Morton Buildings opened its new location on the west side of the interstate at the Tea exit Sept. 29.
Jason Larsen, construction center manager for the location for the past 11 years, said Morton Buildings started in Morton, Ill., in 1903 as Interlocking Fence Company. By the 1950s, they had begun building ag buildings.
The Sioux Falls location, first built on the east side of the interstate at the Tea exit in 1969, is the company’s 40th location. They operated out of a single-wide trailer there first, then the building where AAA Pools is located and in 2001, they built their last location on the east side of the interstate. Digit-All Technologies purchased that building earlier this year.
Larsen noted they started construction on their new building in May and were able to move in at the end of September. They had a lot of mud to deal with to get up and running.
“There was a lot of mud out here. We were thinking we would’ve been in here last year but because of the wet year it’s been terrible to get anything done,” he said.
Once streets were paved, everything went more smoothly in the development that is located in city limits. Larsen said being within city limits was attractive.
“Across the interstate we were considered Sioux Falls but we were rural. To have the city utilities and some of the maintenance upkeep in the covenants that the city requires that the county doesn’t was attractive to us for what we wanted to build,” Larsen said.
When they built the new building, it allowed them to park their trucks and equipment indoors every night. At the old locations, they had to leave their trucks and trailers outside overnight.
“This is designed now where each crew has their own designated base space so they can pull straight in, straight out every day,” he said. “They don’t have to unhook equipment in the winter so everything’s indoors now.”
The new building is also more modern and up to date. Larsen noted that this building is more representative of what they are building for clients.
The shop space is much larger than the old space. It is set up for six building crews and two repair crews. The front of the building has room for two administrators, four sales consultants, project coordinators, field service people and job coordinators.
While everyone knows that Morton Buildings builds agricultural buildings, Larsen said they also build a number of commercial buildings. They also build homes and combination buildings that include a shed of some sort and living space.
Those combination buildings have become more popular over the last 5-10 years. Some people build an airplane hanger or shop on one end of the building and a home on the other end. He noted that Lincoln and Minnehaha counties do not allow people to live with livestock. Other counties in South Dakota do allow that, but that is based on each county’s planning and zoning rules.
To read the entire story, subscribe.