Celebrating a BlueSky Future

Morning shotAmerican Structurepoint is honored and thankful to be joining with BlueSky Technology Partners and the City of Noblesville to bring new growth and vitality to the Federal Hill District.

We proudly participated in the June 29 groundbreaking at Westfield Road and John Street for BlueSky’s 42,000 square foot international headquarters. Other participants included Meyer Najem, the project’s building contractor, and Stock Yards Bank & Trust, which is providing project financing.

The BlueSky project represents some major milestones for growth in Noblesville. The new headquarters is the first major development since the Federal Hill Commons project took flight. Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said the project is the first non-medical office building constructed in Noblesville in nearly 30 years. BlueSky, an eCommerce consulting company, is also growing, with plans to recruit 10 to 15 high-tech millennials to new jobs with salaries that will average more than $90,000 a year.

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Kyle St. Peter, Kaitlyn Barrett, Rob Bray, Randy Robison, and Brandon Hoopingarner of American Structurepoint break ground on the new BlueSky headquarters in Noblesville

The building’s design follow through on our commitment to improving the built environment one project, one community at a time. Our design resulted from an extensive visioning session that helped BlueSky define its company, culture, and brand. The result is a contemporary, mixed-used office building that delivers vibrancy and western “Colorado” style in the Federal district. The exterior design looked to create a warm palette within the use of natural stone veneers and wood grain finish accent features along the roof line. Large glazing expanses are located for natural lighting in the open office plans as well as for future tenants in the lower levels.

The top three levels are for collaborative office use while the main level is intended for restaurant tenant space and outdoor dining. An outdoor terrace off a common breakroom area on the fourth floor provides BlueSky employees with scenic views of downtown Noblesville and the new Federal Hills Commons area.

Here’s hoping that the BlueSky headquarters is only the beginning for continued economic development in the Federal Hills District.

A Partnership Begins

Our company is so proud to thank Indianapolis for our 50 years of successful growth by investing $250,000 to increase STEM education at Indianapolis Public Schools. In March, we announced a partnership with IPS and Project Lead The Way that will make it possible for every IPS elementary school, middle school, and high school to offer PLTW programs to their students beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.

The gift is a cornerstone of our 50th anniversary celebration in 2016. I firmly believe there is no better way for us to say thank you to the city of Indianapolis for our prosperity than to invest in the youth in our community that we serve.

Project Lead the Way, headquartered in Indianapolis just like American Structurepoint, provides highly transformative learning experiences for K-12 students, enabling them to develop in-demand skills in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Its programs are currently utilized in over 8,000 schools throughout the US. We feel it is only fitting that every IPS student experience the same opportunity that thousands of students nationwide already enjoy.

Even more fulfilling than the initial investment is the dividends these programs will pay forward in the years to come. We believe this next step in providing STEM opportunities to IPS students will lead to increased graduation rates; inspire more students to pursue a STEM curriculum in higher education; and ultimately, result in rewarding careers in science, technology and engineering—hopefully right here in Indiana.

I invite you to watch the recently posted video from the PLTW Summit where Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced our partnership. All of us at American Structurepoint look forward to being involved in how this partnership blooms and grows.

 

Introducing Our Newest Leader

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Meet Kendra York – the newest addition to the leadership team at American Structurepoint. Kendra serves as the director of planning and economic development. She brings more than 16 years of experience in client and project management of public and institutional finance for projects of all types.

A licensed attorney in Indiana and California, Kendra most recently led the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) as the public finance direction of the state of Indiana. She was responsible for the financing of several high-profile projects for the State, including Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center expansion project.

“I was responsible for bringing everyone together to get to that finish line.” said York.

Kendra was appointed to public finance director by Governor Mitch Daniels. Most recently, she was reappointed under Governor Mike Pence.

At American Structurepoint, Kendra’s primary role will be providing overall management and direction for the Planning Group. She brings extensive knowledge with respect to funding and innovative financing. She also has experience with P3 projects, speaking at conferences across the state and beyond on how to develop more opportunities and realize the full spectrum of economic development.

Helping Janus Development Center “Dream Big”

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Tis’ the season of giving! We wanted to do something special this year, combining our passion with our talents. Our architects donated time and resources to develop a new master plan for Janus Development Center to help them grow with the demanding need. In 1993, the non-profit moved into the old O’Malia Food Markets office and warehouse facility in Noblesville. They’ve significantly increased their programs since then, which means their facility needs some major renovations.

Hamilton County has been a great client of ours, both in the private and public sector. We could not think of a better way to give back than supporting an organization that is vital to the community.

“I can’t even begin to tell you what a gift this is to us,” said Christina Sorensen, interim president and CEO of Janus Development Services in Noblesville.

Janus provides local individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate and contribute to their community, whether it’s through employment training or independent living. Often times, students with disabilities graduate from high school and have very few options for employment. Janus’ work experience program helps smooth the transition from student to adult life, by offering a job coach that works with individuals to develop an employment plan.

 “We’re helping them better utilize their current facility,” said American Structurepoint Architect Mike Hoopingarner. “We have taken the existing site plan and showed them how it could expand with all of their open space. We also showed them how they could better use their space for things like training.”

We’re helping them “dream big,” as we measured the current space and came up with a master plan that helps them expand their services and programs.

“We recognized that giving back is much more than writing a check; it’s a contribution of our time, energy, talents, and passion,” said Hoopingarner.

The master plan is being completed by Hoopingarner and his team of designers, with the help of Applied Engineering and Reitano Design Group.  It includes several new features, including a commercial grade kitchen, which would allow them to teach job skills needed in the food service industry.

 “It’s exciting to see our vision for the future in this master plan,” said Sorensen. “Ultimately, it’s about flexibility in the use of our space, as we look to expand and help even more people in Hamilton County.”

Janus is currently working to raise the funds to complete the renovation in 2015. If you would like more information or you would like to make a donation, click here.

Happy Holidays!

Engineering-News Record Names Hoopingarner “Top 20 Under 40”

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At American Structurepoint, we’re known for our quality projects and outstanding people. The proof is in this week’s announcement as one of our youngest architectural designers received a prestigious award. Design Director Brandon Hoopingarner was named ENR Midwest’s “Top 20 Under 40,” a regional award that recognizes young design and construction professionals who are reshaping their communities with their unique talent.

Brandon’s story is unique and his talent is unrivaled. Brandon always knew he wanted to pursue a career in architecture. Since he was young, Brandon would visit construction sites with his father and even tag along with him to work on the weekends.

“I’ve been exposed to the world of design my entire life,” said Brandon. “Of all the famous architects and designers in the world, I looked up most to my father.”

Twenty-nine years later, Brandon works right alongside his father. His life-long passion to shape communities through design landed him on the exclusive list of young professionals across the Midwest.

“I’m very humbled for receiving this honor,” said Brandon. “I’m also very thankful for leadership that puts faith in its younger staff and provides a framework for success.”

In a short amount of time, Brandon was taking on some of the group’s largest projects, including some international work. He represented American Structurepoint in an international design competition and presented the winning redevelopment concept to the board in the United Arab Emirates. He is also leading design efforts for large-scale projects across the Midwest, including the Lawrenceburg Event Center and the Michigan City Police Headquarters. Besides his professional accomplishments, Brandon is also actively involved in the community.

“My ultimate passion comes down to making Indiana and the Indianapolis community a better place to live, work, and play by incorporating design that is focused on and functions for the people who use the spaces,” says Brandon.

Brandon spearheads an effort with DREAM Alive to host a design competition involving Legos for 40 DREAM Alive scholars each year. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, which aims to positively impact the development of the City of Indianapolis. He was an ACE mentor for two years, helping to engage and inspire high school students to pursue careers in architecture, construction, and engineering. And he volunteers for the Morning Light real estate committee.

The special “Top 20 Under 40” feature will be in ENR Midwest’s February edition. To check out the list of winners, click here.

New Breast Center Designed With Hospitality in Mind

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, the new Ohio Valley Breast Center opened its doors in Springfield, Ohio. More than 450 patients have since received life-saving mammograms.

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While the number of patients is impressive, it’s the buzz surrounding the overall experience that’s catching patient’s attention.

“I have talked to patients who said they wanted to come back just because the space felt so comforting,” said Steve Eisentrager, president of Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital (OVSH).

The waiting room for the new breast center is separate from the rest of OVSH. Patients are given private and nicely decorated dressing rooms, where they feel a real sense of privacy. With plush dressing rooms, wall vanities, and trendy décor, the new Ohio Valley Breast Center looks and feels more like a spa than a medical center. That’s because the space was designed with hospitality in mind, bringing a unique experience to residents in Springfield.

“We wanted to provide a facility that feels more like home as opposed to a sterile environment,” said Joel Farmer, architect at American Structurepoint. “While this is clinical in nature, the design allows for a more comfortable experience for the patient.”

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Our team of architects and designers worked closely with hospital officials to come up with a design that creates a comfortable and stress-free experience for the patient. The design is also versatile, allowing for future developments.

While patients are greeted with comfort, they’re also greeted with the latest in breast health technology. The new facility includes a whole breast ultrasound and 3D mammogram technology, which helps doctors detect cancer more quickly. They also have new patient care services, adding a breast care coordinator, as well as a team of radiologists to offer more options for treatment.

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For more information on the breast center, click here.

From Vision to Reality – A Community Resurrection Project

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It’s a story that’s made for reality television. Several companies come to the aid of a local organization in need of a safe place for children to play. It’s a big undertaking, as they only have one day to do it.

On October 9, 2014, Allstate Insurance Company hosted the Community Resurrection Project. The Edna Martin Christian Center needed a safe playground, so several organizations across Indianapolis worked together to make their vision a reality. Local adjusters, agents, contractors, and many others worked through a cold and rainy day to complete the project.

Several American Structurepoint employees took part in the event, specifically from our Investigative and Civil Groups. We had a crew that provided survey information for the playground area. We also assisted with the coordination of the event, as well as the physical labor. It was a hefty list, as volunteers laid 90 yards of mulch and framed a jungle-gym with a slide on-sight. They also did some planting, put up aluminum fencing, removed trees, and installed multiple additional cement mounted rides.

In this story, there’s no script and certainly no cameras. Participants and volunteers aren’t looking for fame. They are looking to make a difference in the community in which they live and work.

Thank you to Allstate and volunteers for coordinating and executing this worthy cause. To see the volunteers in action, click here.

Supporting a 720 Mile Journey

 

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720 miles. 9 days. 1 bike.

That’s no easy task, but one of our clients is making a charity bike ride his mission. Real Estate Developer Jim Frey has lost several family members to cancer and he wants to do something about it. He’s combining his passion for charity organizations and bike riding to take on a nine day bike ride from Michigan to New York to raise $100,000 for the Women’s Global Cancer Alliance (WGCA), a Louisville-based organization that helps women in developing countries live healthier lives.

“I’ve been on a lot of fundraising rides over the years, but this one is close to my heart, “said Jim. “When I heard about WGCA and they work they do across the world, I knew that I had to do something to support his cause.”

The Alliance is headed by Dr. Robert Hilgers, whose ongoing efforts in Haiti include cervical cancer screenings and the building of health care facilities for women.

American Structurepoint is making a donation to support Jim’s efforts and the WGCA. If you’re interested in learning more about the organization and Jim’s charity bike ride, check out their latest media interview. You can also follow Jim’s journey, starting September 26, on Twitter by searching for @JimFreysRide.

So far, Jim’s company and others have pledged $63,000 of a goal of $100,000. To support their efforts, click here.

American Structurepoint Has Expanded Services into North Carolina

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With a new office and a new leader, I’m excited to announce our new venture in North Carolina. A few months ago, Marcus King, PE, helped us open up an office in Charlotte. He has since added two more engineers on staff and is now offering a variety of services to his clients in the area.

“I am privileged to bring my clients in North Carolina services from a leading Midwestern engineering firm,” said Marcus. “I look forward to using these resources to help my clients achieve their goals.”

Marcus brings more than 13 years of experience as an engineer, specializing in design and management of multiple local and regional projects. Marcus and his team will offer several services, including civil engineering, construction inspection, environmental, investigative, transportation, planning, structural engineering, and utility infrastructure.

This latest announcement speaks to the overall growth of American Structurepoint since opening in 1966. In addition to opening offices across the state of Indiana, we’ve also expanded into Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The new office is located near the heart of downtown Charlotte.  For more information on services offered in North Carolina, contact Marcus at 980.938.0977 or mking@structurepoint.com.

Fire Investigator Brings Unique Perspective to the Job Site

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With more than a decade of experience as a fire investigator, Russ Wilson, IAAI-CFI, serves as a project manager in our Investigative Group. He leads all fire investigative efforts across Indiana and Kentucky, and is in the process of finalizing licensure in Ohio and Illinois.

With experience working for both private and public organizations including both local fire departments and private investigative firms, Russ also brings a unique perspective to clients. He helps bridge the gap of communication for all agencies involved, including fire department investigators, law firms, and insurance companies. Russ considers himself a storyteller, providing complete investigations for clients, delivering a clear understanding of a fire’s origin and cause. With Wilson, clients get the story behind the fire.

“Ultimately, I just want to help people who have suffered a terrible loss and are going through a rough time in their life,” said Russ. “Even if I can help them in one small aspect and provide hope, I’ve done my job.”

Wilson began his career in 1996 and has since investigated over 1,000 fires and explosions involving incendiary cause, large loss, commercial structures, heavy equipment, vehicle fires, fire death investigation, fraud, and subrogation. He’s provided fire origin and cause determination resulting in a subrogation claim against an installer, recovering over $1.4 million. He’s also investigated a large residential fire loss of incendiary cause, resulting in denial of coverage for a $1.2 million claim.

Russ’ expertise is outlined in a recent online publication named Claims Magazine. In an editorial titled “Shoveling Your Way to Origin and Cause: The Importance of Removing Debris to Understand Fire Patterns,” Russ argues that a hands-on approach using rakes and shovels to remove debris, coupled with the scientific method, will lead you to the true origin and cause.

Russ’ services are available to the self-insured, utility companies, insurance companies, legal professionals, and manufacturers.

To learn more about Russ’ investigative services, click here.