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$69M U.S. Courthouse modernization a boon for local firms

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More than a dozen local companies have begun work on a three-year modernization of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in the state's largest individual project funded by the federal stimulus.

Renovations to the stately 4-story Beaux Arts landmark along Ohio Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets will cost at least 34 times the $2 million the Treasury Department paid to construct the building between 1902 to 1905.

The improvements, including the installation of a sprinkler system throughout the building, a 30,000-square-foot green roof, a rainwater-reclamation system and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, are great news for local contractors.

Nineteen of the 23 companies selected to work on the project are based in central Indiana. Between 90 and 150 workers will be on the site at any given time until the project is scheduled for completion in August 2012. Locally based Shiel Sexton Company Inc. is leading the $69.3 million U.S. Courthouse renovation as general contractor.

And local companies are picking up even more stimulus work from at least two other federal building modernization projects. Shiel also is working on another stimulus project to add more than 6,000 solar panels to the Major General Emmett J. Bean Federal Center in Lawrence. That project will cost about $21 million, and a planned second phase could cost another $50 million, said John Andrews, a Shiel partner.

Meantime, Cincinnati-based Messer Construction is leading a more than $40 million project to add fire-suppression systems and energy3efficient features to the Minton-Capehart Federal Building along North Pennsylvania Street.

"It's no secret the construction industry is in a pretty bad situation nationally," Andrews said. "For us, stimulus projects have been a huge deal. It helps us, the subcontractors and all the tradespeople."

The U.S. Courthouse project allowed Indianapolis-based Shrewsberry & Associates LLC to add a full-time employee who had been looking for work for six months, CEO Bill Shrewsberry said.

Shrewsberry figured he might not get much stimulus work since his firm focuses on civil and environmental engineering and stimulus projects had to be shovel-ready and therefore already designed.

"Right now adding any employees or even maintaining headcount is good news," he said.

Other Indianapolis companies working on the U.S. Courthouse project include Environmental Assurance Co., Barth Electric Co. Inc., Blackmore & Buckner Roofing LLC, Gibson-Lewis of Indianapolis LLC, Connor & Co., LaForce Inc., Davis & Associates and McCammack Tile.

Nearby companies include Clayton-based Artisan Construction, Greenfield-based Valor Field Services, Carmel-based Performance Contracting Inc., Camby-based Indy Steel, Fishers-based Terstep Co., Noblesville-based Ryan Fire Protection, and the Greenwood office of International Piping Systems Inc.

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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