Building Blocks - Issue 45
May 27 2021 — Thursday
- Project Focus: Oglebay Resort Wilson Lodge Glessner Hall & Pre-Function Space Renovation
- Employee Focus: New Employee – Leslie Gonzalez
- Employee Focus: New Employee – Jim King
- Employee Focus: New Employee – Gabrielle DiDonato
- Employee Focus: Promotion – Ryan McClain
- Employee Focus: Registration – Ryan Hess
- Technology Focus: Drone-Ready
- St. John the Evangelist Parish Narthex Addition – Wellsburg, WV
- Washington County Fairgrounds
- Warner Historic Scanning
- Master Planning
Project Focus: Oglebay Resort Wilson Lodge Glessner Hall & Pre-Function Space Renovation
Oglebay Resort and the Wheeling Park Commission retained Mills Group to create construction documents and provide construction administration for the renovation of the existing Glessner Hall and Pre-Function spaces within Wilson Lodge.
The project included the renovation of Glessner Hall, a 7,600-square-foot 350 seat multi-purpose event and conference space, and a 1,500-square-foot Pre-Function space. Renovations included new carpeting, restoration of the hardwood floor, cleaning of the existing wood columns, paneling and wood railing, new LED, accent and stage lighting, audio-visual infrastructure improvements and new stage curtains and window treatments. The renovations included improving life-safety codes and ADA compliance.
Working within the owner’s strict time schedule, the renovations were performed without disrupting any planned events.
Employee Focus: New Employee – Leslie Gonzalez
Leslie Gonzalez is an Architectural Design Associate for Mills Group in Morgantown’s downtown office. Leslie provides architectural production assistance and design work to the project managers via 3D models and construction drawings.
She obtained a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Fairmont State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering from Instituto Politecnico Nacional in Mexico.
In her free time, Leslie enjoys walking her dog, reading history and Gabriel Garcia Marquez books, and listening to all types of music. A few achievements she is most proud of are obtaining a master’s degree, buying her first home, and being a mom of a beautiful 3-year-old boy.
Employee Focus: New Employee – Jim King
Jim King has joined Mills Group as a Senior Project Manager. Originally from Charleston, WV, he moved to Shepherdstown two and a half years ago. Jim is leading a new office location in Shepherdstown. Look for further details on the new office to come soon.
He completed his Masters in Architecture degree from Virginia Tech after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Marshall University. He has started his Ph. D. at WVU in Resource Management and Sustainable Development.
Outside of work, Jim enjoys flying, home renovation, biking, being outdoors, and playing and listening to music.
Employee Focus: New Employee – Gabrielle DiDonato
Gabrielle DiDonato has been with Mills Group since September 2020 as an Interior Design Intern. She has recently accepted a full-time position with the firm as a Design Associate with a focus in Interior Design in our Morgantown office. She is responsible for assisting with digital modeling, finish selections, research, existing condition documentation, and space planning.
Originally from Bear, Delaware, Gabrielle is graduated from WVU with a BS in Interior Design and a minor in Business Administration. She is proud of attaining her Bachelor’s degree and also finding a great job before graduation. Another achievement she is proud of is when she studied abroad in Italy for four months.
Outside of work, Gabrielle enjoys painting, photography, traveling, and spending time at the beach.
Employee Focus: Promotion – Ryan McClain
We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Ryan McClain to Director of Creative Design and Planning!
Ryan joined the firm four years ago with over a decade of experience in Landscape Design, Master Planning, and Graphic Design/Branding. In his new role he will oversee and manage Mills Group’s ever-growing Planning team as well as the Marketing/Graphics side of the firm.
With planning experience ranging from lavish backyard landscape design to full-blown campus master plans and park design, and aided with a strong graphic/visualization capability, Ryan is well-versed at communicating aesthetic, functional, and effective means of design. As with any great team, he is bolstered and aided by a strong employee framework consisting of junior-level design, marketing production, and senior-level Landscape Architecture expertise.
Employee Focus: Registration – Ryan Hess
Ryan Hess has recently passed the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) making him a registered architect (RA). Ryan studied Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and has extensive education in the fields of architecture, business, and engineering. Upon graduation, Ryan became a LEED AP with the United States Green Building Council.
Since starting employment with Mills Group in 2009, his roles have included Project Manager, Director of Sustainable Design, and Principal. Ryan pursues client opportunities, manages projects, and incorporates sustainable principles into collaborative and holistic design, within commercial, institutional and residential markets.We are proud to add to the list of registered architects at Mills Group. Well done, Ryan!
Technology Focus: Drone-Ready
We are very excited to announce that Ryan McClain, the Director of Creative Planning and Design, has received his sUAS (small Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA! Mills Group will now be able to provide fully-fledged drone services to our residential and commercial clients.
These drone missions will allow our entire firm to benefit from internally collected aerial photography and video as well as photogrammetry, which is the technology of obtaining reliable and accurate information about physical objects in the environment through the process of recording, measuring, and interpreting photographic images and patterns of electromagnetic radiant imagery and other phenomena.
Data distilled from our software will allow us to harness important, yet difficult to gather, site information like terrain slopes, cut/fill volumes, drainage elevations, roof profiles, site areas, hardscape distances, turf health, plant counts, and many other elements. In addition, we can now also use all the imagery and video we collect for enhanced marketing efforts and project graphics.
St. John the Evangelist Parish Narthex Addition – Wellsburg, WV
St. John the Evangelist Parish and the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston hired the Mills Group to design an addition to the church to improve accessibility on the north side of the church and provide access to the north parking lot and the adjacent picnic shelter.
The new 900-square-foot two-story split level narthex establishes a new accessible entry to both the basement and sanctuary levels with a front and rear loading three-stop elevator, sized to accommodate an adult sized casket. The addition features a new accessible toilet room at the basement level and an electrical closet on the sanctuary level.
The project is currently out to bid with construction estimated to begin in June of this year.
Washington County Fairgrounds
The Washington County Agricultural Fair asked Mils Group to provide planning and design services for the Washington County Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania. The scope of work includes the site design and layout of a new fencing system, three updated vehicular entryways, new landscape plantings, signage, and lighting fixtures around the existing Fairgrounds perimeter.
After an initial site meeting with the client, we created site and landscape plans with hardscape, fencing layout and dimensions, material specifications, and schematic level cost opinion. We are also providing a full permit set of finished construction documents, assisting with bidding and negotiation, and construction observation with six total site visits.
Warner Historic Scanning
Utilizing our state-of-the-art technology and techniques, Mills Group has recently documented the existing conditions of the historic Warner Theatre in downtown Morgantown, WV. Originally, the Warner was a single-room theatre boasting 1,100 seats, but in the early 1970’s it was converted into three movie theatres by splitting the main space into two rooms, and partitioning the mezzanine level into a third theatre. The Warner first opened its doors in 1931, but has been unoccupied since closing in 2010. We were presented with many unique challenges in scanning the interior of this project, from the constant leaking roof, to contending with the absence of any lights or electricity. Even after 11 years of dilapidation and multiple roof leaks and failures, the beauty of this once iconic work of architecture still remains.
+ FRIENDS OF CHEAT TRAILHEAD MASTER PLAN & PHASING
The project objective is to develop the existing 17.5-acre Preston Trailhead site into a premier destination for accessing the Cheat River Rail-Trail and to provide access to the river for anglers as well as commercial and recreational boaters.
Mills Group is partnered with POTESTA to provide masterplanning, architecture, and landscape architecture services on this project. Design work has been sensitive to this post-industrial site, responding to environmental testing and remediation, as well as floodplain and watershed management. Along with Friends of The Cheat, an attractive site plan has been developed that will increase access, visibility, and provide vernacular amenities to users.
A few design requirements include:
1. Site renovations to improve ingress and egress from WV72/River Road
2. Development of a safe pedestrian crosswalk on WV72/River Road to access the Lick Run Portals spur trail, integrate trailhead footpaths, and the rail-trail
3. Enhancements to the existing river access for commercial and recreational use
4. Installation of trailhead infrastructure including lighting, signage, and waste receptacles
5. Earthwork to transform the site’s industrial landscape and improve drainage
6. Expansion of greenspace by removal of asphalt, while retaining parking space for 40 vehicles
7. Landscaping of the site with native trees and plants
8. Picnic tables and park benches are to be installed throughout the site.
9. Initial site work is to include infrastructure necessary for a future multi-use community building and/or an acid mine drainage treatment facility
10. An emphasis on creative ideas for public gathering spaces and other economic development opportunities
11. Enhancement of two existing on-site ponds to improve recreation access and ecological value
Deliverables for this project include construction design drawings in accordance with all state, federal and local regulations that pertain to the proposed project and bidding and contracting documents for the construction phase.
+ THE PINES COUNTRY CLUB MASTER PLAN
Mills Group has been working with The Pines Country Club on a Masterplan to improve vehicular, cart, and pedestrian circulation, improve operations and game flow, and provide renovated amenities to the existing pool, driving range, and midway concessions area. This masterplan is in its infancy and will continue to develop throughout the Summer of 2021.
Improved vehicular, cart, and pedestrian circulation
Streamlined efficiency and convenience between front nine and back nine
Addition of country club piers and directional signage, amongst proposed landscaping plan
Expanded driving range
New practice green
Integration with proposed pool house
New pool house with check-in, bathrooms, showers, changing area, and concessions for both pool users and golfers
Expanded greenspace and decking area
Re-design of cart access and break area
Renovations to existing bathrooms
Addition of snack bar
Proposed renovations of structure