Brothers to do $250,000 upgrade at NBA practice facility

The sprinkler renovation project is an example of one of the many types of verticals Brothers specializes in
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ELK RIVER, Minn.—Brothers Fire Protection, based here, received a fire sprinkler renovation and upgrade contract worth more than $250,000 for a new practice facility for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, which are NBA and WNBA teams respectively.

The new practice facility for the basketball teams is part of a $50 million redevelopment project in downtown Minneapolis, Minn. The redevelopment also will include a Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center

Brothers President Stephen Cieslukowski told Security Systems News that such high profile projects are good advertising for the complete life safety solutions company because they highlight for potential customers the wide variety of verticals Brothers has expertise in.

“Some think we only do apartments; others say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you did apartments.’ What we like to kind of do is use these [high profile projects] as a method of saying, ‘We do airport work, we do high-rises, we do schools, we do security,’” and other types of work, Cieslukowski said.

The company recently completed sprinkler renovations at the historic Union Depot in St. Paul, Minn., and Brothers recently won sprinkler contracts worth more than $1.25 million for University of Minnesota student housing and for Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

The new practice facility for the Timberwolves and Lynx has garnered a lot of media attention because it’s part of redevelopment effort on Minneapolis’ Block E, where attempts in the past decade to restore the blighted block as a retail hub have failed.

But now the world famous Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn. will open its new sports medicine facility at 600 Hennepin Avenue and the two basketball teams are moving their administrative offices there and creating a practice facility, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

“It’s going to be really neat,” Cieslukowski said. “I think it’s going to have a lot of use.”

Brothers was selected by general contractor Schadegg Mechanical of Saint Paul and construction manager M.A. Mortenson of Minneapolis to provide the fire sprinkler renovation and upgrades for the practice facility and headquarters space.

Brothers said it won the job because of its “understanding of the scope of the project and our ability to quickly mobilize our demolition and design teams in order to keep the aggressive schedule on track.”

Cieslukowski told SSN the job “has been extremely fast paced.” The facility is scheduled to be finished in September.

He said he learned at 10 a.m. one morning early in March that Brothers had been chosen for the job and had to be at a coordination meeting for the project at 3 p.m. that afternoon. He said he was told, “Have guys here tomorrow; we’re going have demolition starting.”

He estimated the training facility will be about 100,000 square feet, with courts, offices and training rooms. “It’s a big project and you’re working in the middle of an existing building which will be kind of interesting because we’ve got to redo the systems and rework the systems,” Cieslukowski said.

He said Brothers is proposing a pre-action system for the facility to ensure protection of the expensive floors basketball courts have. “If you dump water on the floor, you’ll ruin the floor,” Cieslukowski said.

A pre-action system requires both heat and smoke to activate the system. So, he said, “if somebody hits a sprinkler head with a basketball it won’t go off. It will arm it but it won’t release,” unless those two factors are present.