As we have secured our Certificate of Occupancy permits for over 700,000 square-feet of core and shell construction and are starting to move-in tenants like Do It Best, Medical Informatics, BSW Work Ready, Parkview, Carr Co-working, and Ferguson Advertising at Electric Works, I can’t help but think about the tremendous impact that this project has already had on our company, our community, and how it will affect the region well into the future.
Through historic preservation, a mix of uses, and full-time active program management, Electric Works created an atmosphere where talent and businesses want to locate, stay, and grow. This environment, unique in the Midwest and the nation, is why EW is projecting over 1600 new and retained jobs in the first two phases.
I am proud to say that over 90% of this project was performed by specialty contractors, vendors, suppliers, architects, engineers, consultants, and of course the hardworking tradesmen and tradeswomen from our Fort Wayne and surrounding communities. This represented 3,637 jobs during construction and the payroll to go along with it. The direct and indirect financial impact was $463 Million during construction and will be $548 Million annually. It is such a win for us locally knowing all these dollars stayed in our community and will be reinvested in some way.
The campus will be a vibrant part of our downtown with innovation space, office space, retail, Union Street Market with over twenty-five food vendors, restaurants/brewery, live entertainment and much more. I am so proud that our company was an integral part of the success of this redevelopment project because it is truly a “Landmark that will impact the lives and communities we serve.”
A tenant that has a history in Fort Wayne going back to 1995, Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) has been a resource for healthcare information technology for years. They were one of the first developers to create software that could store and deliver patient information in the cloud. With a new location on the 5th floor of Building 19, MIE now provides state-of-the-art solutions in medical data management on the Electric Works campus! Their new section in Building 19 features office space, and a Virtual Presence Training Center. This area is dedicated to collecting data and developing software for future projects.
Our teams performed several updates to the new office area:
Added Overhead Roughs
Built-in new Framing
Primed and Painted walls
Put together Ceiling Assemblies
These additions made the space feel fresh and new! It was completed just in time for MIE to set up their offices, move in furniture, and prepare their Virtual Presence Training Center for opening day. We can’t wait to see how MIE pushes more boundaries in the world of tech!
“We’re not just preparing students for jobs; we’re preparing them for careers that haven’t even been developed yet.”
Riley Johnson (Amp Lab Director)
A New Kind of Education
Think-tanks, group projects, and cooperation are in the works at the new FWCS Amp Lab! Built as part of the Electric Works expansion/renovation project, Weigand operated as the construction manager, making sure that every section went up as planned and on time. The Amp Lab is a special school program that is available for up to four hundred juniors and seniors that attend any of the five FWCS high schools.
With the goal to prepare students for an ever-changing workplace, it functions as a space where students can focus their passion and creativity. By tapping into what inspires them, these members of the future working world can grow as a team. Since collaboration is a central value of the Amp Lab, the construction design is geared towards wide, open concept learning suites. Therefore, students have the room to develop and contribute together.
State-of-the-Art Learning Environment
The Lab features all kinds of collective spaces where students can work, study, and create with one another:
Media production lab
Music production studio
Get a tour of the Amp Lab below in our Electric Works Construction Update!
(Amp Lab featured at 0:41)
We’re so excited to partner with FWCS on this venture as they invest in a brighter future for their students!
“The group at Weigand have been fantastic to work with, I couldn’t imagine working with a different provider.”
Chris Newton (Huntington County Sheriff)
More Space to Serve
The Huntington County Jail is now equipped to better impact inmates, families, and the community at large through the completion of its new expansion and renovation! With Weigand operating as the general contractor on this project, the county sheriff commissioned development of the prison to fulfill the need for more space.
The 30,000 square foot expansion includes:
Enough rooms and bunks to host 233 people.
Sleeping and communal areas.
A tower for monitoring security with efficiency.
A vehicle port to improve transportation and processing.
A kitchen overhaul to account for the influx of staff and inmates.
Classrooms for rehabilitation programming.
Space for indoor and outdoor recreation.
With these additions to the jail, the sheriff’s department will be able to move forward with several different initiatives:
Provide a safer environment for inmates and staff.
Implement GED programming.
Facilitate rehabilitation care.
Host Church gatherings.
Teach spiritual classes.
The objective is to create an atmosphere that fosters growth in learning, skills, and overall welfare. In this way, the jail can set up inmates for success in the real-world, making their first offense their last offense.
Everything in its Right Place
Because this project involved renovation and expansion, we helped with rearranging some of the equipment in the old and new spaces. As a result, it took some extra planning and teamwork with the Sheriff’s Department to make sure everything got placed in the right spots. By doing this, we were able to keep on track with our project schedule!
We were honored to work alongside the Sheriff’s Department and help give a new lease on life to their facility!
As of this June, the Noble County government began transitioning many of its offices into the newly complete Noble County Annex building! Serving as the construction manager for this project, the Weigand team worked with Noble County commissioners to ensure that task planning was completed as intended – even with the global pandemic shaking things up throughout the process. By regularly reworking and sticking to the plan, we were able to finish this 40,000 square foot project on time. In spite of the disorder caused by the pandemic, we executed on our commitments!
The new building consolidates 16 different county offices into one area, improving the interconnection between departments. It holds rooms such as:
Dispatch call center
Commissioners’ meeting room
See what it looks like on the inside!
Plenty of Room
The building houses spaces for a majority of the county departments including:
The Public defender
The annex sits just across the street from the historic Noble County Courthouse, which will be receiving its own set of renovations in the coming fall months. So, soon enough, the whole campus will be ready to serve the needs of the region for years to come!
All in the Family
We had a chance to chat about the job with Jason Schoeff, our superintendent on this project. For him, this building held some special history. The annex is in Albion, IN, which is where he lives. “This is a pretty important job for me as this is my hometown; it had a lot of significance to me,” said Schoeff. His family has been pouring into this town for many years now. In other words, this makes him the third generation to carry on the legacy. “The building that stood here previously was the old prosecutor’s office, which was built in part by my father and grandfather.”
We love to see our team members from all over making a difference right where they live. Great work Jason!
“When…building a new jail, the first thing that comes to mind is how in the world am I going to be able to oversee this and make this work? And I can tell you, Weigand took care of that for me.”
Ric McCorkle (Henry County Sheriff)
A New Location with More Room
The Henry County Jail functions as an expanded space that facilitates rehabilitation for inmates in the surrounding region. With Weigand serving as construction manager for this project, the team went to great lengths to create a facility that could fully house the operating staff, inmates, and administrative team all in one structure. Part of a relocation effort, the jail was moved from its original spot off North 12th Street in New Castle. As a result, it now shares its campus with the New Castle Correctional Facility.
Check out the Detention Center Here!
The jail now includes additions such as:
Space for 246 inmates
Expanded garage space
Special security observation deck
Brand-new educational section
In the teaching area, instructors host classes on substance abuse. This is part of a new program that was requested and backed by many of the residents in Henry County.
This updated build brings with it some considerable enhancements. All of them intend to improve the quality of life for everyone in the facility. Hence, officers, healthcare workers, and office staff can effectively perform their work. Not only that, but it also strengthens communication within internal channels between the staff. The sheriff’s department at Henry County Jail is well-equipped to impact its community for the better. By focusing their resources on in-house development, they can help inmates reclaim their lives through security, education, and recovery.
Spring has Sprung! We are looking forward to a great year in 2021 (Not that we have been in hibernation!) Behind the scenes, we’ve been getting started on the largest backlog in our company’s history. We’ve made a point to educate and cultivate our robust team to both tackle our current backlog and pursue new opportunities!
In a market where tradesmen numbers have decreased, it is completely vital that we maintain our manpower base. Internally, we have created educational programs at all levels, from Apprentices to Project Superintendents, that allow us to collectively share our practical knowledge and encourage professional development. Externally, we continue to have heavy involvement with our surrounding high schools trade programs. By partnering with the trades programs, we are able to provide pathways for students with interest in joining the trades. Weigand also has a program for students pursuing Construction Management degrees. Our program requires 2 summers of field internship, and 2 summers of office internship.
The Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital in Mishawaka has finally opened it’s doors! The two-story, 56,500 square foot facility located just across the street from Saint Joseph Hospital by Edison Lakes, houses 40 beds for patients who are going through rehabilitation from stroke, brain injury, amputation and a range of medical conditions.
This stunning facility has lots of open spaces for rehab equipment with floor to ceiling windows for patients to be able to feel like they are enjoying the outdoors. The skills labs are equipped with kitchen and laundry appliances, as well as other home related spaces to help adapt to typical day-to-day living. The patient bedrooms have their own ensuite bathrooms where they can also relearn how to engage in self care and hygiene practices. Facilities like this are much needed to help people recover from complicated medical issues, where they can stay longer than a typical hospital would keep them.