Morton Buildings is perhaps most notorious for its status as a construction heavyweight in the American agriculture community. Morton farm storage facilities are the strongest and most dependable buildings in the industry. That status was not lost on the brain trust of Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club during its decision to choose Morton to spearhead a complete overhaul of some of its facilities.
“I didn’t really think they’d be able to do it,” general manager Tom Hurley acknowledged when asked about his initial perception of Morton.
But with his major renovation complete, including a new pro shop and “cart barn” for his country club that features three professionally designed championship golf courses, Hurley was now a believer in Morton’s prowess as a builder of high-end commercial facilities.
“The final product really exceeded our expectations,” Hurley said. “We really weren’t sure – we saw the drawings . . . and it’s hard to envision the final product, even with the detail that they supplied to us. The final product is just superior. You would never know it’s a Morton building or anything else. It really looks great.”
The new pro shop, described by Hurley as the focal point of the club, features cut-stone and stucco siding. The wainscot of the building also features cut stone. Both sides of the building showcase porches and an eyebrow overhang. The building is protected by an architectural shingled roof and Morton’s Energy Performer insulation package.
Faced with the major project, Hurley praised Morton’s Phillipsburg, N.J.-based construction crew for its workmanship.
“The crew itself was phenomenal. The good news is sometimes you don’t know they’re there. I really didn’t have any issues with anybody. They were timely, they were professional. We had some logistical issues at the time with other construction going on and they worked around our schedules and their schedule and it was . . . seamless.”
The country club, built in 1965 in the north-central New Jersey township of Bedminster, boasts the state’s only 54-hole golf club. The 1,000-acre property also includes a large of collection of private events and tennis, fitness and aquatics facilities.
“The reaction to the (golf) facility has been phenomenal,” Hurley said. “It’s a private club. To meet (the members’) expectations was very important for us. The members are thrilled with the building, the way it looks, the flow and everything. It suits everybody. It’s really a great thing.”
And while Morton has specialized in the construction of a wide variety of commercial projects, including retail facilities, office buildings, restaurants, veterinary clinics and municipal buildings, golf clubhouse construction is a relatively new endeavor for a company that has thrived since 1903. But that may not be the case for much longer.
“I have been asked – what we have done here is pretty impressive,” Hurley said. “People in the industry have reached out to me and I would recommend that they speak to Morton.”
The partnership between Morton and Fiddler’s Elbow was a definite success. So much so, Hurley indicated more Morton buildings would be in the club’s future.
“We have already reached out (to Morton) to start another project. We’re building a gatehouse/guardhouse facility near the entrance to the club. We’ve already reached out to them to give us a design – to help us with the design – and we are contemplating modifications or starting over with the maintenance facility, which Morton would be terrific for. We already have them in the plans for other projects at the club.”
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