• 16°

Changing the landscape of the area

LAKE MILLS — From a project at Iowa State University to local jobs, a contracting company does a variety of work to suit the needs of a large clientele.

Larson Contracting was founded in 1977 by Al Larson as an agriculture company specializing in grain bins and agriculture needs.

The company’s big break was in 1986 when it built the Byerly’s plant in Lake Mills.

“It just kind of snowballed from there, I guess,” said President Shawn Lampman.

Today, the company specializes in commercial and industrial construction.

“I like to say we do everything from trimwork to bulldozers,” Lampman said.

Larson Contracting is the contractor for the addition of a special education room at Lake Mills Community School. A construction worker is shown here working on the project. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Larson Contracting is overseeing a kitchen remodeling at Iowa State’s Friley Hall and the construction of a steel building for Minnesota Energy Resources on the south side of Albert Lea.

The company stresses having projects done on time and within budget.

“Obviously, it’s all about making them happy,” said CEO and owner Justin Peterson. “If they’re happy at the end of the project, we’ve done our job.”

Peterson and Lampman both said the company’s ties to the area make its quality of work that much more important.

“A lot of people we have in our company are our friends,” Lampan said. “Some are family.”

“Obviously everyone wants to succeed, but it’s a different level when you see your family or you see your employees at the grocery store, and you see them every day, and you’re tight with them.”

Peterson agreed.

“It’s not like we come from out of town, where we are just here for a project, then leave and then nobody ever sees us again,” Peterson said. “We’re here every day. We hear criticism on our jobs or praise on our jobs.”

Lampman and Peterson each have at least 20 years of experience with the company.

“We go by our projects,” Lampman said. “We can drive by projects we did 25 years ago and remember what we did there and how it went, and the troubles we’ve had and the successes we’ve had.”

Lampman and Peterson thanked businesses in Minnesota and Iowa for their dedication to the company.

“We’re in a position right now that it’s no secret that it’s hard to get construction help, so when we do get good guys we try to take care of them as best as possible.” Lampman said.

Lampman, who will have been with the company for 26 years in May, said he enjoys his job.

“I just like building,” he said. “I like construction. I like seeing projects go up and communities being built and remodeled. I’ve always liked seeing what happens in a day, what happens in a week.”

85 – Employees Larson Contracting had in December

100 – Approximate clients Larson Contracting has each year

1 – Locations of the company

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Sam