Cedar Valley Cheese: Construction Solutions for Cut, Shred, and Storage

 

Cedar Valley Cheese
Belgium, Wisconsin

Cedar Valley Cheese has been on a continued growth trajectory since it founding in 1947, helping the company evolve from producing American cheese to Italian cheeses like mozzarella and provolone block, shredded, and diced cheese. The company’s distribution network has continued to grow, and today their products are found throughout North America.

To accommodate their growth, the most recent expansion – which has enabled the production of 50 million pounds of cheese annually – the company embarked upon a project to plan and build a new 90,000 sq. ft. cut, shred, packaging, and storage facility.

WDS Construction was retained to build the new food processing and cold storage plant, which features:

  • Safe Quality Food Certification
  • 22,000 sq. ft. of cold storage constructed to incorporate 5,000 sq. ft. of future freezer space
  • 37,000 sq. ft. of dry storage warehousing space
  • 14,000 sq. ft. process area for cut and shred and pack operations
  • Administrative spaces
  • Mechanical/electrical rooms

 

Because the project site had previously accommodated excess wastewater, the team encountered challenges with sub-surface soils and water in the subbase. The project was further impacted by extended rainy periods and complex highway access improvements, which delayed permitting and approvals. Through this process, WDS collaborated closely with the project team to provide value engineering recommendations to drive project savings.

Refrigeration is provided via a CO2 system. The building is steel framed with insulated metal panels. Precast mezzanines were utilized for the air handling equipment. Within the process areas, finishes include urethane floors as well as Stranlok finish for the masonry walls. Exterior office finishes are of ACM cladding. An onsite back-up generator was provided.

To connect the new plant with the nearby existing plant, directional drilling beneath a county road was provided to incorporate fiber and IT lines.

Within two years of the new building opening, WDS was retained to convert 5,000 sq. ft. of refrigerating space to freezer space.

Flexibility was key to project success, and in recognition of the continued growth of Cedar Valley Cheese, the project was planned and sited to allow for non-disruptive future expansion of the plant. Sustainable features include ample natural lighting in the dry storage space and a sprinkler system integrated with the stormwater pond. Energy-efficient LED lighting was incorporated throughout the project.

The building also houses offices and employee welfare spaces, maintenance shop, quality control lab, and freight docks.

This project was recognized with an ABC Wisconsin Silver Project of Distinction award.

“Cedar Valley Cheese was extremely satisfied with the work your firm did, and I wouldn’t think twice about hiring you again in the future. You definitely met, and I would say exceeded our expectations. What I was most impressed with, was that we came in under budget!”

– Jeff W. Hiller, President, Cedar Valley Cheese, Inc.

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