Spokane Journal of Business

Design West Architects adds new Spokane office

Firm’s fifth location allows greater work focus here

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Meridian, Idaho-based architectural firm, Design West Architects PA has opened a Spokane office. 

Located on the sixth floor of the Empire State Building, at 905 W. Riverside, the 1,000-square-foot space is the fifth office for the firm, which also has offices in Pullman and Kennewick, Wash.; Ontario, Ore.; and Meridian.

Founded in Boise, Idaho, in 1983, Design West Architects specializes in educational, commercial, and multifamily housing projects.

The firm has a total of 40 employees, including its four principles: Ned Warnick, James Coles, Bill Hamlin, and Brandon Wilm.

Warnick says he’s one of three people currently based at the new Spokane office.

“I split my time between Spokane and our Pullman offices,” he says. “The other two employees have transferred here from our Pullman and Kennewick locations. We’re looking to add more talented people to our team here, but the architectural field is still struggling with a shortage of qualified candidates right now.”

Although the firm started in Boise, Warnick says a large portion of its projects are located in northern Idaho and central Washington, which was the main reason behind its decision to open an office here.

“We’ve always had a lot of work in northern Idaho and central Washington,” he says. “Eventually, we realized we were spending a lot of time sending employees to work on visiting projects. The Spokane office helps reduce employee travel time and also allows us to be closer to our clients there and in Coeur d’Alene.”

Warnick says a large percentage of the firm’s work is designing K-12 educational facilities, although it also designs a lot of commercial and multifamily projects.

He says recent local projects the firm has designed include the NorthEast Washington Education Service District 101 Conference Center, at 4202 S. Regal; the renovation of the Reardan-Edwall School Districts’ elementary school, at 215 E. Spokane in Reardan, and the renovation and expansion of Coeur d’Alene High School, at 5530 N. Fourth, in Coeur d’Alene.

“All of those projects are underway now,” he says. “The conference center project will be finishing around New Year’s, and most of the Coeur d’Alene High School renovation will be wrapping up this fall. The Reardan expansion is more of a multiphase project, which likely won’t be fully complete until August 2020.”

Warnick says the firm also is working on design projects for the Colfax, Tekoa, Lacrosse, and Davenport school districts, all in Eastern Washington.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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