By RITA DUCKWORTH
It has been eight months since the Farnsworth Group acquired EWR Architects in Fairview Heights.
“It’s been a positive experience overall,” says EWR’s founder E. William (Bill) Reichert III.
Based in Bloomington, Ill., Farnsworth Group has been in business for 125 years.
“They acquired us to build upon our firm’s 35-year history,” says Reichert, “while bringing the resources and capabilities of a larger, multi-discipline type firm here to Southern Illinois. The overarching goal is to become a firm of choice in the region.”
The Fairview Heights office kept its original staff of 11, including four licensed architects. Since the acquisition, one more obtained his license and they gained two more licensed architects. Both the Fairview Heights office and Farnsworth’s St. Louis office added employees and expanded the services offered. The St. Louis office had previously focused on engineering but has branched out to include architecture and building services.
“The main difference for us,” says Reichert, “is that Farnsworth has 20 offices across the country. We’re able to do a lot of work sharing on projects, tapping into the firm’s expertise.”
Reichert estimates that business for his office has doubled since it became part of the Farnsworth Group.
“We have more architects, so we can accomplish more. We also have other services that we used to have to subcontract out. At the same time, EWR built strong relationships with many local subcontractors in its 35 years. We are still subcontracting to our trusted friends. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Reichert points out that very few firms have the depth of services that Farnsworth now has in the Southern Illinois region. The company offers proficiency in civil engineering, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and commissioning. Farnsworth came to the region with a contract at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville already in place. It’s an open-ended, as-needed arrangement.
The Farnsworth Group recently completed offices for Distinctive Dermatology and Musick Dermatology. It finished the St. Clair County Transit District Office by renovating the 100-year-old water company office in Belleville. Ongoing projects include the Fairview Heights Recreation Center as well as work for HSHS Hospitals and several schools in both Illinois and Missouri.
By RITA DUCKWORTH