Boise, Idaho-based GLR Engineers PLLC, a young and growing structural engineering firm, has moved its Spokane office into a 2,000-square-foot space in the second floor of the Hutton Building, at 9 S. Washington downtown.
GLR Engineers previously occupied a 1,000-square-foot space on the same floor in the Hutton Building. The firm kept its suite number and moved to a different office, says Logun Rasmussen, principal engineer.
The firm relocated to provide room for future growth, Rasmussen says.
Jacob Gokey, also a principal engineer at GLR’s Spokane office says, “The space is definitely larger than we need at the moment, so to help combat that, we’ve subleased a couple of our offices out to one-person companies.”
As part of the move, GLR Engineers tore out a wall to turn an office into an open space and also put in a conference room, says Rasmussen. The firm updated most of the interior finish, including new flooring, ceiling tile, paint, and kitchen cabinets.
Maurer Construction Inc., of Spokane, was the contractor. Design by Jennifer Grace, of Spokane, was the interior designer.
GLR Engineers’ Spokane office has been in the Hutton Building since September 2015. Before then, it briefly operated out of an office at 312 W. First.
Gokey and Rasmussen decline to disclose revenue, but say they have experienced about 50 percent annual revenue growth over the past year.
Gokey, Rasmussen, and Joe Lane are the three principal engineers for the firm.
Rasmussen and Gokey work out of the Spokane office, and Lane works at the Boise location. The firm has two other employees in each office.
Although headquartered in Boise, Gokey says both office locations opened nearly the same time.
Gokey estimated 90 percent of the firm’s projects are buildings, which can range from single-family homes to large commercial structures.
Rasmussen says the other 10 percent involves shoring walls, wall design, and specialty structural engineering, such as glass, storefront, canopies, and other related items.
Rasmussen says one such project the business is working on is the former Wonder Site Adaptive Reuse at 821 W. Mallon.
As earlier reported in the Journal, that site will be redeveloped into a three-story office building with a ground-floor artisan food market. Construction is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2018.
Rasmussen says GLR Engineers recently finished its design portion of the $14 million Quincy Junior High School modernization project in Quincy, Wash., which is now under construction.
The firm also recently completed its design portion of a 155,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for Pullman, Wash.-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. Construction is underway on that project, he says.
Gokey says the firm has been working on a number of multifamily projects. Other local projects include: Northern Heights Apartments, on Garfield Road, in Airway Heights; multifamily buildings in the Kendall Yards development northwest of downtown; and a mixed-use building at Kendall Yards.
All those projects have been handled by the Spokane office, says Rasmussen.
The Spokane office staff includes Jeremy Sink, a building information modeling designer; and Phillip Korpi, a project engineer.
Gokey says the firm is looking to hire two more employees, one in Spokane and one in Boise.
Rasmussen and Gokey have been friends since they both were students at Washington State University, says Gokey. They both also worked for Seattle-based DCI Engineers Inc. previously.
Gokey previously owned Gokey Engineering PLLC, of Spokane, and Lane owned Lane Structural Engineering PLLC, of Boise. The two worked together often and eventually chose to open a new firm together, says Gokey.
Rasmussen asserts one strength the firm has is that it’s diverse in its expertise in building design capabilities.
“Between the three of us, we have experience in pretty well all the building types of construction,” he says.
Gokey has previous experience in elevated concrete buildings. Rasmussen has experience in steel and wood design, and Lane has experience in specialty design, which includes architectural components for projects or particular design elements, say Gokey and Rasmussen.
Gokey says each of the engineers has a construction background in some way.
“That benefits us by providing quality drawings and working well with contractors in the field,” he contends.
The firm is still developing its client base, Rasmussen says.
For the engineering industry in general, Gokey says companies are struggling to find additional staff.
“Engineering, construction, architecture—it seems like everyone is fighting the same battle,” he says.
Looking forward, he says the firm plans to focus on quality engineering.
“We don’t want to become so inundated with work so that we’re not providing quality drawings to our clients, contractors, etcetera,” he says. “We want to make sure we’re able to provide the attention that every project needs.”
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