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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. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

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