Experienced. Trained. Trusted.
With divisions specializing in commercial and industrial construction, we are staffed with trained and experienced estimators, project managers, superintendents and skilled craftsmen. All Senne craftsmen go through a four year apprenticeship program, and all have experience in facilities that demand excellent performance and safe practices. The Senne Team is a different kind of contractor – we are a team of well-established industry professionals committed to providing personalized, senior-level service in every phase of the project.
The Evolution Of Senne & Company, Inc.
The Evolution Of
Senne & Company, Inc.
Early 1900’sNovember 8, 1900
Early 1900’s – George Senne left school at the age of 14, after completing only six and one-half years of education. He began his career as a carpenter working for well-known Topeka contractor Milton Council. From Council, young George learned the fundamentals of contracting. “Council figured all work with a magnifying glass,” George was quoted in a 1950’s trade magazine. George had a “phenomenal ability for getting things done.” He could lay eight squares of shingles in one day, outstanding production for the time!
Company Founding and WWI
Company Founding and WWIMay 28, 1914
(1914 – 1918) – George establishes his construction firm in Topeka – George Senne General Contractor. The company specialized in residential new construction and remodels. Early projects included many new homes and remodels in Topeka’s Potwin neighborhood.
World War I brings government and commercial construction opportunities. George Senne saw the opportunity, however he had a difficult time obtaining insurance.
Once he was able to enter the market, he began taking on projects at Camp Funston near Fort Riley. His first project was a pool hall. George completed the project in just 45 days, impressing Major Foster, who was then in charge of construction. These were the “hurry-up” days of World War I, and a contractor like Senne was just what the Army wanted.
George made a $10,000 profit in 1917, 10 times the $1,000 in net worth the company had accumulated since its founding. By 1920, Senne was almost entirely a commercial general contracting company.
Return to Civilian Work
Return to Civilian WorkSeptember 8, 1926
Back in Topeka, one of George’s first non-defense projects was the demolition of the Santa Fe office buildings. Senne entered a bid of $9,000 and was awarded the job. The project ultimately proved profitable, but not from his bid. Nearly all of the plate glass in the building was salvaged, and George managed to sell the lead sash weights for $3,500, an item he hadn’t considered when figuring his bid.
Post World War I, George Senne was busy, building the original Santa Fe Hospital, and the Santa Fe Depot in Topeka. Senne also demolished Topeka’s downtown City Hall and Fire Department buildings.
In 1926, Senne built the Christ Hospital. The job was one of Senne’s first six figure projects. Some of the original 1926 hospital building still exists within what is now the Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center.
In 1930, Senne built the old Santa Fe Hospital of Topeka, located east of I-70 in downtown Topeka.
The Great Depression
The Great DepressionMarch 26, 1933
(1930’s) – Business was slow during the Great Depression. During the hot summer months, George was known for shutting the office down and taking employees to the air-conditioned theatre downtown.
In 1933, George built a new building in Tonganoxie, making a grand total of $1.00. While the country struggled, George and his construction company survived by “watching costs and keeping equipment in shape.”
Post-DepressionJune 13, 1938
Late 1930’s – 1950 – The economic recovery brought new opportunities in both private and public construction. During this time, Senne constructed numerous concrete school and municipal buildings throughout Kansas.
1948 was a big year for the Company. George Senne retired at the beginning of the year. His son, Wilber Senne was named President of the company. Also in 1948, Senne’s office moves to 1734 Van Buren in Topeka (East of the current Stormont Vail Events Center)
Introduction to Millwright Work
Introduction to Millwright WorkOctober 2, 1951
In 1951, Senne entered the specialized industrial millwright market. Work included specialty steel fabrication and erection, heavy equipment setting, and equipment maintenance for longtime manufacturing customers. The industrial millwright division is still a cornerstone of the Company today.
Community PartnershipsFebruary 15, 1973
1970’s – 1980’s – Serving industrial clientele needs, Senne’s specialized industrial millwright work flourished. Long term relationships with repeat customers Frito Lay, Goodyear, the Santa Fe Railroad, Russel Stover’s, FMC, and DuPont are developed and maintained in this time period.
In 1988, Bruce took over for his dad Wilbur as President of the Company. Wilbur and his black Labrador Cody stay on to mentor and advise, well into Wilbur’s 80’s.
Booming ConstructionJuly 8, 1998
1990’s – With the construction market in Topeka picking up, the Company regained its focus on building work. Services were expanded to include design-build and interior contracting.
Milestone projects during this period included the renovation of the Crawford Building and Governor’s Place arcade in downtown Topeka. At Frito Lay, Senne built warehousing and added new manufacturing lines. Projects in the North Topeka Industrial Park included North Topeka Fabrication, and a 75,000sf distribution center for Boater’s World.
In 1998, the Company moved from Van Buren to its current space at 2001 NW Highway 24 in Topeka.
In 1999, Judy Row and Mike McGivern became part owners of the Company. Mike was named President, Judy its Corporate Secretary, and Bruce its CEO.
Everlasting LegaciesAugust 26, 2005
In 2005, Bruce Senne retired. Bruce was a third generation Senne, extending back to his grandfather George. The Company is proud of the legacy left by Bruce, Wilber and George. As a small family company, one of Senne’s strengths are its family legacies, many lasting multiple decades with the Company.
“Their honesty and integrity is a trait that is extremely valued in our profession. They have proven their value in delivering a project that exceeded expectations."
Tevis Architectural Group, P.A.
“Senne has been a responsive, innovative, problem solving, and very reliable contractor.”
Deputy Base Civil Engineer
Noah W. Diehl
“Senne Group worked in a timely and professional manner while keeping the owners, architects, engineers, and subcontractors informed and involved.”
Sowards Glass Inc.
“Every subcontractor followed (Senne’s) lead, they all cooperated very well together. Working with this group, we gained some great friends at Senne ...”
The Helping Hands Humane Society Foundation
“Through it all, Senne Company has been one of the most loyal and dependable General Contractors that we have had the privilege of working for. They treat all people fairly and honestly, and you can trust that if they tell you they will do something, they will make sure it gets done.”
Schmidtlein Excavating, Inc.
“They want to be a partner with the design team, the subcontractors, and the owner so that everyone has a good experience and really appreciates the competed construction project.”
Pearson Kent McKinley Raaf Engineers
Scott McKinley, P.E.
“They have always been helpful to subcontractors, but also keeping a watchful eye out for the owner.”
Conroy Contractors, Inc.
“Senne & Company, Inc. is a very competent, responsive contractor that cares about their client’s goals and works well as a team member to provide a quality project.”
Slemmons Associates Architects, P.A.
Gregory D. Sims, AIA
While others construct buildings, Senne constructs legacies. For over a century, we have stood firm behind our work, and our customers. We like to get our hands dirty as much as the next guy, but true grit is putting in the effort from conception to completion, delivering an on-time, on-budget project. When it comes to construction, your building partnerships are critical. Senne is a trusted name with a proven track record since 1914 – we’re proud of our roots, and remain steadfast in our responsibility to each customer we serve.
Affiliations and associations
Proven experience that will save time and money.
Responsible for design and construction, aligned project team creates significant value for a project.
Early partnerships, taking on challenges, meeting objectives.
Providing real, tangible value in a traditional building process.
Industrial Millwright Contracting
Heavy equipment setting and industrial services, when 1/1000th of an inch matters.
We're all about being partners. Whether you need project guidance or have questions about the services we provide, let's chat.