Birmingham, Ala. (Aug. 16, 2016) – Time for a throwback project! Completed in ’88, the Junior League of Birmingham is a one-story office building incorporating a 500-seat auditorium, meeting and conference rooms, work areas, banquet kitchen, gift shop, and offices. The central focus of the building is a large axial lobby with a 20-foot high vaulted ceiling and clerestory windows.
Athens, Ala. (March 30, 2016) – The Athens-Limestone Public Library project is a holistic renovation of an abandoned and outdated grocery store building revitalized and repurposed as a new Public Library facility. The design incorporates sustainable design principles through energy efficiency, clerestory daylighting, south and west façade shading trellises, and overall building reuse. Outside the building, the parking lot was reworked to improve circulation and accessibility.
Inside its 37,900 square feet of building area, the facility contains almost 25,000 square feet of public spaces including dedicated children’s area, teen area, local history room, computer lab, used book store, and a snack/coffee area named the “Whimsy Tree Cafe”. The open floor plan in the main library space has numerous seating areas and study carrels for individual or groups, including multiple private study rooms. On the main axis of the library there is a large circulation desk and public computer area.
The library is wired with advanced fiber optic technology for super high speed internet and wireless networking. The large and small meeting rooms provide a space for gatherings and events and revenue stream for the Library. The Library staff was very pleased to have additional square footage for their back of house offices and storage in the new facility. After extensive design, planning, fundraising, and two phases of construction, the Athens-Limestone Public Library had their formal grand opening on January 24th, 2015.
Birmingham, Ala. (June 27, 2014) — In the aftermath of the April tornadoes of 2011, CMH Architects teamed with Cordova Mayor Drew Gilbert and City Planner Steve Ostaseski to pursue a grant to fund the redevelopment of the city. Their efforts paid off as they were awarded a HUD grant for tornado recovery from the State of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The project will not only rebuild City Hall and provide a Police Department facility, but the grant also calls for the reconfiguration of the main street road infrastructure downtown.
The two functions will be integrated into a single, interconnected, energy-efficient structure. The jail and law enforcement offices will include the latest technology, such as touch-screen security system and CCTV, as well as card access for jail and administrative employees. City Hall will feature administrative offices as well as a combined council chamber, courtroom, and community meeting room to accommodate 85 people.
“CMH has the City’s trust and confidence that we will have a project completed on time and within budget,” said Ostaseski. “They believe in our vision for the future and we are confident that our City Hall will be an addition to the city that is admired for decades into the future.” The project was bid May 6, 2014 and was awarded to the low bidder at a below budget contract amount of $3,447,352.00. Construction for this project will start in early July 2014 and be complete in June 2015.
Birmingham, Ala. (June 23, 2014) — After extensive planning, the Athens-Limestone Public Library renovation project has begun construction. This project involves the conversion of an abandoned Kroger grocery store building into a versatile community facility. The building incorporates a public library, rentable large meeting room, rentable small meeting room, computer lab, coffee and snack area, used bookstore, and modern features like access to public computers and wireless internet.
MLIS Director of the Athens-Limestone Public Library, Paula Laurita, is enthusiastic, stating that “working with CMH is a pleasure. They listen to our vision, designing for our strengths and our unique needs, not just following trends. Together we are creating a community gathering place.” In addition to this collaborative and innovative design, the preliminary cost estimates for the project have come in under budget, a longtime hallmark of CMH projects.
The revitalized structure utilizes sustainable design principles through energy-efficient light fixtures and conditioning equipment, low-flow toilet fixtures, shaded glazing on the southern and western exposures, and complete building reuse, among other features. Construction of the phase-two interior portion of the project is currently underway with a building completion date estimated for fall of 2014.
Birmingham, Ala. (May 27, 2014) — CMH recently had the pleasure of working with Mary Wright from Heritage Homes and Land Acquistions (HHLA) to develop prototype loft style apartment housing designs. The purpose of Mary’s HHLA organization is to help former convicts from the state prison system get back on their feet with an affordable, yet desirable, housing alternative while they work their way back into mainstream society.
Mary has a real heart for ministry, and has been working alongside her husband volunteering in prison ministry. She has seen firsthand how hard it can be for reformed felons to re-integrate into the job market and into daily life in general. Phase One of her HHLA project will be to construct one-bedroom units that can be rented at affordable prices until such time comes that a former convict has enough money saved up to rent a cottage or purchase a small home (potentially Phases Two and Three of HHLA).
If you would like to learn more about Mary Wright and her ministry project, see the following website: http://www.marybeautifulwright.com/#!my-charity/c1s6z. CMH is proud to have served as a pro-bono partner in this project, and we look forward to continuing to progress the design as construction nears.
Birmingham, Ala. (Aug. 19, 2013) – CMH recently completed the new Justin Sollohub Justice Center for the City of Anniston, a complex facility which combines the police department, municipal court, and jail into one 57,500-square-foot building. Chief Denham stated that “CMH’s knowledge of public safety facilities is clearly apparent in the design of our New Justin Sollohub Justice Center. Their design–build layout together with state of the art security electronics and their project management not only delivered a well-constructed, secure facility, but increased our efficiency both in manpower and the operations and maintenance of the building itself.”
The police facility includes customized spaces for each division: Administrative Department, Special Response Team, including enclosed storage for all their specialized equipment, weapons, and vehicles; a full crime lab and secure evidence storage area; Investigative Department; Patrol Unit; and Animal Control. Each of these spaces includes cutting-edge technology and is specifically designed to enhance the functionality and efficiency of each division.
The courtroom, which accommodates 200 and includes custom-designed equipment, and be converted to a community meeting room, a police training facility, or a public safety shelter during emergency weather events.
The jail was designed to accommodate 110 inmates in precast concrete modular cells that were delivered on-site complete with all furnishings, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC ducts, which also expedited the construction schedule. The jail also includes a full-service kitchen and laundry, an enclosed sally port for secure inmate drop-off, the latest electronic security system, and video visitation that allows family members to electronically visit without the inmate having to leave their cell block.
This project had a pre-construction total budget including design fees of $15 million but was designed, constructed, and furnished for a final project cost of $14.4 million.
Birmingham, Ala. (June 21, 2013) — CMH is proud to announce that its recently completed project, the Naval Main Exchange in Bethesda, Maryland, has received LEED Gold Certification. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED buildings are evaluated based on fulfillment of certain sustainable design criteria, such as energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality improvement, better building material choices, site sustainability, and innovation in design.
The 150,000-square-foot, 2-story design-build project included a retail component and a parking deck. CMH not only fulfilled the green standards of excellence on this complex project, but did so while working within the constraints of an extremely tight site at the National Naval Medical Center. Alabama-based Brasfield & Gorrie joined forces with Michigan-based Walbridge Construction to serve as the contractor for the project.
“We are always environmentally conscious in our design choices,” said Firm Senior Vice President Michael O’Kelley, “but this project presented specific design challenges that allowed us to create new and innovative efficient-design solutions.”