Building Blocks - Issue 49
Nov 03 2022 — Thursday
- Project Focus: D&E Residence Hall
- Employee Focus - Promotion: Chris Clark
- Employee Focus: Mike Kennedy
- Employee Focus: Tom Kilionski
- Employee Focus: New Interns
- Employee Focus: Anniversaries
- Technology Focus: 3D Printer
- Project Update: Market Street Garage
- Jefferson County Ministries
- PKB Children's Museum Graphics
- First Presbyterian Church
Project Focus: D&E Residence Hall
Mills Group was hired to conceptualize and provide full design services to Davis & Elkins College for a new three-and-a half-story, 100 bed dormitory of approximately 31,000 square feet with supporting amenities and site work. The design is planned to be aesthetically homogenous with the existing collegiate vernacular while still allowing for modern architectural features.
The residence hall will feature a common kitchen, multi-purpose room, collaborative study spaces and laundry and vending amenities. Our design includes an elevator and a second entrance lobby through the building’s lower level to provide ADA accessibility. The site work consists of re-working the adjacent parking areas and creation of a new access road. The new freshman dormitory will be the cornerstone to establishing a freshman village.
Employee Focus - Promotion: Chris Clark
Chris is a registered architect (RA) who studied Architecture at Kent State University and has nearly two decades of experience in the architecture field. Since starting employment with Mills Group in 2014, his roles have included Project Manager and Designer. He is our go-to resource for commercial and hospitality projects such as hotels, retail, food services/eateries, corporate headquarters and more.
In his new role, Chris's responsibilities will include project management, client management, business development, and process/deliverable management.
Employee Focus: Mike Kennedy
Mike Kennedy is an Architectural Design Associate in our downtown Shepherdstown office. He provides architectural production assistance and design work to the project managers via 3D models and construction drawings.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Mike has lived in West Virginia for the past 20 years. When the Mills Group office in Shepherdstown opened, he reached out about potential job openings. His current position offers him exciting local and regional architectural design opportunities and a better life/career balance with a more manageable commute.
Mike obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Florida A&M University School of Architecture. An achievement he is most proud of is designing and overseeing the construction of his own house and while being a stay-at-home Dad and caring for his two children.
Outside of work, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, finding/listening to new music, painting, disc golf, soccer, running, hiking, and Irish Road Bowling.
Employee Focus: Tom Kilionski
Tom Kilionski has joined Mills Group as a Project Manager bringing over 35 years of experience in the building industry. Starting as a carpenter’s apprentice in 1983, and advancing through various levels of labor, management and administration, Tom developed a well-rounded knowledge of residential contracting.
Originally from Simi Valley, CA, Tom moved to Morgantown as an independent contractor for residential and commercial projects. A number of these projects he worked directly with Michael Mills which developed the relationship.
Tom attended West Virginia University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History. An achievement he is most proud of is the family and friends he has with his wife.
In his free time, he enjoys spending time working on anything mechanical in nature.
Employee Focus: New Interns
Ali recently started interning at Mills Group in our interior design department. Originally from Long Valley, NJ, she is currently a senior at West Virginia University studying Interior Architecture and minoring in Sustainable Design. Ali heard about the Mills Group Internship through a speaking engagement at WVU by our Director of Interior Design, Alexis Behrens, and Ali knew she could learn a lot from her.
She is most proud of following her passions. After graduation, Ali would like to work towards using her profession to make a change for the earth and the people. A passion would be to learn how she can build with earth materials, such as cobb or adobe, and investigate the possibilities of mycelium in design.
Outside of work and school, Ali enjoys walking with her dog in nature, yoga/stretching, reading, and listening to music.
Nicole Shomo recently started interning at Mills Group in our architecture department. Originally from Belington, WV, she is currently a senior at Fairmont State University studying Architecture and minoring in Graphic Design Technology.
After graduation, Nicole would like to further her education by attending a graduate program for architecture. She would also like to continue interning so that her experience can grow further than it already has. She believes that we never stop learning, so furthering her education will be her main goal for the next few years. Nicole would like to continue at Fairmont State University and stay in West Virginia for as long as she is able to.
In her free time, Nicole’s favorite hobby is reading, and she absolutely loves Harry Potter. She enjoys hanging out with friends, but also enjoys staying in to watch movies, YouTube, and draw occasionally. Nicole loves going around and seeing the surrounding architecture and studying its history.
Employee Focus: Anniversaries
Ryan Hess (13 years), Victor Greco (9), Julie Doerr (9), and Ryan Baker (9) all recently celebrated their Mills Group work anniversary! Their dedication and continuous effort to make this company a great place is why we are truly happy they have chosen us as the firm to give their expertise to.
Thank you for everything you are doing. It truly makes Mills Group what it is!
Technology Focus: 3D Printer
Mills Group is proud to announce the incorporation of 3D printing to our tech arsenal! With the Raise3D Pro3 Plus, we are now able to expand our design Workshop and bring our 3D drafting models to life. By combining three-dimensional visualization modeling and design, the 3D printer works together with other facets of our Workshop to help realize our creative visions, from architectural models to customized gifts and everything in between.
The printer works by slowly extruding material as a series of layers that stack and generate the model. Among its list of features, the Raise3D Pro3 Plus features dual-extrusion to allow two simultaneous material in a single print. It also boasts a host of features such as auto-bed leveling and even a camera that help streamline the 3D printing process.
Generating three dimensional digital models is an integral part of our design process here at Mills Group, and the integration of the 3D printer allows us to take that a step further and generate physical 3D models of our design concepts. The implementation of the printer is one of the many ways Mills Group has remained relevant and up-to-date with the latest technologies and strategies.
Project Update: Market Street Garage
Mills Group was honored to be part of the groundbreaking for the new 290-space, fully automated parking garage that we designed in collaboration with the City of Wheeling. The $12.3 million structure will also include multiple electric vehicle charging stations, emergency call safety buttons, bicycle racks, and fully glazed elevator and stairwells for visual interest and extra safety.
The façade design is contextual to the historic vernacular architecture and there will be a direct pedestrian electronic access to an adjacent multi-story apartment building (within an adaptive reuse and potential historic tax credit building to the south).
Jefferson County Ministries
Mills Group has continued the tradition of providing pro-bono design services to deserving entities throughout West Virginia, particularly in areas in which one of our offices is located. Started in 2020 by Managing Principal Michael Mills, these services have been awarded as a way to thank those communities for growth and success.
This year, the Jefferson County Community Ministries (JCCM), located in Charles Town, WV was the representative for the eastern panhandle.
Earlier this year the city of Ranson, WV graciously donated a parcel of land to the Jefferson County Community Ministries for a new community services center.
Currently, the administrative offices and support services such as a food pantry and clothing closet operate from a repurposed retail facility in downtown Charles Town (immediately adjacent to Ranson) with area churches providing meals on a rotating basis at various locations.
The organization was founded in 1983 as a faith-based non-profit group. Besides the services mentioned, JCCM provides acute medical treatment, day programming, a cold weather shelter and support services to over 1,500 people and 500 families each year. While many of the services offered are contained in their Charles Town facility, they are still reliant on area churches and businesses to provide shelter and meals off site.
The new facility will be all inclusive, and will contain health and medical care, food, clothing and other aid to vulnerable citizens, children and families in Jefferson County. This will also be the first facility in the county to provide emergency housing to at-risk families, with the potential to accommodate approximately 8 families and 80 individuals.
The request was that the new building resemble “a combination of a family home and religious structure”, which was the focus of the resulting concept drawings. Using materials and proportions found in many residential designs, the 26,000 square foot, two story proposed facility has a welcoming façade placed in a public yet inviting setting. The greenspace surrounding the building will contain a variety of vegetation to enhance the idea of a residence and lessen any institutional appearance. This will include bicycle racks and a trellised area with a small playground in a less public portion of the site. The city of Ranson is working with the owners to improve the surrounding landscaping and access, including the extension of city sidewalks and opportunities for public transportation.
When completed, this will provide a unique, all-inclusive and very much needed community services center to serve Jefferson County and the surrounding area, as well as an appealing contribution to the northeast portion of town.
PKB Children's Museum Graphics
Discovery World on Market, the home of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s only child-focused museum, is under construction in the historic 1903 the Masonic Temple, located on the corner of 9th and Market, Parkersburg, WV. The museum will not only feature hands on learning through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), but will also educate those that visit on the historical significance of the principles that make up STEAM, to the greater Parkersburg area.
All through this multi-level building are environmental graphics and signage that celebrate the local industries. Full size wall murals highlight images representing steamboats, oil and gas to celebrating the wood crafting of the region. This structure is listed in the National Register of Historic Places both individually and as part of the District.
First Presbyterian Church
Partnering with the design committee of Spruce Street’s First Presbyterian Church, Mills Group has explored a reimagining of the sanctuary to bring the space a sense of place and beauty with the flexibility demanded of contemporary churches. Emphasizing the existing architectural elements and responding to the congregation’s desires, the new vision unifies the nave as a single cohesive architectural body designed to facilitate worship and fulfill the other initiatives of the church and its community.