The Prairie Lakes Wellness Center in Watertown, South Dakota, a modern community center conveniently located in a fast growing area in the northeast part of the state, opened in April 2017 and has 104,000 square feet of space.

The $24 million, multilevel facility features basketball courts, racquetball courts, a running track, a sauna and whirlpool, a large fitness area, and a state-of-the-art pool area that includes a leisure pool as well as a competition-caliber pool.

For areas that are not exposed, rectangular, medium-pressure ductwork was chosen. For exposed areas, Spiralmate round duct was used.  All the spiral duct was manufactured by Creative Metal Solutions. Pennsylvania-based Ductmate Industries Inc. manufactured all Spiralmate used on the job.

Gary Chappell, Ductmate’s regional channel manager, said the spiral duct was made to be exposed and is visible from multiple perspectives. On the second floor, where the ceiling for the downstairs is positioned at eye level, it was even more important to have an attractive product.

“The project looks is aesthetically pleasing both close up and from a distance,” he said. “From a performance standpoint, the system is airtight, efficient and doesn’t require any additional sealing.”

The project was not plagued by problems, according to those involved. Jon Burri, vice president at Creative Metal Solutions, the specifier and ductwork fabrication contractor for the project, said everything went very smoothly on the jobsite.

“We made custom lengths in the shop and delivered them to the jobsite, ranging in size from 10 inches to 42 inches in diameter,” Burri said. “Large amounts of 28- to 32-inch diameter ductwork were installed above the track, and 18- to 20-inch segments were installed in the workout areas.” 

Spiralmate spiral duct

The 104,000-square-foot Watertown, South Dakota, features Spiralmate spiral duct from Ductmate Industries Inc.


The ductwork in the pool area was double-walled aluminum to reduce the sound of the airflow from spectators and to prevent corrosion from the harsh pool environment. Galvanized steel was used on all the ductwork in other areas.

MacArthur Co. was the distributor on the project. According to Chappell, “They have been a great asset and long-standing Ductmate distributor in Sioux Falls.”

Burri said a couple of trailers full of product a week were sent to the jobsite on and off for about six months. It helped prevent bottlenecks.

“We delivered in phases so that a lot of room wasn’t needed to store product during the entire job,” he said.

spiral duct

Spiral duct is extensively used near the ceiling of the center’s basketball court.

Spiralmate is Creative Metal’s top choice, Burri said. They always recommend it when asked.

“The cost is always justified with savings in field installation time and cost, and it allows for an airtight system that looks great,” he added.

Active Heating Inc., based in Watertown, South Dakota, was the project’s HVAC construction contractor.

Jason Roehrich, vice president at Active Heating, said the installation of the Spiralmate system is usually fast, but this project went even quicker than normal.

“The finished job features a wide-open, exposed look with neat, straight long runs,” he said. “In one area, we had a run of 100 to 150 feet with a 90-degree turn into another long run of about 300 feet, and it looks great.”

Active Heating workers like to use the system, Roehrich added.

round ductwork

Round ductwork up to 32 inches in diameter is used near the indoor jogging track.

 “Our installers in the field really like the Spiralmate system because it quickly snaps in place, provides a great seal, installs faster than other products, and it provides a straight, clean look when it’s finished,” he said.

Another advantage of the system is that when a piece of ductwork is cut down in size, the flange can be removed and reused — unlike with some other systems. This saves even more time and money.

The result was a successful project for Ductmate and everyone else involved. The state-of-the-art Prairie Lakes Wellness Center has an HVAC system to match that’s pleasing to the eye, energy efficient and should perform well for many years to come, officials said.

This article and its images were supplied by DMI Cos. For reprints, contact Jill DeVries at (248) 244-1726 or email