Design firms involved in midfield terminal project merge:

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After working together on the midfield terminal project at the Indianapolis International Airport, CSO Architects Inc. and SchenkelShultz Architecture have joined to become CSO SchenkelShultz. Executives of the two announced the merger to employees April 12 during a staff meeting at CSO’s headquarters on East 96th Street.

Terms of the deal were not released.

“By working together, we found that we have a lot in common,”
said James Schellinger, a managing partner at CSO. “We both work

in a lot of the same markets and serve the same clients. We felt we might be able to accomplish a one-plus-one-equals-three kind of partnership.”

The new firm boasts 25 architects, with the larger CSO supplying 20 of them. The 12 staff members of SchenkelShultz will move to CSO’s office by April 22, Schellinger said.

The locally based CSO was founded in 1961 and is the third-largest firm in the city as measured by the $11.1 million in local architectural billings it posted in 2003, according to IBJ statistics.

Fort Wayne-based SchenkelShultz was founded in 1958 and launched its local office in 1991. Its $3 million in local architectural billings in 2003 ranks the firm 13th-largest in the city, according to IBJ statistics.

CSO’s design specialties include education, aviation and corporate-commercial architecture. SchenkelShultz also has a strong education and aviation practice, but brings a niche in designing justice and corrections buildings.

The combination should vault the new firm past Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects, the city’s second-largest firm, which recorded $11.2 million in local architectural billings in 2003. With $29.2 million in local billings, BSA LifeStructures Inc. is the city’s largest architectural firm.

Besides Indianapolis, CSO has an office in Orlando, Fla. SchenkelShultz has 10 offices. Outside Indiana, it has five locations in Florida and two in North Carolina. The additional markets could help CSO broaden its corporate design portfolio, Schellinger said.

CSO is the architect of record for the $974 million midfield terminal project, due to be completed in 2008. St. Louis-based HOK Inc. is the design architect. SchenkelShultz and Archonsortium LLC, a group of six minority-owned design firms, are associate architects.


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