Agriculture & Self Storage

Metal ropes together distribution business, horse hobby: A veterinary supply company and an equestrian facility were brought together with a wide-span structural system

Brothers Joel and Shaun Anderson own and operate Pro Med LLC, a veterinary supply distributor for retailers, wholesalers, veterinary clinics and livestock operations. The Andersons also travel the U.S. competing in roping events. The two activities were combined in the Rockin A Arena/Pro Med LLC facility in Palmyra, Mo.

Pro Med, founded in 2002, was outgrowing its facility, a small wood-frame structure on Joel Anderson’s farm that served as a makeshift warehouse, while his house doubled as office space. The company needed a larger facility to accommodate offices for its 12 employees and a dedicated warehouse for storing supplies, some of which required a temperature-controlled environment.

At the same time, the brothers shared a dream of opening an indoor practice facility that would allow year-round training and an opportunity to share their hobby with family, friends and the community. The Andersons enlisted Heimer Construction Co., general contractor and Butler Manufacturing builder, to make their dream a reality. After consulting with Dave Serbin, senior project manager at Heimer Construction, the Andersons determined incorporating the business and indoor facility into the same structure would provided the largest cost savings.

Serbin recommended Butler Manufacturing’s building systems to meet the Andersons’ needs. The MR-24 roof system, with its 360-degree Pittsburgh double-lock seam and final 180 degrees field-rolled, was selected for the project, completed in 2010.

Requirements for the Pro Med headquarters and Rockin A Arena included accommodating a horse arena; building a structure without center beams so riding events would not be disrupted; providing adequate height for a viewing mezzanine along one side of the structure; installing a premium roof to protect Pro Med medicines and supplies; and incorporating a country feel to a commercial building. The building needed to be at least 125 feet wide to accommodate roping and barrel racing events and it could not have center support beams, which would disrupt racing events and spectator views.

Butler’s Widespan structural system was selected to allow for maximum use of interior space. Intermediate columns in the frame supported the structure at strategic points, which created an open arena floor plan and provided the height needed to accommodate a crow’s nest and bleacher seating in the mezzanine area.

Many steel buildings have concrete floors, but the arena floor is a sand-clay mix to accommodate events. The Pro Med warehouse and office were partitioned off from the arena. It was important to have a foundation that worked for the arena and Pro Med side of the building, which has a concrete floor. Special footings anchored the building to the concrete and sand-clay mix.

A 100- by 215-foot linked extension was built on the back of the original building about a year after the project was completed. The addition also used the Widespan structural system with no columns.

Four-foot high Forest Green wainscot and the Butler-Cote finish system were utilized, and the design flexibility of the Butlerib II wall system provided the country look the Andersons wanted.

The Pro Med section of the building allowed the Andersons to merge products previously stored in multiple locations into a climate-controlled facility. Serbin designed and isolated the floor for a 30-foot cooler in the warehouse for some of the materials that needed refrigeration. The rest of the warehouse was designed for racking.

Amenities in the Rockin A Arena include 18 horse stalls, a tack room for storing saddles and bridles, wash bays for the horses, a mezzanine with bleacher seating for more than 1,000, a crow’s nest for announcers, an air-conditioned visitor area with a kitchen, restrooms, showers and living quarters.

Rockin A Arena has hosted church-related gatherings, rodeos, roping and barrel racing events, concerts and fundraisers. Joel Anderson says they exceeded their goals. “The goal was to give us enough room to operate our business more efficiently so we could continue to fund our passion and have this wonderful facility to share with our family, friends and community,” he says.


Rockin A Arena/Pro Med LLC facility in Palmyra, Mo.

General contractor: Heimer Construction Co., Taylor, Mo.

Metal building system: Butler Manufacturing, Kansas City, Mo.,