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Construction Zone: Daqota Systems Inc.

What: Daqota Systems Inc. Where: Cloquet Business Park's light industrial wing near Minnesota Highway 33 and Stark Road in Cloquet. Project: Construction of an 18,000-square-foot facility that will be the company's Midwest engineering and manufac...

Artist's rendering
An artist's rendering shows what the first building planned for Cloquet Industrial Park -- the regional headquarters for Daqota Systems Inc. -- will look like. (Image courtesy of Daqota Systems)

What: Daqota Systems Inc.

Where: Cloquet Business Park's light industrial wing near Minnesota Highway 33 and Stark Road in Cloquet.

Project: Construction of an 18,000-square-foot facility that will be the company's Midwest engineering and manufacturing headquarters. It will replace the firm's current offices at 118 Ave. C in Cloquet.

Why needed: The expansion will accommodate the company's expected growth as its market expands nationally and internationally. Part of the facility will be leased to small start-up businesses until the company needs the space.

Of special note: The construction will be Cloquet Industrial Park's first building.

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Primary contractor: Morton Buildings in Grand Rapids

Cost: $1.5 million

Timeline: Groundbreaking was March 31. The building's shell is expected to be completed by the end of June. The interior should be complete and ready for occupancy sometime in October.

Status: Prep work has been done; construction is just beginning.

Finished look: The building will be rectangular with a peaked roof. Most of the building will be one story, with offices in a

two-story section.

"We're doing nice aesthetic things to it, some stone look to the east side and coming around to the office," said Timothy Woodward, the company's president.

About the company: The California-based company was founded in 1999 by Woodward, who also opened an office in Cloquet. Daqota provides engineering services and control systems to industries such as forest products, energy, food processing and water treatment.

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Why Cloquet? Woodward opened an office in Cloquet because he has family ties to the area, and it made sense to have a Midwest location with the company's work around the country. Moreover, Minnesota's economic climate is more positive than California's, he said.

While Minneapolis might have made sense for a branch office, the University of Minnesota Duluth engineering program provides access to good, qualified engineers, and the area's industrial focus ensures a base of experienced people.

More jobs: Daqota currently has a half-dozen employees in its Cloquet office. But with its new facility, Woodward hopes to have a total of 20 to 25 technical and administrative employees in the Cloquet office in a few years. Hiring should start this summer.

Related Topics: CLOQUET
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