Construction News

Press Releases

CNI awarded bid for new Clif Bar facility. (March 10th, 2015)

URA members awarded a bid to Contractors Northwest Inc. for construction of a $5.6 million pre-treatment facility for Clif Bar. The URA agreed to build the facility as part of the development agreement with the maker of organic food and drinks.

Clif Bar is expected to start construction of its bakery in April.

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Coeur d'Alene builder look to restabilize - Journal of Business (October 9th, 2014)

Coeur d'Alene-based Contractors Northwest Inc. has been navigating choppy waters since the recession, says Dean Haagenson, the company's cofounder, chairman, and CEO.

CNI has charted a respectable year in 2013, buoyed in part by the $14.6 million McEuen Park project in Coeur d'Alene, Haagenson says.

The company's contract revenue in 2013 totaled $34.7 million, the third highest annual revenue since its peak of $55 million in 2007.

Although last year's revenue was up 74 percent from a 10-year low of $19 million a year earlier, the company's revenue this year is coming in at a slow pace, Haagenson says.

"Work is still scarce," he says "This year, revenue is down some. It's less than 2013 by far, and could be less than in 2012."

He describes CNI as an industrial contractor that has carved its niche with projects involving drinking water and wastewater treatment plant construction and improvements, although the company also builds schools, churches, multifamily housing, and commercial projects.

Haagenson says the engineering background that he and some of the staff bring to the company make it suited for more technical plant, industrial, and commercial construction.

CNI has a core staff of 12 employees based at its Coeur d'Alene office, at 3731 N. Ramsey Road. It also has about 30 construction workers on various projects, Haagenson says, adding that CNI's staffing level has been static for the last few years.

CNI also has a small office in Boise, where two project managers are based. The Boise office focuses mainly on projects in the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley areas of southern Idaho.

The company usually works in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and western Montana.

Some of CNI's larger projects in recent years include the $8.2 million Kootenai Cancer Center in Post Falls, a $10.5 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade in Coeur d'Alene, and an $18 million financial center in Sandpoint.

Haagenson says, "We like $10 million projects."

Winning a bid or two on projects of that scope can be the difference between an up or down year, he says.

CNI can handle four or five jobs with the scope of the McEuen Park project, Haagenson says.

"We would love to have that problem," he says.

The park project converted seasonal softball fields to a year-round, multiuse park that links the downtown area and Tubbs Hill.

CNI's current largest job is a $5 million wastewater treatment plant project at Sacheen Lake in Washington's Pend Oreille County.

CNI also is the steel and concrete subcontractor with a $4.1 million share of the $57 million Kootenai Health expansion project, for which Bouten Construction Co., of Spokane, is the construction manager.

Its smallest project, replacing decks on an apartment complex, is a few hundred thousand dollars, he says.

CNI recently completed a $4 million warehouse expansion project for URM Stores Inc., the Spokane-based grocery distribution cooperative. The project included a 75,000-square-foot addition that increases URM's freezer and refrigeration capacity there by 40 percent.

"Over the years, we haven't had all that much work in Spokane County," Haagenson says. "There's a good, aggressive construction community with no shortage of competition in Spokane."

Looking beyond 2014, Haagenson says CNI is on a good path.

"I think revenue will be up in 2015," he says. "We're going into it with a better backlog than we had to start this year."

One of the company's next goals will be to compete for jobs that call for companies to fill the dual role of general contractor-construction manager, which a recent change in Idaho law now allows.

Before the change in the law, companies that managed projects on behalf of public entities couldn't also be the general contractor.

Haagenson says he sees the general contractor-construction manager role as the coming trend because it can put projects on a faster track, potentially reducing costs.

A general contractor-construction manager participates in the project design, provides construction management, and acts as lead builder.

CNI has managed some projects previously, but its focus has mainly been on general contracting and subcontracting, Haagenson says.

"Our ability to sell ourselves as a construction manager is going to be a challenge," he says. "You can't just rest on the fact that you've been around a while, but it should count for something."

Haagenson and Bob Wheeler founded CNI in 1975. Haagenson, a North Idaho native, was born and raised in Bonners Ferry, and Wheeler grew up in southern Idaho.

Wheeler retired in 2000. Haagenson established an employee stock ownership plan three years later. He still is the majority owner of the company. Employees own 46 percent of the company through the ESOP, and Bryan Taylor, CNI's president and chief operating officer, owns 3 percent.

Haagenson, who will be 73 years old this month, says he's thinking about retirement, but that may still be a few years off.

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August Economic Activity Around Idaho (August 31st, 2014)

The City of Weiser has begun work to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. Funding was provided through grants from the USDA Rural Development Program and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Contractors Northwest with offices in Coeur d'Alene and Boise will complete the $5.4 million project.

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Old safe unearthed at McEuen Park site - (July 8th, 2014)

The reconstruction of McEuen Park lasted nearly two years and involved the excavation of nearly 22 acres of soil for the park and parking structure. After all that, during the final earthmoving event this week, crews uncovered a safe that had likely been buried for several decades.

The safe was discovered during excavation efforts to make room for the next piece of public art at the southeast corner of Front Avenue and Second Street. It was buried about 5 feet below the street surface.

Bryan Taylor, president and chief operating officer for Contractors Northwest Inc., said officials will seek to determine whether local historians have an interest in the safe, which was empty when found.

Museum of North Idaho Director Dorothy Dahlgren said the safe was likely dumped there 40 to 50 years ago when local residents used the area as a dumpsite to fill in portions of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

"All that was just fill," she said. "According to locals, they just used whatever they could find to dump down there."

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May opening for McEuen Park on track - (March 6th, 2014)

It may require some longer work days and weekends on the job site, but the primary contractor for the McEuen Park reconstruction project still plans on an
early May opening for the multi-million dollar lakeside park.

"We're still shooting for the same timeline and we're excited about the weather," said Bryan Taylor, President and COO of Contractors Northwest, Inc.
"Right now, we're at the mercy of Mother Nature."

Crew lost some ground in recent weeks due to frigid cold snaps and a couple snow storms. But the bad conditions didn't come as a surprise, officials said. After
all, it's winter in North Idaho.

"We're trying to devise a plan to be in a position to be substantially complete in early May as originally planned," Taylor said Thursday. "What that will
require, more than anything else, is dry weather."

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Grocery Co-Op Picks CNI to Start Big Addition Soon on Spokane's North Side (May 9th, 2013)

Spokane Journal of Business
URM Stores Inc., the Spokane-based grocery distribution cooperative says it will expand its warehouse and distribution center on the North Side to meet increasing demand for frozen and perishable goods. The 'co-op has selected Contractors Northwest Inc. (CNI) of Coeur d'Alene as the contractor to build a 75,000 square foot expansion to increase its freezer and refrigeration capacity by about 40 percent, says Ray Sprinkle, president and CEO.

John Pederson, Spokane County planning director, says URM recently had applied for a building permit, a process nearly completed as of May 2. The permit information lists the estimated project value at just over $4 million, Pederson says.

Sprinkle says URM expects construction to begin soon on the north side of its existing 650,000 square foot facility, at 7511 N. Freya. ALSC Architects PS, of Spokane, designed the project.

"Hopefully, we'll start the expansion the middle of this month," Sprinkle says. "It should be up and operational in April 2014."

CNI also will work on a minor renovation to the current warehouse that will include upgrading compressors, putting in new lighting, and installing doors. The contractor also will build 22 loading docks, because the building expansion will take over a space where loading docks currently are located,Sprinkle adds.

He says URM began considering the freezer and refrigeration area expansion in 2008, but it held off in part because of the recession and also after determining the space wasn't needed then.

Workers at URM pull roughly 95,000 cases a day from its warehouse for distribution, Sprinkle says. URM employs 550 workers at the warehouse and administrative offices there, and the number of jobs is expected to grow, he says.

"As our business grows, yes, we'd be adding employees," Sprinkle says, although he doesn't know an approximate number of new jobs at this time. As for its revenue, the cooperative is up about 3.5 percent over a year ago, he says. "That's year-to-date for our fiscal year that ends at the end of July," Sprinkle says.

He adds, "We've been looking at this for a number of years. The growth in the supermarket business has been on the perishable side. Therefore, we need the additional capacity to bring in the items required to support the consumers who shop with our customers."

"Obviously, it arrows us to continue to grow as our customer base grows," he says.

The grocery cooperative has 94 member-owners, including Yoke's Fresh Markets and the Trading Co. stores. It serves independent supermarkets in Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. URM's member-owners also operate stores under the banners of Rosauers, Super 1 Foods, Family Foods, Harvest Foods, and Centerplace Markets, among others.

URM last expanded its warehouse and distribution facility along Freya in 1994. The cooperative was founded in Spokane in 1921 by a group of Spokane area grocers and was originally named United Retail Merchants.

In addition to selling groceries and general merchandise, it offers its members planning, design, financial, marketing, insurance, technology, and real estate services.

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CNI Awarded McEuen Park Project (April 15th, 2013)

Contractors Northwest has been awarded the contract to complete the McEuen Park and Parking Structure project. Work is currently underway is scheduled to be complete May 2014. Features of the $14.8 million development include a new two-story parking structure, open play areas, basketball and tennis courts, a memorial plaza honoring veterans, a splash pad, playground, dog park and more.

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FINALLY HOME (September 27th, 2012)

By Bill Buley


Staff writer

COEUR D'ALENE - The waiting list for the Lynn Peterson House for low-income people with disabilities is four years. Thanks to a $2 million project, those needing to live there won't have to wait that long.

A groundbreaking was held Tuesday on the 14-unit John O'Brien House.

"It's a place for people to finally call home," said Jeff Conroy, St. Vincent de Paul's executive director.

Contractors Northwest, Inc. was awarded the contract for the development on Homestead Avenue expected to be completed in July 2013.

The house was named in honor of John O'Brien, longtime St. Vincent's board member who died June 23, 2011.

Just like the 14-unit Lynn Peterson House named for the former director of the nonprofit, it will offer independent living for low-income people with disabilities.

The Peterson home opened in early 2010 and quickly had a lengthy waiting list and low turn-over.

Applicants are often folks living with parents or others because they can't live on their own. The O'Brien House, like the Peterson, gives them a place where they can do that. An on-site case manager will look after residents.

The home will provide clean, respectable units for those who most need them, Conroy said.

St. Vincent's worked in partnership with the city of Coeur d'Alene, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to secure funding for the project.

It's the third housing project undertaken by CNI for St. Vincent de Paul in the Coeur d'Alene area.

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Taylor Recognized As Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) (May 10th, 2012)

In addition to being a Licensed Construction Manager, Bryan Taylor, Contractors Northwest, Inc., President/COO has earned the designation of Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) by the American Hospital Association (AHA) Certification Center. The CHC is a national credential that distinguishes an individual as being among the elite in the healthcare construction profession. To earn the CHC an individual must satisfy eligibility requirements that incorporate a blend of professional experience and education, agree to adhere to the AHAProfessional Standards of Conduct, and pass the CHC Certification Examination.

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Hard Hats, Hammers & Hot Dogs (April 4th, 2012)

Middle and high school students from area schools participated in the 5th annual Hard Hats, Hammers, and Hot Dogs event held at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. The Manufacturing and Construction Career Day is hosted by the Workforce Development Task Force through partnership with local government, school districts, North Idaho College, and businesses, including Contractors Northwest, Inc (CNI). Through interactive exhibits nearly 600 students were given hands-on experience in technical skills, heavy equipment operation as well as demonstrations showcasing the work of a variety of trades.

Sean MacNiven, Lyle Burnett, Mark Andrews, and Laura LaChapelle hosted the CNI booth where kids tested their knowledge of construction hand tools, types of nails and their various applications. Many opportunities were provided by participating businesses for students to experience various types of construction skills.

CNI has been a major sponsor of the annual event since its inception and is always interested in introducing students in our community to the construction industry.

If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in the future or would like more information, please contact Laura LaChapelle in our Coeur d'Alene office.

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Contractors Northwest Is Low Bidder on Chelan Job - Journal of Business (January 19th, 2012)

Special Report - Real Estate & Construction - By Treva Lind
Of the Journal of Business

Coeur d'Alene-based Contractors Northwest Inc. has submitted an apparent low bid for a $4.9 million project to upgrade portions of a wastewater treatment system that serves the city of Chelan in Central Washington.

Contractors Northwest President Bryan Taylor says the city was scheduled to review the bids for the planned second phase of upgrades at the wastewater treatment facility on Jan. 12. Assuming its bid is approved, he expects Contractors Northwest to be able to begin work on the project around March 1 and to complete the upgrades by early 2013.

Jason Cates, a Contractors Northwest project manager, says the improvements are planned for an upper area and a lower area of the wastewater treatment facility system that are about 10 miles apart.

The lower-area site is off Chelan Falls Road along the Columbia River, Cates says. More work will be done at the upper site, on the east end of Lake Chelan.

The work at the lower site will include building a new head works building, which screens and diverts the effluent sludge, and a new primary clarifier. The lower-site work also calls for installing a new odor control system, upgrading an ultraviolet disinfection system, and installing new pumps and other types of equipment.

Additionally, the upper-site project work will involve constructing a new odor-control system, erecting a new electrical building, modifying an existing transfer pump station, and adding retaining walls along a steep bank. The contractor also is expected to construct transmission main manholes, which are concrete vaults leading down to an underground pipe that extends between the two sites.

Separately, Contractors Northwest is wrapping up work on a $2.1 million contract to build a critical care unit at the West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, Idaho, about 30 miles west of Boise.

The contractor started that project in November with demolition of the interior third-floor space, Taylor says. That project includes construction of new patient rooms, nurses' station, laundry facilities, storage rooms, and reception areas.

In renovating the third floor, the project is expanding the critical care unit from 5,800 square feet to a total of 11,000 square feet. The work is expected to be completed by April.

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Construction Underway On Northern Idaho Idaho's Professional-Technical School - Idaho Business Review (December 16th, 2011)

The Kootenai Technical Education Center, northern Idaho's new professional-technical school, has been in the works in some form or another for 15 years, but now construction is finally underway on a field in Rathdrum. The 54,000-square-foot school is being built this winter on 20 acres of land, 10 acres donated by a local family and 10 purchased through fundraising by the consortium of school districts and local manufacturers that joined forces in 2007. KTEC is due to open next fall.

KTEC supporters, including the 45-member North Idaho Manufacturer's Consortium, passed a $9.5 million levy for the school in 2010 in the districts of Lakeland, Coeur d'Alene, and Post Falls.

KTEC's students will be required to finish high school as they complete their KTEC certificates. The campus will also eventually include a training facility connected to North Idaho College, which is based in Coeur d'Alene, about eight miles away. North Idaho College also owns 40 acres of land next to the spot KTEC will occupy, as does Lakeland School District.

To determine what programs to offer, KTEC's five-member founding committee talked to community members, employers, educators, and employment experts in northern Idaho and around the country. The school is closely modeled after the 42-year-old Canyon-Owyhee School Service Agency, or COSSA, which provides technical education and other services to five school districts in Canyon and Owyhee Counties. COSSA's director, Mark Cotner, moved north to become KTEC's director in October.

Cotner works half-time as KTEC director and half-time as an instructor in the Coeur d'Alene School District.

Seven programs are due to open in September: automotive technology, diesel technology, engineering design and automation program, industrial welding and metal fabrication, construction trades, resort management, and computer repair.

The college-level technical courses are aligned with industry standards and industry certification, Cotner said. The building will not look like a high school; it will have just a few classrooms and several larger training areas, and many of its students will be adults.

"The layout duplicates what you would find in industry," he said. And he'll watch closely to see if students are being trained to meet workforce needs.

"It's totally based on output," Cotner said. "If we aren't placing students, we close programs and open new ones."

An early supporter of KTEC was Ron Nilson, CEO of Ground Force manufacturing, a Post Falls company that makes mining equipment. Nilson said all the instructors at KTEC will come from private industry, not from educational institutions.

Cotner said 280 students are expected to enroll in KTEC next year, but "I think we'll have twice as many students as we can accommodate," he said. "I'm really worried about that."

However, there is already talk of growth. The school is now using only about six acres of the land it owns.

"The long-term vision is we'll have a large technical-educational campus out there, with a lot of synergies," said Jerry Keane, superintendent of the Post Falls School District and chairman of KTEC's five-member board. "We hope to be able to expand and we'll have the land to do it."

The firm Longwell & Trapp Architects of Hayden Lake designed the structure. Contractors Northwest Inc. of Coeur d'Alene is doing the building. CNI is co-owned by D. Dean Haagenson, a longtime supporter of KTEC.

"It's kind of a beautiful marriage in that regard," Keane said. "He's been a great champion all along."

KTEC's budget got some help from R & M Steel in Caldwell, which has donated steel worth $2 million to professional-technical programs around Idaho in the last two years.

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CNI Selected As General Contractor For KTEC Project (August 26th, 2011)

The professional-technical high school is administered as a consortium consisting of Lakeland, Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene School Districts and was created through the initiative of local industry leaders. Construction is scheduled to begin in September and the school will be open to students in the fall of 2012.

CNI has been committed to excellence and innovation in education since it was founded in 1975. CNI offers a college student internship program and strongly supports the vision of the consortium to meet the needs of professional-technical students in Kootenai County.

"CNI is a strong believer that high school students should have choices, one of which should be technical training in a field of interest. Students with such training are in high demand" said Dean Haagenson, CEO and founder of CNI.

CNI is known for integrity and an uncompromising commitment to quality. The company serves public, commercial and industrial clients throughout the Northwest from offices in Coeur d'Alene and Boise. CNI is a proud member of the United States Green Building Council as well the Green Advantage Program with LEED AP's and certified Green Advantage members on staff.

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Hospice House Project in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to be Completed July 2011 (June 1st, 2011)

Construction is nearing completion on Idaho's first inpatient Hospice House, located in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

This 14,000 square foot facility is owned by Hospice of North Idaho. When completed, Hospice House will provide end-of-live care for terminally ill patients similar to the care provided in hospitals, however at Hospice House the environment will be more home-like.

Each of the 12 rooms has a private bath and private outside entry from the patio and garden area. The main entrance opens into the great room which features a vaulted ceiling and is designed for family gatherings. There is a meditation room, a family waiting room, and in addition to the facility's main kitchen there is a family warming kitchen. The architecture of Hospice House is designed not only for beauty, but to create a comfortable, home-like atmosphere.

Rann Haight and Roy Marshall, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho are the architects on this project. Hospice House is scheduled for completion in July 2011.

With offices in Coeur d'Alene and Boise, Idaho, Contractors Northwest, Inc. is a full service, self-performing general contractor who has been providing exceptional service and quality to clients throughout the Northwest since 1975. Services include traditional general contracting, construction management and design-build for a variety of commercial and industrial facilities. Member ABC and USGBC. Visit the company's website at

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City Water System Improvements Begin in Emmett, Idaho (May 10th, 2011)

Contractors Northwest, Inc. is beginning a $3 Million project involving improvements to the city water system in Emmett, Idaho.

The project includes construction of two steel-tank water reservoirs and the installation of water-filtration equipment for the city's drinking water system. A 3,000 square foot building will also be constructed to house the filtration equipment that will be tied into two of the city's wells.

Two reservoirs will be built at the site of one of the wells. Another well is about a mile away, and there will be a pipeline run to the off-site well as part of the project. One of the storage reservoirs will hold 1 million gallons, while the other tank will be smaller and used for recycling water in the filtration process.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

With offices in Coeur d'Alene and Boise, Contractors Northwest, Inc. is a full service, self-performing general contractor who has been providing exceptional service and quality to clients throughout the Northwest since 1975. Services include traditional general contracting, construction management and design-build for a variety of commercial and industrial facilities. Member ABC and USGBC. Visit the company's website at

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Enaville, Idaho Water Treatment Plant Project Nears Completion (December 17th, 2010)

Contractors Northwest, Inc. has completed construction of the Central Shoshone County Water District's Water Treatment Plant in Enaville, Idaho, and is now in the start-up process with electricians, factory representatives and GE personnel on site completing a commissioning sequence in preparation for making water.

The water will be cycled within the plant for about 30 days to allow for testing of motors, electronics, valves, pumps, etc. GE is also in the process of training several operators who will receive hands-on training as well as classroom training. After the entire system has been proven out and operator training is completed, the final steps will be installation of the membrane filters and opening of the valve to start the water flowing into the system and storage tanks, scheduled for the middle of January.

The new water treatment plant will produce nearly 5.7 million gallons of water per day using a state-of-the art membrane filtration process, and will serve over 5,000 people throughout the13-mile water district corridor from Enaville through Osburn. To allow for additional water needs in the future, the plant includes an extra filter bay which provides room for expansion of water production to nearly 7 million gallons per day.

Contractors Northwest, Inc. broke ground in May 2009, with up to 18 of the company's own employees working on site throughout the project, as well as numerous local North Idaho subcontractors. The project included modifications to the existing well pump, new 60,000 gallon raw water equalization tank, new treatment plant building, installation of GE-provided membrane filtration equipment, new 200,000 gallon chlorine contact chamber, backwash treatment and disposal facilities, associated yard piping, site and access work, and electrical and controls.

"I appreciate the quality work of Contractors Northwest and have enjoyed working with Terry Bachman and Russ Twardowski. They were always happy to discuss any concerns along the way and the project has gone very well." said Barney Norris, Central Shoshone County Water District.

With offices in Coeur d'Alene and Boise, Contractors Northwest, Inc. is a full service, self-performing general contractor who has been providing exceptional service and quality throughout the Pacific Northwest since 1975. Services include traditional general contracting, construction management and design/build for a variety of commercial and industrial facilities. Member ABC and USGBC. Visit the company's website at

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Community Involvement

We are committed to improving the industry in which we work and the communities in which we live by providing financial and personal support to our employees and the organizations that share our commitment.

A few of the organizations and events we proudly support include:

Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce
(Board Member, Public Policy Committee)

Kootenai Technical Education Campus
(Governing Board)

State of Idaho - Workforce Development Council
(Board Member)

Idaho Dept of Labor, Workforce Development Task Force

Hard Hats, Hammers and Hotdogs
(Idaho Dept of Labor, Workforce Development Task Force)

Hospice of North Idaho


Citizens for Balance

Manufacturers Consortium

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