careful coordination was required for block deliveries and placement onsite to make sure there was room left to work. County Materials worked closely with the installer to deliver Rib Rock units on an as needed basis. Nearly 500 pallets of materials were delivered by County Materials’ experienced dispatch team and drivers. The 7,825 sq. ft. retaining wall required more than 2.2 million pounds of Rib Rock.
Rib Rock Landscape Block proved itself as a powerhouse retaining wall system for this challenging project. Rib Rock’s large scale guarantees lasting strength and durability, and its larger size also meant more square footage was laid at a time, helping the project meet its deadlines and lower labor costs.
Name: Ascension Medical Group Clinic at Westwood
Location: 1901 Westwood Center Blvd
Wausau, WI 54401
Owner: Ascension Health
Principal Use: Primary and Specialty Care Clinic
Gross Sq. Ft.: 48,000 sq. ft. Facility
7,825 sq. ft. of Rib Rock Landscape Block
Distinctions/Awards: WMA Excellence in Hardscape Winner
Building Completion: October 2016
Building Owner: Ascension Medical Group
General Contractor: Ghidorzi Construction Company
Engineer: Scott Miller Consulting Engineer
Designer: Rettler Corporation
Other Contractors: Big Bull Retaining Wall Systems, LLC