Prominent Spokane-based civil engineering company Taylor Engineering Inc. will merge with Seattle-based Parametrix Inc. and will operate under the Parametrix name by the end of the month, says Mark Aronson, co-owner of Taylor Engineering.
Taylor Engineering’s Spokane office is at 106 W. Mission. It also has satellite offices in Coeur d’Alene and Pullman, both of which will remain open.
With the merger, Parametrix will have 11 offices in five states.
In addition to its flagship office in Seattle, Parametrix has offices in Bremerton, Puyallup, and Tacoma on the West Side. Beyond Washington state, Parametrix also has offices in Portland and Bend, Ore.; Boise; Salt Lake City; and Albuquerque, N.M.
The merger will give Parametrix its first permanent presence in the Inland Northwest since the early 1970s and will expand its capabilities here and companywide.
Taylor Engineering provides civil engineering, surveying, and landscape design services. The company specializes in infrastructure designs for public and private clients.
Some of Taylor Engineering’s recent work includes the $2.6 million Rowan Avenue rehabilitation project on the North Side, the 127-lot Eagle Ridge 10th addition in southwest Spokane, and the $550,000 south pilot ramp rehabilitation at Spokane International Airport.
The offices here will be able to tap Parametrix’s resources companywide, Aronson says.
“It’s going to give us some diversification and strength within the civil engineering industry,” he says of the merger. “We’ll be able to expand our technical capabilities and offer more environmental and transportation services. We’re going to be able to take on larger projects and we’ll have additional staff to back us up.”
Aronson says he and Taylor Engineering co-owner Ron Pace will continue to serve as principals in the Spokane office. No staff changes are expected.
Taylor Engineering has 32 employees, including two based at the Coeur d’Alene office and six in Pullman.
The merger will bring Parametrix’s total staff to more than 350.
Aronson joined Taylor Engineering when Dennis Scott and Mike Taylor founded it as Scott Taylor Co. in 1985.
Scott left the practice after about a year to take the position of Spokane County public works director, and the firm became Taylor Engineering.
Aronson has been a principal with the company since the early 1990s.
Pace joined Taylor Engineering in 1993.
Taylor retired in 2009 and is now a manager in engineering services for the city of Spokane.
Under Taylor, the company grew from two people to a peak staff of 56 before the Great Recession.
Taylor, who’s now 72 years old, says, “At one point, we had engineering and construction management work in eight different states.”
While he was at the helm, Taylor Engineering provided engineering services for the Spokane Valley Mall, the Alaska Airlines Terminal at Spokane International Airport, more than 35 Home Depot outlets, and a number of Albertsons, Fred Meyer, and Costco stores.
“We did lots of subdivisions with tens of thousands of homesites,” he adds.
Taylor, who’s the city of Spokane’s program manager for the $125 million tertiary-treatment system at the Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility, says he plans to “really retire” when that project is complete in about four years.
He says he has mixed emotions about the Taylor Engineering/Parametrix merger.
“I’m very proud of Taylor Engineering and its body of work and community involvement, and I’m sure that will continue,” he says.
He’s impressed, though, that Parametrix is employee owned. “That will give all (current Taylor Engineering) employees an opportunity for deeper ownership,” he says. “Parametrix is really solid and probably broadens the opportunity for growth and promotion.”
Taylor recounted what he described as an “odd” link to Parametrix, which had a satellite office in Spokane in the early 1970s.
He says one of his first engineering jobs was with Inland Pacific Engineers, which was an in-house engineering concern owned by prominent residential developer Bill Main.
Taylor says Main acquired the engineering operations from Parametrix.
Aronson declines to disclose the terms of the pending merger, but says talks between the engineering companies started almost a year ago.
“As we talked, we learned we have a lot of similarities in culture and business practices, and we decided to do a merger,” he says.
The merger is scheduled to be completed on May 23, Aronson says. New signage likely will be installed at the offices by the end of the month.
“We’re already integrating our communications and electronic systems,” he says.
Jeff Peacock, Seattle-based CEO of Parametrix, says the company has been interested in entering the Inland Northwest market for about 15 years. “We decided to get more aggressive about it over the last year or so,” Peacock says.
He says Taylor Engineering is known in the engineering industry for its strong, longtime presence in the Spokane area.
“They have a solid reputation,” Peacock says. “It made sense to start a conversation with them.”
Peacock says the merger will add complementary areas of expertise to Parametrix’s offerings.
“Taylor does a lot of work with schools and airports, and that’s attractive for us,” he says.
In the education arena, Taylor Engineering provided engineering services for the Sage Point Elementary School construction project, in Moses Lake; the Rogers High School renovation and expansion; and the Washington State University Martin Stadium improvements.
Parametrix and Taylor Engineering have been meeting with Taylor Engineering’s clients about the merger over the last couple of weeks, Peacock says.
“We’re in the process of assigning all contracts to Parametrix by the end of the month,” he says. “There’s just a couple more formality steps, and we’ll be there.”
He also notes that Aronson and Pace will continue as principals with the same staff that Taylor Engineering has now.
“Their roles will change little. They are well known in the area, and we want to take advantage of that,” Peacock says.
The former Taylor Engineering offices in Spokane, Pullman, and Coeur d’Alene offices of will become part of Parametrix’s intermountain operations and will be managed by Doug Camenisch, the company’s vice president.
Parametrix was founded in 1969.
The company launched an employee stock ownership plan 15 years ago and is now 100 percent employee owned, Peacock says.
All Taylor Engineering employees will be eligible to participate in the Parametrix employee stock ownership plan.
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