Clark Patterson Lee | Blog Clark Patterson Lee Blog en Copyright 2017 2017-08-17T02:00:00-04:00 <![CDATA[BUZZ: Hot Jobs - Expect Strong Competition for Architects]]> Clark Patterson Lee’s Jen LaChance discusses the architecture & design profession in the D&C's Chronicle's Hot Jobs column. Read the full article here.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Celebrating the National Comedy Center]]> Daybreak was on the road in Jamestown, NY to celebrate the work being done to build a new National Comedy Center. The center is expected to open next year, and developers say it could make Jamestown a household name. Read more

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL's Student Loan Assistance Program (S.L.A.P.)]]> Shiny new grads leave college with degrees, hope, ambition—and tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

The average college graduates in 2016 started their careers and adult lives $37,000 in the red, with loan costs up six percent from the previous year. Unfortunately, as higher education costs continue to rise, the average wage for a college graduate remains stagnant. Young adults are faced with a higher cost of living and entry-level jobs that just can’t bridge the gap.

To date, student loan debt affects 44.2 million Americans.

At CPL, we compassionately recognize the burden of student loan debt as a problem unique to a new generation. That’s why we launched an equally unique benefit that will save money over time and shave years off repayment periods for our team members.

CPL has teamed with Tuition.IO to offer a Student Loan Assistance Program, or what we affectionately call “SLAP”. This benefit offers team members up to $100 per month on top of their regular payments to help them get out of debt sooner.

Amanda Koneski, a Marketing Coordinator in our Rochester office, was one of the first to sign up.

“For three years, I worked two jobs to make a dent in my $40K of debt,” she said. “Because of CPL SLAP alone, I will finish 14 months sooner; that means I’ll meet my goal of paying off my loans a month before my 30th birthday.”

“As a young professional, I’m glad to see companies like CPL recognizing the difficulty of harrowing student loans, and encouraging not only physical and mental wellness of employees, but financial health as well,” she said.

Offering a wide range of employee benefits that meet the changing needs of our diverse team is important to us at CPL, which is why we looked toward our core values to find a solution. We truly believe this benefit will help promote a work/life balance, time for family, time for fun, and a healthier workforce overall.

For more detail about the program, contact HR at

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL Celebrates Advancements in Healthcare Across the East Coast]]> Clark Patterson Lee’s Rochester and Charlotte offices both celebrated major healthcare ribbon cutting ceremonies this summer. CPL teamed with regional health systems to bring modern, patient-centered care to our communities.

A ribbon cutting ceremony on June 28 revealed the complete front entrance of Newark-Wayne Hospital, a division of Rochester Regional Health about 45 minutes east of Rochester. A year ago, the hospital and CPL broke ground for the 13,000 s.f. renovation and 2,500 s.f. addition to give the front entrance a major facelift.

The previous entrance was subdued, and new employees and patients alike had trouble finding it.

Now, the new, modern, glass façade can’t be missed, complete with a convenient drop-off loop, expanded parking, and an inviting lobby.

Sunlight pours into the open spaces through large windows, promoting positivity and warmth. It’s completed with an open staircase, a glass-walled meditation space for quiet thought and prayer, and a large waiting area. The gift shop and café also boast modern updates.

But, it’s not just about beauty. It’s about an improved patient experience.

The completed renovation provides a centralized registration area for radiology, endoscopy, outpatient surgery, and more, instead of scattered, individual check-in points throughout the hospital.

This allows for better efficiency with patient processing and ease-of-access for patients and families alike.

“The hospital is serving the patients now,” said Michelle Trott, Principal-in-Charge of the project. “This eliminates confusion of wandering through hallways, and allows patients a restful experience,” she said.

CPL staff used the LEAN process as an operational plan, promoting organization and safety standards.

“This project was possible because of the combined efforts of several CPL disciplines,” said Trott. “Electrical, interior design, mechanical, structural, architecture—they all played an integral part in making this project a success.”

The glass exterior will represent Rochester Regional Health’s image as the system continues to update hospitals in the network, giving all locations a parallel, branded look.

Tuesday, July 25, Caldwell UNC Healthcare and CPL Charlotte celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the CUNC Rivercrest Medical Office Building project.

Granite Falls’ newest office building is a one story, 25,000 s.f., brand new build, which will bring necessary and accessible healthcare to residents of the tucked-away town.

“By bringing high-quality patient care directly to this small, tight-knit community, this facility will surely have a tremendous impact on enriching the lives of its residents,” said project manager and architect, Robin Washco.

UNC Hospitals are ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country, so it was no surprise to expand their expertise to an untapped community. This new office will further advance economic growth in the Granite Falls community and allow Caldwell UNC Health Care to continue to offer clinical services of the highest quality.

“With our nearly 20-year relationship with Caldwell UNC Health Care (CUNC), we are excited to have been a part of this very important project that brings critical access to healthcare services to an underserved portion of Caldwell County,” said Tim Knapp, Senior Vice President of Clark Patterson Lee.

“We look forward to our continued relationship with CUNC and building on the foundation of success for the entire community,” he said.

The Rivercrest Medical Office Building is the first of three planned medical facilities constructed on the UNC Health Care Medical campus located in Granite Falls, North Carolina.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Catching Up with CPL's Resident Plumbing Expert]]> Do you remember what your high school career aptitude tests told you to become? Perhaps a teacher, doctor or salesman? While most career tests aren’t accurate in predicting our futures, for CPL’s Jennifer Wengender, her high school career results were spot-on.

“Having always been interested in calculating and designing, choosing to major in mechanical engineering in college was an easy decision,” Jennifer said. “To this day, I love being the technical expert on a project and seeing the buildings we design finalized.”

After spending time at Champion Products, Genesee Hospital and Kodak, Jennifer joined the Clark Patterson Lee team in 1998. With no prior experience in plumbing and fire protection, she was asked to fulfill a growing need and take on a new role.

Nineteen years later, she now leads our Rochester office’s plumbing and fire protection department.

“When I began at CPL, I was new to the consulting industry, but the firm took a chance on me and invested in my professional development. It didn’t take much time for me to adapt to the new work experiences and challenges presented,” she said.

In addition to holding the professional title of plumbing/fire protection engineer, Jennifer is also Rochester Chapter of ASPE and a mom of two boys and a girl. In 2000, when her daughter was born, she began to feel the strain of a 40-hour work week and being a working mother. She knew something had to change.

“Maintaining a balance between my professional and personal life has always been very important to me,” Jennifer said. “After my daughter was born, I approached management to discuss what could be done.”

Jennifer’s concerns were not only heard, they were addressed immediately. She moved to a four-day work week and has maintained that schedule ever since.

“CPL has always been very supportive of my flexible work schedule,” Jennifer said. “I’m thankful for the healthy balance I have between my professional career and family life.”

Jennifer’s ability to exceed expectations while maintaining a shortened work week is a true testament to her talent and overall work ethic. Our colleagues and clients are lucky to work with such a motivated and dedicated professional every day.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: CPL Welcomes to our Albany Office, Architect, Lauren Tarsio, AIA]]> Contact: Vince Press, Director of Communications
Clark Patterson Lee

Michelle Draghi, Communications Coordinator
Clark Patterson Lee

We are pleased to welcome Lauren Tarsio, AIA to our architectural design group in Albany, NY. An accomplished architect with more than 10 years of professional experience, Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in designing projects for the K-12 education market sector.

Lauren graduated from Roger Williams University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Historic Preservation. Her education introduced her to the physical aspects of preservation and the role it can play within a larger context of design, community revitalization and sustainability. Thus, her ambition to pursue a career in architecture became a natural progression.

“Because preservation is as much about people and place as it is about history, I studied a lot of historic buildings and developed an appreciation for buildings in general,” Lauren said. “When I coupled that with my interests in building and managing things, architecture seemed like the perfect fit.”

Today, Lauren’s desire to be part of a growing team is taking her career to new heights. As CPL’s Albany office continues to expand its services in the capital region, her experience and fresh focus on K-12 design make her a valuable addition to the team.

Principal Architect, Chris Colby, RA, LEED AP, says her timing is perfect. “Over the past three years, our education practice has grown substantially throughout Eastern New York,” Chris said. “The opportunities for Lauren and the rest of the team are endless.”

Lauren is a truly talented designer with a clear passion for architecture, and we look forward to seeing what she will for our clients.

<![CDATA[BLOG: A Day in the Life of Architect, Jason Streb, AIA]]> Meet Jason Streb. Since joining CPL in 2010, Jason has made a positive impact on the firm, professionally and personally, and has been on the fast track to success. His passion for architecture is matched by his rigor in problem solving, and both are evident in every project he undertakes. This month, Jason’s hard work and incredible talent is being celebrated as we announce his promotion to Associate.

“Jason greets every day with a desire to learn and has proven ready to take on the challenges of our profession time and time again,” CEO, Todd Liebert, AIA, NCARB said. “I’m continually impressed by his philosophy and approach to design.”

A highly capable, professional and a sought-after project team member, Jason’s contributions to the firm and the design community reach beyond the office. He engages with staff at all levels and plays a significant role in creating a culture of camaraderie and teamwork by engaging in company events; participating in community charities; and spearheading staff volunteer events. Both motivated and dedicated to his profession and his community, Jason is certainly not your “typical architect.”

We followed Jason around for a day to learn more about his passion for architecture, most memorable design projects, favorite at-work experiences and more!

What led you to pursue a career in architecture?

I knew I wanted a career where I had the opportunity to not only be creative, but to use creativity to solve problems. And since art and design have always been of interest to me, I thought architecture would be the perfect fit.

By nature, I’m a very curious person, always wanting to know how things are made or how to get things to look and perform a certain way. Designing buildings gives answers to those questions. My job offers unique challenges where I can attempt to solve spatial and technical problems for clients, and provide them with solutions that allow buildings to perform functionally and aesthetically.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I honestly never have a 'typical' type of day, which is another reason why I chose this profession. Some days I’m under a pile of trace paper doing hand sketches and designing, while other time is spent modeling detailed elements of construction on the computer. It’s usually a mix of the two with client meetings and presentations sprinkled throughout!

From a design excellence standpoint, is there any project in which you are most proud of?

Geneva High School Athletic Complex and the RRH Center for Critical Care. However, there are two projects in particular that I am most proud of. First, the Orange County Government Center (OCGC) was a project that brought challenges in terms of preserving a significant work of architecture and designing a new structure that would be compatible with the building’s history. A large amount of thought and research went towards each design decision, and I’m happy with how the design is shaping up. Our team poured our hearts into that project to make sure we did the right thing for the client and the facility.

The second project was a small, conceptual design that we did for the Landmark Society of Western New York. The project was a series of small memorials dedicated to African American History in Rochester. Although never built, our proposals were community and researched based. At one public presentation, a woman from the neighborhood cried because the design we created had resonated with her so well. That moment has stayed with me ever since and we (Landmark) are still hopeful the project(s) will have a future.

What community activities are you involved in?

AIA Rochester and Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA). In the past, I served on the AIA Rochester’s Board of Directors as the Education Director. I also serve on the Landmark Society’s Properties Committee, which does event planning and preservation for their properties. Most recently, we did a spring clean-up event at St. Josephs Park.

You've been working with the firm for over 7 years now. How did you end up at CPL and why do you choose to stay?

Admittingly, I only thought I'd stay at CPL for a short while when I first started. After graduating college, I had interests in moving to a bigger city someday.However, once I started working here, the great projects and even better people made me abandon those earlier thoughts. I quickly realized that CPL offered wonderful opportunities and experiences for a young designer. I saw (and still do see!) a bright future with CPL largely due to the people here who foster and encourage growth.

What’s been one of your favorite at-work experiences?

I think our most recent colleague networking event at Studio 180 has been one of the best experiences I've had so far. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with lots of talented people from other offices (Charlotte, Buffalo, etc.). Getting the chance to travel and see beyond my own office encourages me even more as I’m reminded of all the great work everyone is doing.

What’s one of the most important things you’ve learned thus far in your career?

Ask questions, seek advice and think boldly. I’ve also learned to pursue design logically and artistically. But most importantly, I’ve discovered that having passion for what you do is everything. I think in this profession especially, the passion you have is evident in your work.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Brand New Look For Expanding Buffalo Office]]> Many know the Cobblestone District in Buffalo, NY for its industrial history (District was placed on the “National Register of Historic Places” in 2014) and entertainment reputation. But to us, we know it as home. Conveniently located close to the KeyBank Center, an easy walk to the Canal side, and just minutes from downtown, CPL’s Buffalo office is truly in the heart of the action.

Recently, new additions to our CPL family caused us to outgrow our office space, and it was time to embark on a major renovation and expansion project. After several months of planning, designing and construction, we’ve officially taken over two additional floors, allowing us to add 6 offices, 16 cubicles, a training space, new architectural and interiors library, conference rooms, an outdoor patio, and a lounge with a cozy fireplace.

The overall design of our updated, modern space resembles CPL’s brand with gray and black tonal carpet running throughout and pops of CPL yellow emerging from the guest chairs. Additional design details include exposed brick, a concrete formed deck, concrete and brick columns, and exposed mechanical units. These elements not only add character, but highlight the texture and history of the building.

Several members of our office participated in a design critique of their ideal work space and selected furniture that promoted a comfortable yet productive work environment. The final consensus was to use frameless glass in the cubicles to contrast the rough, historic brick with a clean and modern twist.

CPL utilized many local resources, purchasing steel from Alp Steel Construction down the street, contracting Lake Effect Dry Ice to remove old paint from interiorbrick walls, and hiring local contractors to perform the work.

Senior Vice President, Rick Henry, P.E., said he couldn’t be happier with the amount of teamwork that went into making this project successful.

“Our Interior Designer, Carly [Owczarczak], did an outstanding job acting as General Contractor, scheduling and managing all trades during construction,” he said. “She, Marissa Colucci and the rest of the staff worked hard to make this all come together.”

The renovations to our Buffalo office provide our team with a clean, professional environment that allows us to be creative and freely do our very best work.

We will soon be showcasing our unyielding commitment to Buffalo through a “words wall” graphic, a Buffalo city skyline wall graphic in the waiting room, and a display of local Buffalo historical artwork with our own projects.

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL's Adam Stoker Wins AIA Design Competition]]> Adam Stoker, an architectural designer based in CPL’s Rochester office, won AIA Rochester's Designers Unleashed: Architectural Ideas Competition with his design of a multi-use development in downtown Rochester, NY.

The competition challenged participants to unleash their creativity for an acre-large plot on Main Street with the goals of revitalizing an underutilized urban space and providing health and wellness for the community.

Stoker looked toward nature for inspiration for his schematic design.

“I wanted to capture the feeling of standing at the edge of the forest looking in,” said Stoker.

He said the forest provides opportunities for emotional and physical wellness and inspires the overall holistic approach to blending areas dedicated to exercise, work, living and retail. The goal was to allow the calming effect of nature seep into an otherwise overstimulated and concrete downtown.

Plus, the creative project allowed Stoker to cater to his mass timber construction bias.

“When you have a structure completely made of wood – a renewable resource – it keeps the warmth and tactile essence of nature alive,” he said.

Nature carries throughout the design, which features solar panels, green roofs, a light well and vertical sun shades, allowing tenants to view outside and inside without stark transitions.

This competition uniquely encouraged participants to think out of the box. Stoker said he enjoyed the opportunity to be creative on a project that didn’t have strict parameters. A design risk, the giant window wall allowed Stoker to daydream when he normally would have to ask himself, “does this choice jive with reality?”

The competition was completely anonymous, ridding judges of any bias and leaving an open-door policy to any contest newcomers. Stoker met design goals outlined by the AIA, but says in turn met his own goals as well.

“I’m still learning about my own visualization and storytelling process,” he said. “I want a viewer to imagine what it would be like to move around and interact with the space.”

Stoker accepted the award at a ceremony on June 16, 2017, where he presented his schematic design publicly.

<![CDATA[BLOG: CPL Structural Engineer Brings New Services to Suwanee]]> We are thrilled to welcome Brian Miller to the CPL family. Brian joins our team with nearly 20 years of experience in structural engineering and has expertise in bridge design, parking deck design, and restoration across the State of Georgia. In his new role, he will help lead the growth of these services in all CPL offices.

“Brian is a valuable addition to our team in the region,” CPL Senior Vice President, Kevin McOmber, P.E., said. “With his vast experience in bridge and parking deck design, we can now offer expanded services to our current and future clients. Brian is very talented, and we are excited to watch his visions become reality.”

Brian discovered his passion for engineering while completing his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UNC Charlotte and master’s degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University.

“I was always fascinated by the structural portion of engineering, but it wasn’t until after college that I discovered parking deck design,” Brian said. “I love planning and designing how the deck will operate. It’s exciting for me to asses a problem and ultimately come up with a logical and effective solution.”

Brian's passion and extensive experience make him a valuable addition to our growing team in Suwanee, and we are excited to welcome him aboard!

Take a tour of our newly opened Suwanee office location!]]>
<![CDATA[BUZZ: Revving Up the Growth]]> Check out this great profile featuring our CEO, Todd Liebert, in the Rochester Business Journal.

<![CDATA[BULLETIN: Clark Patterson Lee Completes Portville School Fitness Center Makeover]]> Contact: Vince Press, Director of Communications
Clark Patterson Lee

Sarah Christ, Public Relations Coordinator
Dixon Schwabl

Portville, N.Y. — Five years ago, the Portville Central School District athletic center looked nothing like it does today. With locker rooms from the original building and a weight room from the 1990s, the facility needed major renovations.

That’s where full-service design firm Clark Patterson Lee stepped in to help as part of the district’s capital project to make its fitness area safe, up to code and inviting to students.

“When we toured the old facility, it was a daunting scene,” Clark Patterson Lee Project Manager Ryne Wight said. “Rusted lockers barely holding on, vandalized walls and benches, and dungeon-like shower facilities — it was hard to picture the final layout at that point.”

The new athletic center space includes a newly constructed girls’ locker room, a completely renovated fitness space for weight lifting, wrestling practice and fitness classes, and a gutted and updated boys’ locker room.

Clark Patterson Lee Interior Designer, Carly Owczarczak, chose materials and colors to brighten the tight, dark room — tile climbs the walls, new dynamic flooring replaced cold concrete, and old column showers swapped out for private, individual shower heads. In addition, plastic lockers were put in place for their long-lasting, mold- and rust-resistant nature.

“I still walk into the new space and am in awe,” Portville Central School District Athletic Director Beth Colligan said. “The locker rooms are so professional that it gives our students renewed energy and school pride. That feeling carries over to other aspects of the school.”

Since the athletic complex opening at the end of January, the school has seen increased use of its facilities by students and community members.

“Our facility is abuzz right now — the usage from students and community members is just outstanding,” Colligan said. “Before the renovations, we had the same group of people using our gym. Now, we’re getting members who have never worked out before because the space and environment are state-of-the-art and welcoming.”

With the updates, the district plans to implement new programs this fall that were previously not feasible due to space limitations. The programs will focus on engaging students in a wider range of physical activities, and will include strength and conditioning for athletes and guest speakers for physical education classes.

<![CDATA[BLOG: Professional Exam Spotlights]]> There are many milestones along the path of any professional’s career that deserve to be celebrated. As a firm focused primarily on people-both those interacting with our designs as well as our own employees-celebrating those milestones is extremely important to our company culture. To that end, we'd like to shine the spotlight on a few individuals who have passed professional examinations in their respective fields.

Andrew Tripp - Passed the PE exam

Robyn Hadfield - Passed the NCIDQ exam

Jason Streb - Passed the ARE exams

Molly Livingstone - Passed the NCIDQ exam

Ben Morden - Passed the PE exam

Sara Katz - Passed the ARE exams

Adam Anzivino - Passed Autodesk Revit Professional exam

Danielle Scesney - Passed the ARE exams

Josh Erbland - Passed the FE exam

Cara Adams - Passed the NCIDQ exam

Passing exams matters, especially for the intended users of the buildings, roads and bridges that we design. That's why Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) prides itself on a culture of empowerment for employees who are striving to reach new heights within their careers.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: Michael Mistriner Ready to Lead Clark Patterson Lee's Buffalo Office ]]> Check out this story featured in Buffalo Business First on one of our newest accomplished team members, Mike Mistriner, AIA.

<![CDATA[BUZZ: How to Create a Culture for Retaining Talent]]> Insightful article in Engineering GA Magazine on how to create a workplace culture for retaining talent – complete with quotes from our Chief Culture Officer, Kathy Metcalfe!

<![CDATA[CPL Gives Portville CSD's Fitness Center a Makeover]]> The Portville Central School District’s athletic center is complete after CPL’s major renovation. This highly anticipated project was certainly worth the five-year timeline (from initial scoping and planning to completion) as it adequately reflects the school’s spirit and meets the needs of the district’s physical education and athletic program.

The project was part of the district’s capital project (approved by the voters in 2014) to make the Portville CSD’s fitness area safe, up to code and inviting to students.

Before and after pictures of the locker room

Ryne Wight, Project Manager from CPL’s Olean office, toured the old facility only to see rusted lockers barely holding on, vandalized walls and benches, and dungeon-like shower facilities.

That’s a daunting scene.

“It was hard to picture the final layout at that point,” said Wight, “but my favorite part is seeing everything come together at the end.”

Wight said that he, along with several representatives from Portville CSD, is very happy with the results.

Before and after pictures of the fitness area

The new space includes a newly constructed girls’ locker room, a completely renovated fitness space for weight lifting, wrestling practice and fitness classes, and a gutted and updated boys’ locker room.Tile climbs the walls, new dynamic flooring replaced cold concrete, and old column showers swapped out for private, individual shower heads.

Wight, with the help of Carly Owczarczak, Interior Designer in CPL’s Buffalo office, carefully picked out materials and colors that would brighten the tight, dark space.The pair chose phenolic (plastic) lockers for their long-lasting, mold- and rust-resistant nature, and designed the space with a college locker room in mind.

“Since opening at the end of January, the facility has not only been utilized by excited, proud students, but by nearly 1,000 community members over a 12-week period,” said Wight.

School officials and CPL employees all hope the renovation will encourage students to stay active and sign up for sports next season.

<![CDATA[CPL's Top Ten List of Team Building Activities]]> Company culture is the personality of an organization. Every company has one, whether it was created intentionally or developed organically over time. Our company culture is reflected in how we approach our work, how we collaborate and how we design our office environment. It's baked into our hiring decisions, benefit packages and client relationships. At CPL, we've also developed a set of core values that reflect our company culture, these include: Integrity, Collaboration, Inspiration, Ingenuity, Family, and Fun.

One of the ways that we bolster our company culture is through team building and a healthy dose of Fun (we take fun seriously as a core value). You could say that CPL is on the work hard-play hard team. We have seen the power of play strengthen camaraderie and break down bureaucratic and personal barriers to communication. Team building activities allow our dedicated staff to recharge and build relationships through common experiences.

Below is CPL’s top ten list of team building activities, all of which have been successful in providing realistic experiences that empower individuals to contribute to common goals.

1. Corporate Curling

Social, strategic and super fun, curling is not only a great team bonding activity, but also an excellent collaboration exercise. The great Canadian sport encourages strategy, team communication, problem solving and sportsmanship as everyone works together to make every shot. Some engineers in our Rochester office had the opportunity to participate in a curling event and had a blast working together to learn the basics of delivery (throwing), sweeping and skipping. No curling experience is necessary to take part in a corporate curling event. All you need is a clean pair of sneakers, comfortable attire, and a “can-do” attitude.

2. CPL Shotgun Picnic

Every year, members of CPL’s Charlotte, NC, Greenville, NC, Woodstock, GA and Suwanee, GA offices gear up for the annual CPL Shotgun Picnic. With no formal training necessary, this event gives staff the opportunity to learn the safe and correct way to shoot while spending quality time with their colleagues. It’s a fun, safe and memorable instructional experience for all who participate.

3. CPL Golf Tournaments

One of the most popular team building events at CPL is the annual Northern Golf Tournament. Every year, staff from our New York offices are invited to engage in some friendly competition out on the golf course. With all golfing skill levels accepted, this hole in one experience helps colleagues build interpersonal relationships with one another as teams of 4 compete in a golf scramble.

4. Pop Up Design Charrettes

One of the most productive ways to encourage team building while still getting work done is scheduling time to incorporate design team charrettes. Recently, some members of our Buffalo office got together for a design charrette to jump start ideas and concepts for an upcoming Master Plan. This laid-back planning session was an excellent way for team members to step away from their desks, offer up ideas, give feedback and inspire one another.

5. Waffle Wednesdays

Want to make Wednesday morning’s just a little bit sweeter for your employees? Then Waffle Wednesdays may be the perfect activity. Members of our Suwanee, GA office started this weekly tradition as an easy way to bring individuals together from different disciplines and enjoy a delicious breakfast together as a team.

6. Escape Rooms

If you’re interested in a truly unique, interactive and adventurous team building experience, then our Charlotte office has a great recommendation for you. Recently, the team visited Exit Strategy where they were split into two teams and had 60 minutes to escape from a themed room. The event was a huge success in that it forced teammates to work together, communicate effectively, delegate tasks and think creatively to escape in time.

7. Twilight Skiing / Snowboarding

An activity that’s guaranteed to stimulate, challenge and detach you from your everyday work setting, corporate skiing and/or snowboarding events can be excellent team building experiences. Earlier this year, staff from our Rochester, Jamestown and Buffalo offices were invited to participate in an evening of twilight skiing/snowboarding at Bristol Mountain. Participants got to kill two birds with one stone as they spent time spent time exercising out on the slopes while making lasting memories with their colleagues.

8. iFly Indoor Skydiving

Members of CPL’s Newburgh office got to enjoy a fun and unique office outing at iFly Indoor Skydiving, where employees were “blown away” (literally) by the opportunity to freefall in a vertical wind tunnel. This exhilarating activity was encouraging for the Newburgh team as employees experienced human flight and cheered each other on.

9. Lasertron & Cyber Sport

If you’re looking for an activity that improves communication, maintains motivation and builds trust, then look no further. Last year, members of our staff came together at Lasertron in Henrietta, NY to play in one of the facility’s 9,000 s.f. multi-level laser tag arenas and then enjoy a highly competitive game one of the facility's infamous cyber sport courts. Employees had a blast participating in each immersive gaming experience and even left the event feeling like they got a work out in (players can burn up to 1,000 calories when playing two sessions of Lasertron).

10. Euchre Tournament

What better way to bond with your colleagues than to raise money for an organization in need? As part of CPL’s fundraising efforts for the American Heart Association, our Rochester staff participated in an Euchre Tournament at the office. This fun card game was an awesome way for co-workers to take a break from their busy schedules and work together towards a common goal. The tournament successfully raised over $400!

<![CDATA[Hands-On Experience Meets Meaningful Mentorship]]> A true mentor is one that possesses the willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise; provides thoughtful guidance and constructive feedback; exhibits enthusiasm in his/her respective field; and above all values the power of ongoing learning and growth. Earlier this month, two engineers out of CPL’s Binghamton office demonstrated these qualities when they volunteered to mentor 29 Lewis County middle school students in an exciting Wind Blade Challenge.

Among clients and colleagues alike, Principal Associate, Dave Chase, P.E., LEED AP, and Civil Engineer, Domenic Emilio, LEED AP, have earned a reputation for building lasting relationships, finding creative solutions and inspiring others around them to reach their full potential. That’s why when the talented duo was asked to help sponsor and participate in the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES’ inaugural Wind Blade Challenge, they both jumped at the opportunity to be part of a program that would encourage and support students in the Lewis County community.

Using only corrugated cardboard, sticks and hot glue, the primary goal of the Wind Blade Challenge was for students to design, and test cardboard turbines to see how much electricity could be produced when driven by a standard floor fan. The concept for the event was created by Walter J. Berwick Jr., who is the instructor for the new Integrated Production and Design Technology Program at the Howard G. Sackett Technical Center. Students from Lowville, Copenhagen and South Lewis school districts as well as River Valley Mennonite School in Naumburg, came together and formed a total of seven teams. Chase and Emilio worked closely with each team giving them advice and suggestions as they tested their turbines for voltage at both low and high fan speeds.

“Watching the students reason through many obstacles and eventually persevere was really cool,” said Emilio. “Some teams had major malfunctions with their turbines during their first try so it was gratifying to see them learn the importance of never giving up. ”Domenic said that the key lessons learned from this challenge as well as the concepts of engineering that were explored were all applicable in his field of work.

“We’re all about building community,” said Chase. “Any opportunity to inspire and encourage young minds is something we’re always eager to do.”

With a spirit of collaboration and an intent to make a difference, both Chase and Emilio made CPL proud as they successfully worked with students to make a positive impact on their educational experience.

<![CDATA[BROADCAST: A Groundbreaking Healthcare Event]]>
On May 10th, 2017, Rochester Regional Health (RRH) broke ground on the Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care – complete with an inspiring program and hundreds of attendees. CPL CEO, Todd Liebert, participated in the shovel ceremony, which included dozens of hospital executives, donors and partners.

Rochester General Hospital Campus will expand and enhance services currently offered at RGH and will include a state-of-the-art perioperative platform with 20 operating rooms, 26 Post-Anesthesia beds and 54 Prep/Recovery beds. Additionally, the Center will also have 108 private acuity-adaptable patient rooms, a special care nursery featuring 14 private rooms for babies, 8 new labor and delivery rooms and 20 private post-partum beds for new mothers, and other support services. Site preparation is underway with construction expected to begin in July.

<![CDATA[In the News: New Approach to Construction Catching On Here]]> Check out this story featured in the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ) on how the design-build method saves money and helps nip problems earlier.