A Family Affair

Dean Kurtz Construction
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Dean Kurtz Construction is a family-owned and operated construction company in the Black Hills and surrounding areas of South Dakota, though challenging projects and repeat projects for clients have taken it across the upper Midwest, into North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.

A proud member of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Dean Kurtz Construction is selected on projects for its commitment to safety and job performance – and boy, they sure do seem busy.

As a family affair, Dean Kurtz Construction is now under the operational guidance of brothers and co-presidents Kasey and Kelley Kurtz, who have taken over for their dad as he stepped away from the family business. With over four decades of experience behind them, clients continue to rely on Dean Kurtz Construction for general contracting, design-build and construction management services on a variety of projects.

As a team, Dean Kurtz Construction comes together to develop timely construction schedules, coordinated labor for more efficient performance, effective subcontractor management, and support throughout a project. The company’s ability to fast-track negotiations and offer both construction management services and design-build projects has made it a constructor of choice in a broad range of construction environments for a variety of clients, including private sector businesses and government entities alike.

The company’s first contract was awarded in 1971, a project with the U.S. Air Force that set the stage for a longstanding relationship with the government in this regard. Further to work with the Air Force, Dean Kurtz has been selected as a repeat partner of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Today its client list includes private sector businesses like Regency Companies, Four Aces Hotel Corporation, SoDak Gaming and many more. Its public sector and institutional clients include local names like the Rapid City Regional Airport and Rapid City Regional Hospital, as well as the local school district and tribal entities in the region. The company partners with businesses, institutions and government entities on new builds and renovations, as well as historical restoration work and its portfolio of completed work is both expansive and impressive, given the range and complexity of the projects it undertakes.

One such project is the 37th B1-B Squadron Operations at the Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, a 60,000 square foot project that was awarded the USACE Outstanding Contractor Award. Dean Kurtz was selected for its design-build service on this project and was acknowledged for the project’s quality, timeliness, management effectiveness, and compliance with safety. The facility was designed in compliance with force protection, anti-terrorism and blast load requirements given its location relative to the flight line.

The team at Dean Kurtz was responsible for demolition, primary electrical power relocation, the foundation drainage system, casting the concrete foundations and footing in place and the standing seam metal roofing. They secured the conference and briefing rooms and installed furnishing and fixtures as well as equipment, mechanical, electrical and sprinkler systems on the project.

Another notable project is the Pine Ridge Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, a 110,000 square foot facility complete with inpatient hospital, surgery suite and dental and outpatient clinics that had a very unique arrangement given that it was constructed in accordance with PL-638 (The Indian Self Determination Act).

The Oglala Sioux Tribe was technically the prime contractor on the project and engaged a joint venture between Dean Kurtz Construction and Henry Hacket and Sons Construction as the general contractors on the project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers administered the project.

Dean Kurtz Construction also performed as the general contractor on the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota. The commercial project entailed the construction of a fully operational space with critical utility infrastructure which houses the Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR) and a new clean room for Black Hills State University. What made this project unique was that it involved an elevator ride a mile down and required an additional half-mile of travel to reach the jobsite. Challenges like these are nothing for Dean Kurtz.

Further to overcoming challenges, Dean Kurtz also brings the environmental benefits of LEED certification to buildings, where clients desire. The company is one of the leading construction firms in its geographic market footprint that offers the service, and many of the government buildings it has built have achieved LEED certification, including St. Francis School.

This project was for a one-level masonry structure that housed a middle-high school with a full ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) roofing system. The renovation entailed the addition of 58,000 square feet including minor floor plan modifications to accommodate the new HVAC system being installed. Dean Kurtz was responsible for the placement of the electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire suppression, architectural equipment and features and achieved LEED Silver Certification as a result of its efforts.

As a partner of high-profile clients, people are the company’s biggest asset. Dean Kurtz Construction relies on a host of construction professionals and its network includes estimators, project managers, superintendents, civil engineers, degreed construction managers and countless subtrades who are all a vital part of the company’s success. Part of its mission is to, “hire and train the best people and craft an environment which fosters creative project solutions from our employees,” which is accomplished through building partnerships, demonstrating integrity and leadership, and delivering the highest level of craftsmanship on all its projects.

Regardless of whether a project is commercial, educational, healthcare-related, military, water and wastewater, hospitality, retail and office, or a house of worship, Dean Kurtz operates safely and competitively, ensuring all projects reach completion. Its services are integrated to keep costs down and to ensure projects stay on schedule.

Further to the physical and environmental impact Dean Kurtz Construction has on the communities it lives and works in through the projects it completes, it also has a meaningful impact through charitable outreach, where the team commits time, knowledge and resources to a number of organizations that strengthen the social fabric of the community. Dean Kurtz Construction supports local organizations such as the Children’s Home Society, Rapid City Club for Boys, Youth and Family Services, and the United Way, organizations which are improving the quality of life in the communities it calls home.

Regarded by building and business owners, commercial real estate professionals, the design community and the greater community at large alike, Dean Kurtz Construction is an established name in the commercial construction industry in the upper Midwest with a reputation to match and will continue to make its mark as a family-owned and operated entity.

Whether a project is a high-end retail or office space, a state-of-the-art medical facility, a large-scale and very significant government project, a custom home or something less complex like a renovation or restoration, the same standard applies at Dean Kurtz Construction: quality. When the family name is attached to projects, this is how business must be done.



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