Three Middlebury Companies Complete Expansions

July 16, 2013

DJ Construction partners with Jayco, Essenhaus, and Cardinal Buses. 

Three Middlebury businesses offering diverse services share common ground in at least two areas: One, they continue to find ways to better serve clients; and two, they recently completed expansion projects with DJ Construction.

Jayco, Das Dutchman Essenhaus, and Cardinal Buses each partnered with DJ for their respective needs of adding onto a manufacturing building, creating a canopy area, and constructing a maintenance facility.

Bob Schrock, CEO and owner of DJ Construction, said that DJ’s relationship with  each of the Middlebury businesses is invaluable.

“We have many employees  who live in Middlebury and take pride in our Middlebury projects, many of which were for these three pillars in the community….

“Like  us, Jayco, Essenhaus, and Cardinal Buses are all family-owned businesses who share our values and are great to work for.”

Jayco Completes Building Addition
Jayco, Inc. has completed an addition to its Plant 41 facility in partnership with DJ Construction. The steel addition more than doubles the capacity for production as it contains 77,752 square feet of manufacturing space. 14,000 square feet of mezzanine as well as restrooms, break rooms, offices, and a three bay truck dock are also part of the new facility. The addition is needed to accommodate growing demand for motorhomes produced by the company’s Entegra Coach division.

Pete Garber, DJ Construction Project Manager, said one interesting quality about the expansion is that the “production line will work from right-to-left. Typically, production lines run from left-to-right, but this one is different.”

Jayco has teamed up with DJ on over a dozen significant projects, including its corporate office, other manufacturing facilities, and its wellness center.

Derald Bontrager, Jayco President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The market for our products is strong and growing. Our order backlog for motorhomes has increased to the point where it is putting pressure on our ability to provide products to our customers in a timely manner. We’re confident that this increased production capacity will allow us to take better advantage of the opportunities presented by the improving marketplace.”

Jayco, Inc. is the largest privately-held manufacturer of recreational vehicles in North America. The company markets towable RVs and motorhomes through a network of more than 300 dealers worldwide.

Essenhaus Opens Canopy Area
Just in time for its first of the year Thursday Classic Car Cruise-in event in May, Essenhaus also opened its new automatic doors under a drive-under canopy addition.

The canopy includes a 41’ x 31’ exterior extension for drop-off and pickup at the buffet-style dining entrance, while allowing for a larger waiting area and easier access into the restaurant.

Joel Miller, Facilities Manager, commented, “The whole project has gone really smooth, and I appreciate the efficient management of the project. The renovation, while being in such a high traffic area, has had a very low negative impact on our customers. We’re getting a lot of good compliments already on the addition.”

The Essenhaus-DJ partnership extends back into the early 1990s with a large restaurant and kitchen expansion. Since that time, the two businesses have worked together on other Essenhaus projects, including the Essenhaus Inn and Conference Center; the Gift Barn renovation; the construction of the noodle factory; a Heritage Hall renovation; and numerous other projects.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus opened in 1971, with the restaurant alone growing from 120 seats to over 1,100, and is considered the largest restaurant in Indiana. In addition to the world-famous restaurant, Essenhaus also offers a bakery, six gift shops, an inn with 89 guest rooms, and a 4,000 square foot conference center. The business also offers catering capabilities, a wholesale food operation, seasonal recreation, and a music and theater venue.

DJ Builds a Maintenance Facility for Cardinal Buses
Middlebury family-owned Cardinal Buses, Inc. expanded its maintenance facilities into Saint Joseph County, as DJ recently completed a 5,395 square foot building for the business.

The facility, located at 2525 East Day Road in Mishawaka, will serve as an additional maintenance facility for Cardinal Buses’ fleet of charter buses, including spaces for washing, cleaning, and mechanical maintenance.  It also features two (2) service bays and one (1) automatic bus wash bay.

The facility also houses a parts area, a general office, and a break room for drivers.

Dan Shoup, Vice-President of Cardinal Buses, said, “We are excited to add the Mishawaka facility to our locations in Middlebury and in Holland, Michigan, to serve our drivers.”

“We also have a long-standing history with DJ Company, mainly because they deliver above and beyond what we ask of them.”

Cardinal Buses currently has facilities in Middlebury, Holland, Michigan, and now in Mishawaka.  It is a family-owned business in existence since 1923 and operates a fleet of modern motorcoaches with various seating capacities. This summer, Cardinal Buses celebrates its 90th year in business.

Doug Wogoman, DJ President and Middlebury resident, commented that this makes the fourth project on which the two companies have collaborated.

“We are truly thankful for the opportunity to help one of our long-time partners to find solutions to better serve their customers,” said Wogoman.

“After the last four to five years of a challenging economy, it is exciting to see businesses growing in my hometown.”