BLOOMINGTON, IL … April 4, 2018 … Farnsworth Group, Inc., a national full-service engineering and architecture firm, announced today it has acquired EWR Architects (EWR), an 11-person architecture firm based in Fairview Heights, IL.
EWR was founded in 1984 and established itself as an experienced provider of architecture, interior design and planning throughout St. Louis, the Metro East and Southern Illinois. The firm’s primary market areas include office, education, healthcare, parks/recreation, commercial/retail, housing, civic and industrial sectors.
The addition of EWR will expand Farnsworth Group’s existing St. Louis presence into the Metro East, bringing the local staff count to more than 80. The acquisition will also introduce EWR clients to Farnsworth Group’s full-service capabilities in engineering, architecture and surveying backed by the Company’s nearly 450 professionals located nationwide.
“The acquisition of EWR is a perfect complement to our existing operations, and now allows us to better serve clients in the St. Louis area as well as Southern Illinois,” said Farnsworth Group President and CEO Karen Jensen. “EWR has built a great reputation in the region, and mirrors the client-first philosophy that has become Farnsworth Group’s hallmark. This acquisition makes Farnsworth Group one of the largest full-service engineering and architecture firms in the region. Farnsworth Group is gaining a talented team of professionals from EWR and we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead.”
Bill Reichert, who served as EWR President and is now a Principal at Farnsworth Group, said, “We are excited about the great resources and capabilities that we will now have available to our clients and their projects. This is a great step for the expansion and growth of EWR under the Farnsworth Group brand and will additionally bolster our ability to better serve our clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.”
About Farnsworth Group
Farnsworth Group, Inc., an employee-owned company, is a full-service engineering, architecture and survey firm, offering clients 450 professionals located throughout a nationwide network of offices including Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, California, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana and Georgia.
Casino Queen Makes Upgrades to Dining and Event Areas
The Casino Queen embarked on a major upgrade to the Market Street Buffet, and EWR Architects was hired for the design. The first phase of the project began last year with renovations to the kitchen and buffet line. EWR’s master plan allowed for more banquet seating.
With phase one now complete, phase two is getting ready to kick into high gear after the first of the year. Design plans include a new 150-seat dining room and construction of new banquet rooms to accommodate up to 300 guests. A pre-function space will soon replace the former space occupied by Market Street. In addition to improved aesthetics, the functionality of the space will also allow for more made to order menu selections and higher quality buffet choices.
In conjunction with the upgrades to Market Street, EWR is also designing upgraded security measures for the casino. The enhancements will assure future improvement to player and staff safety and security.
This is EWR’s second major design project with Casino Queen. Previously, the firm designed a new enclosure from the promenade to allow hotel guests and general dining customers access to the food service areas.
Jared Heller, Project Architect, is celebrating his three-year anniversary with EWR Architects, Inc…again. Jared first joined EWR in 1999 and had seven and a half successful years with the firm. In 2014, Jared decided to return to EWR, and has since completed a variety of projects, including Wagner Buick GMC Dealership, Beelman Trucking Company Headquarters, St. Clair County Jail Renovations, Nashville City Hall, Auffenberg Ford, and an HSHS Medical Office Building, among others. Jared resides in Red Bud, IL, In his free time he enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with his two children. We are lucky to have Jared as a member of our team!
A master plan developed by EWR Architects, Inc. is providing Fairview Heights city officials and residents a long-range vision for the proposed $18 million Fairview Heights Recreation Complex. The recently completed plan for the 30+-acre site at the northwest corner of Bunkum Road and I-64 includes a 68,000-square-foot recreation facility, a 400-meter, six-lane running track, soccer fields, a dog park, pavilions, playgrounds, and a 1.5-mile walking path and nature trail.
Site improvement plans detail a phased construction schedule that will start with construction of the recreation center this October. The initial phase also includes site clearing and grading, parking, and a service road. The additional phases of construction are dependent on project funding.
Nearly 12,000 square feet of the recreation center will be dedicated to an indoor aquatic facility with a 25-yard multi-lane lap pool, children’s spray ground, slides, sprays, lazy river and a vortex. The center will also feature the St. Louis region’s first Clip N’ Climb ® experience, as well as a game area for billiards, cards and table tennis; a 6,000-square-foot fitness center with areas for free weights, floor exercise, aerobic, and group fitness; a gymnasium; elevated running tracks; locker rooms; multi-purpose and party rooms, and administration offices.
Bill Reichert, owner of EWR Architects, said, “The complex will undoubtedly be top notch and it’s in a great location with high visibility and easy access. The project has all the right pieces to make it a great asset to the City of Fairview Heights and its residents.”
The complex will be located at the former site of Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church. Grant School District 110 sold the property to the City last year. The school will have access to the track and soccer fields.
Every construction project requires detailed planning and coordination, but not all involve quite the level of skilled management and precision timing as the renovation project taking place at South Central High School in Farina, Illinois.
The project’s complexity and scheduling required very detailed planning by EWR Architects and Poettker Construction, the construction manager, before the project ever began. After months of preparing plans, the construction team was given the go ahead in February and had just nine months to completely transform nearly every inch of the 49,000-square-foot school into a modern, functional facility.
In order to make the school available for attendance at the start of the 2017-18 school year, the construction team had six months to complete the first phase of construction, which included demolishing, expanding and rebuilding numerous parts of the school’s t-shaped framework, while leaving other areas intact until further renovations could be done this fall. A band and music room and stage were added to an existing gym at the building’s north end. Six state-of-the-art classrooms were also added, as was a new cafeteria and kitchen. This portion of the project was done in less than three months.
At this point, students returned in August as scheduled and EWR Architects and Poettker Construction’s planning and management skills were put to the true test.
They began phase two of the project with the demolition of the school’s core area – a center part of the building attached to the newly renovated areas of the school. EWR’s project manager, Steve Downen, said this is where things got really complicated. “The construction plan called for the entire mid-section of the building to be demolished and rebuilt once the other updates had been completed and while school was in session. Poettker’s team did an outstanding job managing a project with such a difficult process and exacting schedule.”
With the core demolition complete, EWR and Poettker are now working on the addition of a new art room, library and restrooms, as well as a new lobby entrance to the former gym.
In December, the project will be finished entirely and students and faculty at South Central Farina High School can enjoy their much improved and more functional educational environment.
Fifty years in business is an impeccable feat for any company or organization. For Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, reaching this milestone anniversary in 2014 wasn’t just a time for celebration, but also a pivotal point for igniting a campaign for an even brighter future for the years to come.
Upon opening its doors in 1964, Althoff High School offered the latest in educational courses and modern equipment to its thousand-plus students. It had a long held reputation for being the “crème de la crème” of secondary private education in the area.
Today, Althoff Catholic High School remains a strong and vibrant part of the Belleville community, but it recognizes the need to make some adjustments to its outdated campus in order to remain competitive and sustain enrollment going forward.
As a 1966 graduate of Althoff, Bill Reichert has always been an advocate for the school. He was most pleased when the opportunity presented for EWR Architects to serve as the primary design consultant for a $2.4 million renovation and construction project for the school that will add a state-of-the-art STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, and math) lab and new athletic complex. Once completed, EWR Architect’s designs will come to life and bring soccer, football, and track together on the same campus for the first time in the school’s history.
STREAM Lab Walk-Through Video:
Athletic Complex Walk-Through Video:
Dave Harris, principal of Althoff Catholic High School, said, “It has been wonderful to see the outpouring of support for this project from our Althoff Catholic community and the community at large. We are excited to strengthen our school through these capital improvements as well as other exciting additions including a new virtue-based program and the continued expansion of our academic offerings.”
A groundbreaking for the new lab and athletic complex has been scheduled for July 12, 2017. Althoff Catholic continues to raise funds in support of this project.
Thirty-three years ago I opened EWR with a desire to build a more client-responsive architectural firm. I set forth with what I believed to be a simple, yet effective business model: to be more personally responsive to clients’ specific needs, rather than just project driven. After three decades in business, it’s safe to say that model has worked for us, and it still remains the fundamental basis for all we do today.
Our approach to personal service hasn’t wavered, but many other things have changed throughout the years, including our name. You may have noticed last year we changed from EWR Associates to EWR Architects in an effort to more accurately reflect who we are and the services we provide. Along with the name change, we also updated our website, www.ewrarchitects.com, with a fresh, new look and better information about our people, projects, and services. We encourage you to check it out.
As to be expected, change also has come in the form of new clients and new projects. Our intention with this newsletter is to periodically share news and information about the exciting projects we’re involved with, such as the one featured in this newsletter about Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville. The school is making some really big changes that are worth reading about. I’m personally thrilled to be working on this project for my alma mater!
Thanks for taking a minute to keep up with us, and as always, for your business, friendship, and support!
In December of 2015, EWR Associates, Inc., officially changed its name to EWR Architects, Inc. The firm began in May 1984 as E. William Reichert, Architect and incorporated in 1986 as EWR Associates, Inc. as additional architects were added to the company. Over the past 32 years, EWR has developed a strong reputation in the design and construction industry and been selected as the architects for nearly two thousand projects. While having a diverse history of many project types, the firm has focused on several specific markets including recreation, healthcare, education, civic, military and commercial development. With over thirty design awards to its credit in the past 15 years, the firm has also established itself as a practical, leading design firm in the Southern Illinois and the eastern Missouri markets.
The name change to incorporate “Architects” better defines the primary role and interest of the firm’s staff. However, the firm continues to provide master planning and interiors as services to its clients, with staff capabilities in both. Much of the success of EWR is credited to its belief in and empowerment of its staff. While there have been changes in faces, a significant core group has remained with EWR for 20 or more years, working together and creating a synergy that has benefitted our clients by the seamless coordination and the nurturing of the staff’s individual talents.
EWR Architects plans to continue to grow, not just in size but in ability, and to remain our clients’ ‘first choice’ for capital project design, and become the first choice for new clients as well.
“Our clients need to recognize that we are a great resource to them early on in their development planning, and engage us to assist with many of their due-diligence tasks before launching a project where a sizable investment is concerned,” EWR principal architect, Bill Reichert stated. “Many times we can bring our experience to the table, without exhaustive expense, and save big dollars later in appropriate planning. Sometimes that could cost our clients nothing at all, for some fact based advice.”