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Holabird & Root Takes on Women Build 2015

On Thursday, July 16, twelve women of Holabird & Root headed out to the neighborhood of West Pullman to participate in the 2015 Windy City Women Build for Habitat for Humanity. Housing problems, from cost burden to unsafe conditions, have a tremendous impact on families’ bottom lines and can trigger poverty and homelessness. Women are particularly vulnerable to poverty across their lifespan. Unequal wages, time-consuming care giving responsibilities, and small retirement cushions all make maintaining decent housing a huge challenge for many female-led households. 41.2% of Illinois female-led households with children and no spouse are in poverty; more than double that of male-headed households with children. At minimum wage, a woman would need to work an impossible 91 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Cook County. Together, we raised over $4500 towards this effort. Thank you for supporting the women of Holabird & Root in our endeavor to provide affordable, safe housing for a female-led family in need. 

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Northwestern University Produces Atrium Expansion Video

Check out the video Northwestern University produced discussing the impact of Holabird & Root's addition to their Law School; click below:


US Builder’s Review Runs Complete Feature on Holabird & Root

Holabird & Root is pleased to be the main feature in this recent issue of US Builder's Review. Click below to read Jeanee Dudley and Linsday Jeffries' take on our 135-year old firm, where they highlight strong capabilities, a growing portfolio, and staying a step ahead!



Holabird & Root Wins Clinical Performance Center at UIC

Holabird & Root, in association with the S/L/A/M Collaborative, was recently awarded the new Clinical Performance Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Mile Square Health Center. This joint team will provide a state-of-the-art center that will include interactive learning and technology as more effective means to prepare students in technical learning and communicative skills. Holabird & Root will serve as Prime Architect, providing interior design and signage/wayfinding services, while S/L/A/M will serve as Design Architect and provide medical education programming and planning. The project (22,000 GSF) will include architectural build-out and interior finishes, MEP/FP infrastructure, furniture, fixtures, office space, IT, ET, AV, medical and simulation equipment, and departmental wayfinding and room signage. The program for the build-out incorporates inpatient, outpatient, ICU, OR, and standard patient simulation suites, classrooms, and procedural skills labs. The entire build-out and systems are set to be designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. 

The team from Holabird & Root includes Principal in Charge James Baird, Project Manager Dennis Vovos, Project Architect Kevin Boyer, Graphic Designer Hye-Yeon Cho, and Interior Designer Erin Masters. Programming is currently underway and construction is set to start in October 2016.

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Holabird & Root Completes Lobby Design at 205 W. Wacker

The newly redesigned lobby at 205 W. Wacker is complete and open. Ameritus purchased the building in July of 2013 and subsequently hired Holabird & Root as the prime designer to provide corridor upgrades, space planning, tenant buildouts, and to complete the lobby redesign. There are currently several ongoing buildouts to office spaces throughout the building for which Holabird & Root's interiors team is providing prime design services, including the offices for the Chicago branding agency Soulsight, specialty finance company Omnisure, and the boutique public relationtions agency Henson Consulting. The lobby was designed by Associate and Project Designer Cory Kamholz, with furniture and finishes provided by Lead Interior Designer and Associate Andrea Caputo, and Cindy Schneider served as Project Architect.

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H&R Wins Law School Master Plan at NU

Holabird & Root was recently awarded the Law School Campus Master Plan project at Northwestern University.  The firm has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the prestigious Big Ten School for several years and is currently wrapping up construction of the new Rubloff Atrium Addition. Also currently underway is H&R's renovation and redesign of the 16th floor of Abbott Hall for Northwestern Academy. The Law School Campus Master Plan project will include developing a Master Plan for the Law Library, a Master Plan for the School of Law Administrative and Support Functions, a comprehensive program for each, and creating a range of design scenarios for the School of Law Complex.  Team members for this design will include Principal James Baird, Project Manager Jan Behounek, Project Designer Rusty Walker, and Project Coordinator Max Hanisch.

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Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center Celebrates Grand Opening

Team members of Holabird & Root Celebrated on Thursday joining the staff and leadership of the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center in their ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of their new addition.

H&R was commissioned to design and develop onto the existing facility. Finished and occupied in the spring of this year, the two-story addition is approximately 18,900 S.F., almost doubling the size of the existing facility. Holabird & Root worked closely with the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center to plan the facility in a way that would enhance its daily operations and reflect its mission and values, while most efficiently utilizing space for the organization’s functions. 

Featured in these images are Holabird & Root Team members, Designer Rusty Walker (left image), Project Manager Jan Behounek (center), and Project Architect Camille Yu (left). Other key team members on this project included Principal in Charge Jim Miller and Structural Engineer Tom Harrison. 

The Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center is an innovative facility that co-houses all the City and State agencies that investigate allegations of sexual abuse of children and a not-for-profit agency that provides social services to the child victims and their families. 

More Information about the Chicago CAC organization can be found here:


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HolaBirds are Hawks at Heart!

The entire Hollabird & Root team gathered today to view the parade of the Stanley Cup, in celebration of our 2015 Champion Blackhawks! With a great view to Monroe from our largest corner conference room, the team took a moment to view the festivities and show our Blackhawks pride and support. We are proud of to be a part of the continuing legacy of this incredible city and proud of the teams that fight hard to represent it. GO BLACKHAWKS!

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Holabird & Root Wins Contract for Pace West Division

In continuing our upstanding relationship with Pace Suburban Bus Service, Holabird & Root was recently contracted for the Mid-Life Improvements project for the Pace West Division facility. 

Pace envisions a three-phase process:  Phase I (Part A) will consist of pre-design services, phase II (Part B) will see to the design implementation of improvements, while phase III (Part C) will see the construction of the design. 

The West Division facility is a vehicular storage/maintenance facility, with bus storage and maintainance services, and an attached office structure situated on a single parcel.  Over its lifetime thus far, the building has been cared for as funds have become available.  Phase I of this project is in response to the need for a site investigation within the project scope laid out by Pace. Phase II will consist of the redesign of the office layout and any necessary programmatic changes to the facility before heading into construction of the resulting design. The goal is to have a plan to preserve and extend the longevity of the building. We will work interactively with representatives of Pace to identify the most cost-effective options for the future of the building.  

For this project, Holabird & Root will provide architecture, structural engineering, and interior design services. H&R team members include Greg Cook, Greg Marinelli, Anne Strane, Tom Harrison, and Erin Masters. 

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North Central College Breaks Ground on New Science Facility

North Central College recently broke ground on its new Science Center. Designed by Holabird & Root, this new facility will include a variety of classrooms, laboratories, student gathering spaces, and much more to support modern science instruction. We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting project and North Central's bright future! READ MORE

Take a trip through the new Science Center on a Virtual Fly-Through

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Camille Yu and Matt Blewitt Become H&R’s Newest Project Architects

Holabird & Root is pleased to announce the promotion of Camille Yu, RA, and Matt Blewitt, RA, each to the role of Project Architect. 

Camille Yu, RA, has been with Holabird & Root since 2010. Camille’s background in engineering has been the foundation for her architectural career and given her an appreciation for the symbiotic combination of science and design. She has a strong interest in advanced building technologies, whether it be sustainability, structural systems, or interactive technologies. She holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Camille has served such clients as Elmhurst College, Harper College, the Chicago Housing Authority and the Public Building Commission. 

Matt Blewitt, RA, has been with Holabird & Root for the past 7 years and has served as the head of the Holabird & Root BIM Committee since 2012. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science as well as a Master of Science (Research) in Biomedical Engineering from Saint Louis University, in addition to a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. This background has made Matt indispensible in serving clients such as Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, North Central College, City Colleges of Chicago, and the University of Chicago, in all their science and laboratory needs. 

Congratulations Matt and Camille!

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Holabird & Root Promotes Senior Talent

Holabird & Root is pleased to announce the promotion of three of our most accomplished Project Architects: Greg Grunloh, AIA, Brett Gawronski, RA, and Tom Lassin, RA, have been promoted to Senior Project Architects.

Greg Grunloh,AIA, has been with Holabird & Root since 1995 and he is the director of Holabird & Root’s Professional Development committee, created to mentor and assist younger architects in the firm to become licensed. His long client record includes such highlights as the University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Cornell College. He is currently working on the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Complex in Effingham, Illinois. Greg is an Associate of the firm.

Brett Gawronski, RA, also an Associate, joined Holabird & Root 9 years ago and has been an asset to the company in serving several Chicago-based and municipal clients such as the Chicago Housing Authority, Pullman Wheelworks for Mercy Housing, and Waubonsee Community College. Brett holds a Bachelor and a Master of Architecture from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Tom Lassin, RA, joined Holabird & Root in 2005, and he is an expert in renovation projects. Tom has served such projects as the renovation of the J&J Arnaco Monroe Building, the Marquette Building renovation and restoration, and several various renovations projects for the Chicago Housing Authority. Tom lends his over 40 years of expertise to the many varied and complex projects the firm undertakes and he is relied upon in the office as a learned and knowledgeable member.

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Jon Howard, AIA, Named Newest Associate at Holabird & Root

A big congratulations goes out to Jon Howard, AIA, for being named Holabird & Root's newest Associate. 

A talented Project Architect, Jon has worked with clients including Chicago Public Schools, the General Services Administration, the Village of Winnetka, the Chicago Housing Authority and Harper College. A Youth Programs Volunteer for the Chicago Architecture Foundation and a key member of the Holabird & Root technology committee, he holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University in addition to a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Jon has been an asset to the firm for the past 8 years and we look forward to what he will do in this new prestigious post. 

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Harper College Building H Reaches Occupied Completion

Recently Holabird & Root has been providing architectural design for the renovation of Buildings D, G and H at Harper College, located in Palatine, IL. Renovations at building H were recently completed this past fall, in time for student occupation at the start of classes. Building H is a career services building consisting of new classrooms, offices, and lab spaces for a variety of vocational programs offered at the college such as welding, refrigeration, and HVAC systems curricula. This building now connects to a roughly 900-space parking garage as well as Building D, providing easy and convenient passage between all three structures. 

The construction of Building D phase I was just completed on schedule this past fall as well. Phase II on this building is slated to start this month. The two-phase project is intended to renovate and add on to the D building. The program includes 2 large lecture halls, multiple classrooms, office spaces and state-of-the-art student gathering spaces - such spaces are reflected in the recently completed buildout of a Starbucks in the building during phase I. 

The project is still on course to acheive LEED Silver certification. 

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Holabird & Root Commissioned for NU Academy Renovations

Holabird & Root was recently commissioned by Northwestern University to complete renovations for the Northwestern Academy at Abbott Hall.  Located at 710 N. Lakeshore Drive, the entire 16th floor of Abbott Hall, which currently consists of vacant former apartments, will be the new 6,600-g.s.f. home to the NU Academy. Completely funded by the University, this academy is part of the Good Neighbor, Great University initiative to increase successful matriculation in underrepresented students while giving them access to top-tier universities. It is expected that eventually, over 200 high school students will be a part of NW Academy.

The projected program for the renovation includes student lounge areas, large and small classrooms, support spaces for staff, private offices, faculty spaces, and teaming rooms for group work and interviews.  This project is the latest in a series of projects Holabird & Root has partnered with Northwestern University to complete, including the Galter Health Sciences Library Renovation and Expansion, previous Facilities Master Plan/Programming/Buildout of the Law School and Library Addition, and the School of Law Rubloff Building Atrium Addition.

Originally completed in 1940, the 20-story Abbott Hall was designed by James Gamble Rogers.  Project completion for this renovation is set for Spring 2016. Project team members include: Jim Miller, Jan Behounek, Cory Kamholz, Andrea Caputo,  Tom Harrison, Hye-Yeon Cho, and Tom Lassin.

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Rusty Walker to Speak at Tradeline Space Planning Conference

Rusty Walker, LEED AP, AIA is slated to speak at Tradeline's upcoming Strategic Facility and Space Planning for For Science and Research Conference scheduled for Monday-Tuesday, April 20-21, 2015. His session, STEM Growth Via Strategic Levaraging: Private, Local, and Academic Resources, will cover the topic as follows:

"New models for meeting the demand for highly skilled STEM workers expand beyond academic programs to leverage local and private enterprise resources as well – a strategy that will reshape decisions on campus master planning, space programming and utilization, and infrastructure investments. Russell Walker scopes out the lean development model for the Western Illinois Quad Cities campus, an initiative driven by local community partnership, the John Deere Company, and the university. He sets out new cost efficiency benchmarks, program benefits resulting from community involvement and recruitments for STEM disciplines, and the talent payoff for local industry."

Click here for session times and more conference details: Tradeline Strategic Facility and Space Planning For Science and Research Conference

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Holabird & Root Wins New Science Facility

Holabird & Root recently landed a new job for The University of Saint Francis on their Wilcox Campus.  The firm has been commissioned for the design and development of a new Science Facility, a reconstruction of St. Albert’s Hall, originally constructed in 1958.  The University of St. Francis is seeking to build an approximate 40,000 SF science building. The facility is meant to be home to the chemistry and physics labs, general classrooms and faculty offices, and possibly the biology program as well. The goal of the project is to successfully provide a student-centered space for the functional needs of the natural and health sciences areas. Holabird & Root team members currently include James Baird, Dennis Vovos, Kevin Boyer, Greg Grunloh, Jon Howard, Andrea Caputo, and Tom Harrison. 

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EP Group at Holabird & Root Visits the Chicago CAC

The Emerging Professionals Group at Holabird & Root recently visited the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center where Project Coordinator Camille Yu lead the walk-through of the building. The Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center is an innovative facility that co-houses all the City and State agencies that investigate allegations of sexual abuse of children and a not-for-profit agency that provides social services to the child victims and their families. They share the common goal of improving the arrest and conviction rate of perpetrators of abuse in a way that minimizes the trauma to the child and family. H&R was commissioned to design and develop onto the existing facility, and construction is currently underway. The two-story addition is approximately 18,900 S.F., almost doubling the size of the existing facility. The project is on track to meet LEED gold certification.


Funding Comes in for WIU Quad Cities Phase III

Over the weekend, Governor Pat Quinn announced a $5 million dollar infusion of funds from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program to initiate the design process of Western Illinois University's phase III plans for their Quad Citites Riverfront Campus. This phase will consist of a new 85,000 SF academic building to house the University's STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs consisting of offices, classrooms, general and specialized laboratories, student resource and support spaces. In keeping with the design and build of the first two previous phases, Holabird & Root will design the phase III building, which is projected to be six stories.

For more information:

Quinn announces $5M investment for WIU's next phase


Groundbreaking at the Workman Sports and Wellness Center

Holabird & Root team members gathered with the community last Friday, September 19, 2014, to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center in Effingham, Illinois. The site is a dream long in the making for an 80,000-square-foot sports complex. Construction is set to start on the $14.6 million dollar complex in October and projected to be completed in a 12-14 month timeframe thereafter.  The development of the sports complex for the community of Effingham is a long-time goal coming to fruition after working for its installment for nearly three decades. The facility is planned to include volleyball courts, basketball courts, two pools and an eight-lane lap pool, in addition to a recreational/therapy pool. Further plans include a Get Fit center and plans to house St. Anthony's Wellness Center for physical therapy. Members of the Holabird & Root design team in attendance included Project Architect Greg Grunloh and Project Coordinator, Jamison McBride.