Michigan State University TB Simon Power Plant Expansion

East Lansing, Michigan – 550 Tons

The project is an addition to the existing power plant on the west side of campus. Working under the construction management of Chrisman Construction, Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation fabricated and erected 550 tons of structural steel and miscellaneous iron for the powerhouse. The project required SP-6 surface preparation and zinc prime paint. Temporary protection of the plant was required as we penetrated the existing brick and masonry for our tie-ins points. We coordinated closely with the manufacturer when hoisting the deaerator.

SSAB HardTech Center

Mason, Michigan – 2000 Tons

SSAB Swedish Steel, the largest steel producing company in Sweden, has built their first US automotive components manufacturing plant in Mason, Michigan. The General Contracto, Clark Construction Company of Lansing, contracted with Douglas Steel to fabricate and erect 2,000 tons of structural steel for the 230,000 square foot facility. The three story structural frame consisted of trusses, columns, crane girders and heavy beams. Erection was completed four weeks ahead of schedule.

Firekeepers Casino


Battle Creek, Michigan – New Construction (1,900 Tons), Expansion (400 Tons)

Clark Construction was the Construction Manager for this new 252,800 sq. ft., Las Vegas-style casino constructed on a 78-acre green field site along the busy I-94 Detroit to Chicago corridor by the Nottawaseppi Band of Huron Potawatomi Tribe.  Under a very demanding schedule, Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation was contracted to fabricate and erect 1,915 tons of structural steel and miscellaneous iron. The structural steel construction had to keep pace with the rapidly unfolding design to support the surge of skilled trades working feverishly to meet the August grand opening deadline. Douglas executed seamless coordination with the other trades to maintain the schedule and deliver the project on time.

Douglas continued work with a recent addition, including a 242-room, resort-style hotel, a bingo hall, a warehouse and more than 20,000 sq. ft. of flexible event space. Unique architectural features transform the casino into a landmark along I-94.  Long-span joists—55 spanning 120-ft long and ranging in depth from 88 in. to 120 in. deep—were used for the event center.

BIM was used to ensure that all joists and decking were manufactured to fit precisely, which minimized change orders upon delivery. The model included all the details required by the HVAC contractor to ensure the ductwork could be exactly prefabricated and routed with no interference. This clash-detection aspect of BIM helped the team avoid a potential field issue between the joist bridging and structural hangers supports for the movable room partitions in the event center. Given the potential difficulty to manufacture these elements, incorporating an accurate model into the process was crucial and ended up saving valuable time and more than $60,000.

This project was featured in the February 2013 issue of AISC’s Modern Steel Construction.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall

Detroit, Michigan – 740 Tons

The design of this cultural hall is beautiful, but the construction site was ugly – a tight urban setting, adjacent to the existing orchestra hall – which demanded careful site planning prior to steel erection.  The design included a substantial amount of architecturally exposed structural steel and long span trusses and joist girders.  Working closely with the Construction Manager, George W. Auch Company, Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation met the unique project needs using HSS members for the structurally exposed steel and blind connections to attach HSS members to HSS members so no fasteners were visible.

Midland Minor League Baseball Stadium

Midland, Michigan – 750 Tons

A vision will be finally realized by the city of Midland and the Dow Chemical Co./USA of Midland, Michigan; A Minor League Baseball Stadium. A new company was formed, “The Michigan Baseball Foundation” (MBF). The world famous sports architectural firm of “HOK SPORT, INC. was contracted for the design of this Baseball Stadium.

An opening date of April 13, 2007 was established. The famous Lansing Lugnuts will square off against the newly formed Midland Loons.

To make this happen MBF invited 6 local steel companies to bid on this project. The project was bid on a unit price basis. Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation was chosen for their lowest unit price and it’s past project completion performance. The steel package was the driving force; without its’ early completion this project would have to be delayed for another year.

Douglas Steel completed the fabrication and erection, of the 750 Ton, 4 story structure, with metal floor and roof deck, shear studs and miscellaneous iron items, right on schedule, thus allowing other trades to start their work right behind the erected steel and deck. The structure is braced with vertical tube steel and angle bracing, while the entire roof is stabilized with horizontal 2 inch diameter rod bracing with turnbuckles.

The steel was erected with a 150 Ton Manitowoc-555 (triple 5) crawler crane. The project was a 100% tie off, with many other safety requirements as stipulated by MBF, with daily safety and pre-task meetings. Douglas Steel had to work closely with MBF, the Structural Engineer and the Architect. Through daily e-mails and faxed design changes the structure went up quickly.

The outstanding feature of this Stadium is that it will be usable 12 months of the year. A curtain-wall system will allow the upper floors to be enclosed and heated. With the steel structure now in place, we await for the words “PLAY-BALL”!

Michigan State University – Duffy Daugherty Building

East Lansing, Michigan – 225 Tons

New Coach – New Motto – New Football Building – Douglas Steel was selected by Barton Malow Company and Michigan State University to be their Structural Steel Trade Manager of choice for the new Duffy Daugherty Football Building being built adjacent to the existing football practice facility across the street from Spartan Stadium.

This new 25,000 square foot addition will house separate meeting rooms for all of the various football positions on the ground level and also have a sizable exhibit space to display photos and mementos of all of the proud moments in Spartan football history. Keeping with the new motto “We are one”, the second floor will be utilized for the new coach’s office as well as all of the assistant coaches responsible for putting a winning team on the field.

A significant portion of the steel will be left architecturally exposed including several columns with uniquely shaped holes in the webs and many beams with round holes in their web which will remain exposed in the skylight corridor.

Michigan State University – Jack Breslin Student Events Center

East Lansing, Michigan – 954 Tons

Michigan State University replaced its aging field house with the new 15,500 seat Jack Breslin Student Events Center. The facility is a reinforced concrete structure with a two-way structural steel roof system weighing 954 tons. The primary roof support, spanning in an east-west direction, consists of twelve trusses ranging from 198 feet long to 292 feet long and varying in depth from 16 feet to 30 feet.

The trusses were field assembled on site in pairs using a custom vertical jig. The pairs were boxed together with secondary trusses, joists and cabling. The boxed assemblies, weighing as much as 276,000 pounds each, were hoisted by two Manitowoc 4100 series 2 cranes. The cranes traveled up to 200 feet traversing the base concrete structure before placing the trusses on their bearing pads.

Douglas Steel performed all fabrication and erection under contract with the construction manager, Christman/Gilbane.

University of Michigan – Football Stadium West Expansion

Ann Arbor, Michigan – 2400 Tons

Not to be outdone by their chief in state rival, Michigan State, or by their hated rival at Ohio State’s recent stadium renovations, the University of Michigan has unveiled their long awaited expansion and renovations to “The Big House”.   Douglas Steel was the successful bidder to perform fabrication and erection of over 2,400 tons of structural steel to add covered concourses, luxury suites, press boxes and video decks to the west side of Michigan Stadium. When the renovations are complete, the capacity of the Big House will top 108,000.

Erection of the steel was performed by utilizing two large cranes simultaneously on the tight jobsite. Overtime for our field crews was also authorized by the Construction Manager, Barton Malow, in order to assure compliance with the extremely tight schedule.

University of Michigan Sports Services Building

Ann Arbor, Michigan – 393 Tons

The University of Michigan’s new sports services building was designed by Gunner Birkerts and Robert Darvas Associates as a monument to its great football coach, Bo Shembechler. This 393 ton steel structure featured a distinctive high rolled roof with a compound radius. The rolled girders were partially prime painted with inorganic zinc and partially galvanized. The three story 52,000 square foot structure stands as a showcase for the University of Michigan’s football tradition.  Spence Brothers was the General Contractor.

DOW Business Process Services Center (BPSC)

Midland, MI – 1,215 Tons

This 203,000 sq.ft. services center had to be done right, and done quickly.  This project was a key element in DOW’s international business strategy.  Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation threw all they had at this $45 million project to meet the accelerated schedule, completing detailing, fabrication and erection only five months after the project was awarded.  First, we streamlined the shop drawing review process by electronically submitting the 3D model for review of shop drawings.  We collaborated with the URS design team, providing value engineering and connection design to achieve the most economical framing system.  Finally our team used a two-crane erection strategy (and a 50 hour work week) to expedite construction and deliver the project on time.