Scott Glendenning has deep roots in Darlington.
It’s a town of a little over 2,000 people in southwestern Wisconsin, with corn, soybean and dairy farms as far as the eye can see. It’s where Scott was born and raised, played football and ran cross country in high school, entered the concrete business about 25 years ago, and where he currently lives with his wife and three children.
Last April, when construction on the Quilt Block wind project got underway just outside of Darlington, BARD Materials had a big role to play.
A soaring wind turbine requires a solid foundation, and BARD was ready to supply the ready mix concrete, sand and crushed stone needed for all the turbine foundations — as well as the material needed for access roads, substation yards, and bedding for underground cabling.
“It was tremendous, what it meant for local businesses, for local workers,” Scott says about the project. “Our competition was a national company, but this project really utilized local vendors, and we’re a local company in our third generation of family ownership.”
He estimates that the work on Quilt Block from mid-April through early September took about 2,000 truckloads of material, with dozens of workers at quarries, in production at ready mix plants, and doing the deliveries. Despite the volume and long work days, he proudly notes, all of this was done safely and without incident.
Early in the year, “things were a little slow for us,” Scott recalls, and then Quilt Block ended up being “one of the largest projects I’ve worked on in my career,” he says. “Jobs like this don’t come along very often.”
When Scott talks about where he lives — “a place where you get to know everybody” — or explains details of the concrete business, you hear the pride he feels about where he’s from, the business he’s in, and the people he works with.
“We couldn’t have asked for the work to go any better. We didn’t have one load of concrete that was rejected or out of spec,” Scott recalls. “And we were taking care of our regular customers at the same time, too. There were 12- and 15-hour days sometimes, so schedules were demanding, but we were really thankful to be able to participate.”
As a local resident, Scott said he was also able to see first-hand the indirect benefits from the wind farm construction project, which involved hundreds of people over a half a year. “The local lodging, the convenience stores, the gas stations, the local hardware store — they were all getting so much business from all the workers,” Scott explains. He notes that local area businesses handled the influx of people safely and professionally, and made them feel at home during the project.
“It was a big impact for us, to the point where I hope in the future we get to do more. No question we’d love the opportunity to do this kind of project again.”