Keller, Inc. Recognized for Excellence in Construction – Karls Family Dentistry

The Karls Family Dentistry building project is being recognized as one of the most impressive and unique construction projects completed by a Wisconsin contractor in 2022.  Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin will be honoring Keller, Inc. with a SILVER Projects of Distinction Excellence in Construction Award for the renovation of a dental clinic in Waunakee, Wisconsin.

Karls has been a family dental practice in the Waunakee area since 1968. The original building has been in the family for almost as long. The original building was a modular concept popular for dental practices built in the early 70’s. Prior to our involvement, the building had been updated on the exterior and had an attractive curb appeal. The original scope of work was to remodel and refresh the interior of the original building. Because of the type of construction, there were limitations on what could effectively be done, and the result did not satisfy the original goals.

After careful consideration a concept emerged to provide the patient with a dental experience unique to the area. The goal was to create an experience that did not feel like going to the dentist, but instead to feel more like entering a spa. The design concept was to separate the check-in and waiting from the treatment areas to make full use of the existing building while allowing for the creation of a new space to fulfill the intended goals. The new design started with the site, building a new parking lot away from the street providing easy, accessible parking directly adjacent to the entry. Access to the new entry is through a tranquil landscape area filling the space between the addition and the original building. This garden area is visible from the lobby, the waiting area and the patient treatment rooms.  After checking in the patient enters a waiting area that has high ceilings, reclaimed wood elements, large windows, a two-sided fireplace and comfortable seating that feels more like home, providing the calming experience prior to patient care.  Through a connecting corridor with views to the garden the patient enters the original building that has been completely remodeled providing additional treatment rooms and new patient care spaces that are state of the art.

The original building from 1972 had many bearing walls because of the modular construction; this lent it to working well as the smaller enclosed spaces were needed for treatment rooms, hygiene rooms, sterilization, labs, and the employee spaces. The new construction allowed for more wide-open spaces that could be used for waiting and lobby areas. This separation of spaces helped to meet financial budgets because we were not trying to modify existing structural elements to fit a program.

Our in-house interior design team worked with the owners to select products and materials that reinforced the “spa” like experience. Selections were made to fit within the budget and provide the warm, homelike feel that helps with the calming effect that was desired.

The schedule for this project was complex as the dental practice was operational throughout the addition and remodel. Extensive coordination with the owner, the supervisor and the subcontractors were necessary to keep everyone safe and the project moving forward. The result is a state-of-the-art practice with a unique experience for the patient.

The Projects of Distinction Awards recognizes construction projects that are built on merit and are judged by a panel of construction experts based on several criteria, including quality, owner satisfaction, unusual challenges, and safety. The awards will be presented at a January banquet at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells.

Projects are recognized in a number of different types and sizes of general construction and specialty trades. Projects are all completed between October 2021 and September 2022.

“Projects of Distinction demonstrate the excellence in construction services by ABC of Wisconsin members,” said John Mielke, president of ABC of Wisconsin. “These unique projects are evaluated by a panel of experts in the field, including architects, engineers and educators in the construction industry and allow Wisconsin’s merit contractors to demonstrate their professionalism, craftsmanship and safety.”

A list of the award winners can be found at

Keller, Inc. is an award winning, single-source, design/build general contractor headquartered in Kaukauna, WI, with offices in Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau.  As 100% employee-owned, they are leaders in the construction industry specializing in new construction, remodel, retrofit, and reroof projects. They have the staff and expertise to take projects from the early phases of design through the construction process to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.