December 29, 2022 posted in Aerospace & Aviation, Business, Historical Content
The world anxiously anticipated the countdown to 2000 as computer experts warned of catastrophic errors related to the formatting and storage of calendar data for dates in and after the year 2000. But the potential to bring down worldwide infrastructures for industries ranging from banking to air travel didn’t materialize thanks to many preemptive strategies.
Austin ushered in the 2000s with repeat business from legacy clients, new clients, and a successful transition to being a part of the Kajima USA group of companies in late 2005, contributing to the continuing growth of Austin’s California office throughout the 2000s.
Repeat clients included aviation, aerospace, and defense companies – most notably Boeing and Northrop Grumman. The office returned to Toyota with a series of national projects, undertook numerous new projects for Disney, and completed a long list of Southern California Edison projects under the seven-year agreement signed in 1997.
New clients and projects included a major seismic upgrade and renovation project for the US General Services Administration (GSA), emergency operations centers for Los Alamos National Laboratory and the County of Santa Barbara, and what would become new long-term relationships with Mater Dei High School and B|Braun Medical. In the late 2000s, the office launched the company’s plans to expand operations into Mexico, serving as the lead partner in Kajima-Alberici MX.
Austin completed over 175 projects for Aerospace Corporation, Boeing (and its heritage companies), Gulfstream Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman (and heritage company TRW Space & Electronics) in the first half of the decade alone (between 2000 and 2005).
For Boeing Space Systems, Austin continued work at the Decatur, AL, 1.5 million SF Satellite Launch Vehicle Production Center supporting the relocation of the Delta II and III programs to the Decatur plant. Austin also worked in Long Beach, CA, supporting the C-17 Airlifter program facilities. Support included the design and engineering of a new fitness center to serve 10,000 employees of the C-17 program. Totaling 14,000 SF, the fitness facility included a cardiovascular training area, strength/weight training area, aerobics studio, locker and shower rooms, and administrative spaces. Exterior areas featured a running trail, a multi-use soccer/football field, and basketball, tennis, and sand volleyball courts. Austin’s long relationship with Boeing, combined with recent experience completing a new fitness center for Southern California Edison in Rosemead, CA, made Austin the ideal choice for the project.
Northrop Grumman. The 2000s continued to be active in service to Northrop Grumman and heritage company TRW Space & Electronics in Southern California with more than 200 projects at the El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Palmdale, CA sites.
Austin returned to the automotive industry following a short break during the 1990s with a series of projects for Toyota. This included design, engineering, and construction work at Toyota’s auto body plant in Long Beach, a vehicle repair facility in Torrance, CA, and modernizations and expansions at Toyota Motor Sales regional facilities in Boston, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, and San Ramon, CA.
Austin actively continued the relationship that had begun in 1988 with The Walt Disney Company, with over 50 new design and engineering projects at the Disneyland Resort – over 40 projects in the first half of the decade alone (2000-2005). Most notable of these projects are the attractions infrastructure throughout the park, “back of house” support projects, and the Disneyland Hotel renovation and modernization.
Austin’s multi-discipline design and engineering team’s considerable experience with facilities infrastructure (across multiple industries) and understanding of the technical complexities of Disney’s attractions (based on decades of motion picture and television production facility experience) provided Disney with unequaled “industry cross-over” experience.
The Back of House group of projects included:
Austin was selected as the Architect of Record and Engineer for the major renovation of the Disneyland Hotel based upon their knowledge of the hotel complex infrastructure from prior projects, multi-disciplinary in-house team approach, and experience working with the company. The Austin Team completed a comprehensive Condition Assessment of the three main towers of the hotel complex then proceeded with Schematic Design, Design Development, and preparation of Construction Documents for the renovation. During construction, Austin provided full-time on-site representation and on-call engineering support from its Irvine, CA, offices.
The Disneyland Hotel renovation was a multi-year project encompassing the full renovation and modernization of the hotel’s original three main towers, including 970 guest rooms, top-floor suites, and lobbies. The 1955 hotel underwent a head-to-toe makeover that encompassed every guest room. The new guest rooms were conceived by designers at Walt Disney Imagineering with a concept that included many Disney touches, such as hidden Mickeys in the carpeting, the bathrooms, and other niches, and headboards that light up with a fiber-optics display of the world-famous Disneyland fireworks above Sleeping Beauty Castle.
The rooms were outfitted with energy-efficient lighting and double-paned, energy-efficient windows that were tinted blue to give the towers a new exterior look. The work was done in phases, with the Dream Tower completed first, then the Magic Tower and Wonder Tower rounding out the project. Disney maintained a high occupancy level at the hotel throughout the renovation, with construction crews sensitive to maintaining a positive guest experience.
Austin also provided construction management staffing support (construction project managers and superintendents) for constructing the California Adventure theme park addition to the Disneyland Resort.
In 2000, Mater Dei High School, and the Diocese of Orange County, CA, selected Austin to provide design and engineering services for a series of new projects, including a library, sciences building, student activities center, gymnasium, aquatics center, athletic fields, and performing arts center.
Mater Dei is the largest Catholic High School west of the Mississippi and is well known nationally for its academic and athletic programs. Austin was introduced to Mater Dei through our Disneyland relationships and is proud to continue to serve Mater Dei, now entering our 23rd year.
In 1997, Austin signed a major seven-year agreement with Southern California Edison as their sole facilities design, engineering, and construction partner. Between that signing and the end of 1999, Austin was awarded 95 projects. Between 2000 and 2005, Austin was awarded an additional 78 projects. Representative projects included call centers, data center upgrades, a complete renovation of the Rosemead Headquarters (including a new central plant), regional service centers, and training centers.
Austin completed two design-build projects for the Federal General Services Administration (GSA), including the modernization of the US Geological Survey campus in Menlo Park, CA, and a seismic upgrade, renovation, and modernization of the Santa Ana Federal Building also in CA.
Austin was selected for the Santa Ana Federal Building project based on its design-build experience, multi-disciplinary in-house design and engineering capabilities, and proposed solution to responding to the building’s seismic performance deficiencies.
Austin was awarded the contract based on its design-build experience and expertise in high-reliability operations centers. “In addition to its unique one-stop-shop approach, The Austin Company presented an innovative solution to difficult design parameters,” shared the construction manager for the Cerro Grande Rehabilitation Project.
Austin constructed an Engineering Sciences Building (for nanotechnology) at the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus.
In 2005, Austin began providing design and engineering services for B|Braun Medical in Irvine, CA. Austin has served B|Braun continuously since that time.
In the late 2000s, Austin launched plans to expand operations into Mexico, with the California office as the lead partner in what would become Kajima-Alberici, MX. More on these projects in the 2010s article.
Join us next in the next blog as we discuss the 2010s.