New Home for MN DNR

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

When the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources decided to consolidate their Sauk Rapids and Montrose facilities, they looked to Dale Gruber Construction’s team, including Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and Finken Water Treatment, to get the job done.


New location for MN DNRThe new DNR location at 1035 S. Benton Drive, is about one block from the former Sauk Rapids office. The move consolidated staff, equipment and supplies and now houses the divisions of fish and wildlife, parks and trails, ecological and water resources and enforcement.

The original structure had been built by Jim Feneis in 2006 as an investment property that contained several suites for businesses. The DNR also stored some boats and other equipment on site since it was so convenient to their offices. In 2014, plans were begun to create a new space to better suit the DNR’s staff and equipment needs, and the Feneis building was selected to be renovated to suit their purposes.


The 19,200 square-foot project was completed in 120 days. “With the help of our dedicated staff and our great subcontractors and suppliers, we were able to meet the deadline,” Dale Gruber said. The building has 7,000 sq. ft. of office space including private offices, a quiet room for mothers, a lab, several bathroom areas — some including showers, an air lock vestibule and a large open cubicle style work area. There is also 6,700 square feet of heated shop and 5,200 square feet of cold storage. Finken did the plumbing including the structural plumbing, bathrooms and breakrooms, commercial water heater, eye wash station, six floor trench drains and a wall-hung water cooler for safe, delicious drinking water. “A facility of this size requires a six-inch main water line to supply all the domestic water needs plus the fire sprinklers,” said Mike Blaskowski, Finken plumbing and heating manager. “In comparison, a typical house is supplied by a ¾-inch water line.”


Heating units for MN DNR“We also did all the climate control for the space including installing all the duct runs, three Ruud rooftop units on stands, a Frederich mini split for the server room and two suspended natural gas heaters for warm storage,” Mike said. “The HVAC units were also upgraded to the highest efficiency as possible to save energy and add comfort to the staff,” Dale said.

“We also included carbon monoxide detectors in the storage areas that have motorized fans that will automatically turn on if the alarm is tripped,” Mike said.


Water heater and eye wash station at MN DNR“It was nice was that Finken was able to take care of all the plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, and the water conditioning needs,” Dale said, “It worked out great for scheduling and since this was the first time the fisheries had a facility that was using city water instead of well water, we needed to install a charcoal filter system for the water. Finken came through with a great system that will save money in the long run for all involved.”

“The Hellenbrand activated carbon filter system that we installed was custom engineered for this project and will safely remove all dissolved organic chemicals from the water supply,” Mike said.


“The walls and attic were insulated with additional insulation above the minimum code requirements,” Dale said, “All the exterior lighting, and all the office lighting are LED type fixtures to save operating cost and reduce the carbon footprint of the building. Both the DNR/Fisheries and the owner were very happy working with the entire construction team to provide a quality product on budget and delivered ahead of schedule.”


A big thank you to Dale Gruber Construction and the Minnesota DNR for including our Finken team on this innovative project.