Building Blocks - Issue 40
Sep 18 2019 — Wednesday
- Project Focus: Wheeling Heritage Center
- Employee Focus: Internships - Katie Klemp
- Employee Focus: Internships - Nick Giggenbach
- Employee Focus: Internships - Tyler Gray
- Technology Focus: Virtual Reality
- WVSHPO Grant Monitoring
- FNB Bank
- Bolling School
Project Focus: Wheeling Heritage Center
Mills Group is excited to be working with Wheeling Heritage on the renovation of the second floor of the Artisan Center for their new office space. Currently located in a corner of the third floor, Wheeling Heritage will relocate to a new 2,160 sq. ft. space on the second floor. The new space will more than double their office space and provide for a new conference room, executive office, podcast space, staff kitchen area, work room, workstation area and a break-out space for employees. The break-out space, one of the main architectural features of the new office, will be created by infilling the existing opening to the first level and adding glass panels to the existing metal railing, retaining the history of the space while integrating the new construction. Construction began in mid-August and is scheduled to be completed at the end of November.
Employee Focus: Internships - Katie Klemp
Katie Klemp recently started interning at Mills Group in our interior design department. She’s in her final year of Interior Design at WVU. She is originally from Northern California but moved to Morgantown about 7 years ago and loves everything about the area.
“Interning at Mills Group is such a great experience because I learn so many new things each day and being here helped me confirm that I chose the right career path for me. I am hoping to continue to work in an architecture firm after graduation!”
Employee Focus: Internships - Nick Giggenbach
Nick Giggenbach was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. He’s currently a senior at Morgantown High School and hopes to major in architecture next year. At Mills Group, he’s learned how to use a computer-aided design program called Revit as well as how to operate a point-cloud scanner.
“This internship has given me experience with collaboration and task management, both of which are invaluable skills I hope to use in the future as an architect.”
Employee Focus: Internships - Tyler Gray
Tyler Gray is from Elkins, WV and is currently enrolled in his senior year of the Landscape Architecture program at West Virginia University. He has been working at Mills Group since May of 2018. After graduation, he plans on becoming a licensed Landscape Architect and working at a firm.
”Working at Mills Group has taught me many things; I learn something new almost every day I’m here. I’ve learned many skills within the programs we use that have made me a more proficient designer, as well as learning multiple new programs, and even operating a 3-D laser printer. Mills Group has also expanded my knowledge on my future career path and has shown me what it means to be a professional.”
Technology Focus: Virtual Reality
Mills Group’s ability to bring our designs into fully-realized virtual environments for our clients is one of our strongest technology tools. Through the use of a Virtual Reality (VR) headset, our clients can step inside a project site with the capability to see things from unlimited perspectives. It also allows for interactive guided tours and encourages client feedback on adjustments they desire even as the details are being worked out.
Using this capability not only creates an experiential design/review process between the designer and the client, but it also offers our designers a deeper insight into the project details as they work. By entering the virtual space for review during the conceptual phase, our designers can prove or disprove concepts early on and in truly integrated ways. Checking dimensions, sight lines, and testing the overall feel of space in first person are not possible without the help of VR.
In addition, because our VR workflow is optimized for web use, we can work together with our teammates and clients across the country without having to gather in real space. Our software allows for browser/app viewing which offers our clients without VR headsets the ability to log in on their own computer, join us in virtual space, and enjoy seeing their project take shape right before their eyes.
WVSHPO Grant Monitoring
Mills Group is excited to have been selected as a Grant Monitor for 15 Development Grants funded by the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office. These matching grants provide state funding for the rehabilitation of structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Mills Group helps the state to monitor the progress of these grants, ensuring that they adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. This year’s projects include foundation and window repairs, roof replacements, and masonry restoration, and are located all over the state, from Wheeling to Bramwell and from Huntington to Harpers Ferry.
Construction is continuing at The Highlands Sports Complex. The two pre-engineered metal buildings are complete and the steel is set for the conventionally built-area between the two metal buildings. Tubing for the radiant flooring system is being laid and concrete slabs are being poured in the gym areas. Partition walls are being built in the office and support areas while mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors are running all their ductwork, cabling and piping throughout the buildings.
FNB Bank Renovation is an interior renovation of an existing bank branch, located in Capon Bridge, WV.
The renovations include a new interior layout as well as all new finishes and fixtures. The new floor plan included a new teller line and lobby, offices, restrooms, and staff break room. Mills Group worked with FNB Bank officials and Pray Construction Company to develop design-build construction documents to bring the renovation to life. The team used a neutral color palette and dark blue accents to establish a sophisticated, contemporary design.
Mills Group is partnering with J K Janiga Architects for the renovations and addition to the former Bolling School in Lewisburg, WV for the Greenbrier Community School. The first phase of the project will involve necessary upgrades for the adaptive reuse of the historic school building, which will serve as multiple classrooms, offices, and a multi-purpose room. The project also involves a two-story addition which will be constructed in a later phase to provide for a new entrance with direct connection to the outside drop-off area and parking, a reception area, administrative offices, library, locker rooms, a commercial kitchen, and two additional classrooms. Phase One renovations are anticipated to be completed for the new school year beginning in August 2020.