The Building Contractors Association of Northeast Indiana (BCA) recently presented its 15th annual Excellence in Construction Awards. The BCA partnered with Irving Materials Inc. to recognize significant construction projects completed in 2017 and located within a 75-mile radius of downtown Fort Wayne. Awards were given in four different categories: Renovation Under $2 Million, Renovation Over $2 Million, New Construction Under $6 Million and New Construction Over $6 Million. Projects were judged by a panel of industry experts using criteria for project uniqueness, significance or impact to the community where it was constructed, BCA Member Involvement and Job Safety Record. Judges were from organizations outside of BCA membership including Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast, Contract Design Consulting, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Metals, plus retired Allen County Building Commissioner Dave Fuller.
The Renovation Under $2 Million Award went to Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings, submitted by Michael Kinder & Sons, general contractor for project, and Elevatus, architect. Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings activated a vacant building in Auburn City Square, an up-and-coming area. This new restaurant provides Auburn residents a desirable place to enjoy local beverages and craft baked goods. There are comfortable seating areas and inspiring art covering the walls, and the café can now serve as a space where people can come together. Bringing people together was the ultimate goal of owner Jeremiah Otis. As a local entrepreneur, Otis focused on growing his business into a more centralized location in the area. Rather than your everyday national chain, the brewery has made a special impact to the city of Auburn.
The Renovation Over $2 Million Award went to Parkview Education Center, submitted jointly by Weigand Construction, general contractor, and Design Collaborative, architect and interior designer. The project was a complete interior renovation of over 88,000 square feet. It was converted into a venue for Parkview Health, Fort Wayne Community Schools and Ivy Tech Community College. The Parkview Education Center provides high school students, college students and professionals with a training environment designed specifically for health care. The biggest challenge of this project was to balance the goals and visions of three clients. Using a variety of textures and colors, the individual branding of each client is carefully blended into one cohesive space for multiple uses.
The third award was given in the category of New Construction Under $6 Million. The winning project was the Fremont Community Schools Solar Farm which was submitted by EMCOR Construction Services Midwest, the project’s prime contractor. Residents of the small Steuben County town of Fremont have always depended upon sunshine to grow their crops and help bring visitors to their lakes and parks. The unique project was built on existing property belonging to the school and will provide power for the entire Fremont Community School System. The uniqueness of the solar panel project is based on the educational opportunities it provides, using innovative Tier 1 panels, weathering outdoor installation conditions and solar panels having the need for exceptional coordination between the contractor and utility.
The final award was given in the category for New Construction Over $6 Million. The winning project is the Jackson R. Lehman YMCA submitted jointly by BonaVita Architecture and Weigand Construction. For the design of this facility, there were four primary areas of focus for the team: 1) creating special relationships that allowed both easy wayfinding and direct supervision; 2) implementing concepts that result in lower operation cost for the owner; 3) allowing each function within the facility to expand independently; 4) integrating design considerations for those guests who may be on the autism spectrum or have other intellectual learning differences. As a national organization, the YMCA focuses on making the most community impact by tailoring its goals for that particular community. It makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and thrive.
The BCA was honored to bestow awards on these four local building projects. BCA also recognized numerous projects that did not receive an award but are certainly outstanding. The honorable mentions include:
Address: 536 W. Cook Road Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
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Products & Services: BCA is a nonprofit trade association that dedicates 100 percent of its work and revenues to the commercial construction industry of northeast Indiana. Members are general and specialty contractors, both merit shop and organized, architects and engineers, material suppliers and professional service providers, all of whom work together to address issues of common concern to the industry.