UofSC wins the rare Active Minds Healthy Campus Award!


COLUMBIA, SC - May 23, 2018 - Quackenbush Architects + Planners is thrilled to announce how the University of South Carolina has earned a rare national achievement!

UofSC is the only college in South Carolina — and one of only seven in the nation — to win the national Active Minds Healthy Campus Award. Recognizing the healthiest college campuses in the U.S., the award celebrates institutions that demonstrate excellence in prioritizing and promoting the health and well-being of their students.

Many thanks to USC for letting us be a part of this experience! 

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Quackenbush Architects + Planners Announces Three New Associates


COLUMBIA, SC – April 3, 2018 – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to announce and welcome three new associates to its team — Mirjam Gerlach and Maria-Luz Torres, both intern architects, and Kyle Alston, graphic designer and marketing coordinator.

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Q+ Architects Welcomes Senior Interior Designer, Introduces Q+ Interiors Studio


COLUMBIA, SC –November 20, 2017 – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to welcome Jessica Koumas, NCIDQ, to the firm as a Senior Interior Designer.  Koumas’ addition is in line with the firm’s goal to launch a Q+ Interiors Studio to expand and enhance its focus on comprehensive interior design services. 

Koumas comes to Quackenbush Architects with more than 22 years of experience in space planning, project management and interior design. Koumas will also be tasked with building strategic partnerships and relationships as the firm expands its focus. As an interior designer, she has overseen multiple projects in the higher education, K-12, health care, renovation, faith-based and corporate office markets.  Her solid background managing client expectations combined with years of diverse interior design experience allows her to excel at discerning and meeting client needs.

Koumas holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, and is credentialed by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), the industry’s highest standard of excellence in the practice of interior design. NCIDQ represents a designer’s knowledge and proficiency in the latest interior design principles and practices as well as competency with contract documents, administration and decision-making skills. In addition to her NCIDQ certification she also obtained LEED AP certification in 2003; a credential that denotes proficiency in today’s sustainable design, construction and operations standards.  Since 2012 Jessica has served on the board of CREW Midlands, the premier business networking organization dedicated to supporting the achievements of women in commercial real estate, and in 2015 she served as president for the local chapter.

“Jessica’s extensive skills and experience are tremendous assets,” says firm President Doug Quackenbush. “She is creative, knowledgeable, and client focused- we are delighted to welcome her to the Q+ team.”

With Koumas joining Interior Designer Lydia Ureda, the Q+ team now has two interior designers to support the firm’s commitment to expand its market focus on comprehensive interior design and to broaden its reach into the private sector. 

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Midlands Technical College opens Learning Resource Center on Beltline Campus

Midlands Technical College (MTC) officially opened its $14.5 million Learning Resource Center on the college’s Beltline Campus. Representatives from local, county, and state government helped cut the ribbon before touring the 43,000-square-foot facility, the newest building on any Midlands Technical College campus.

“We are so proud to offer this beautiful new facility to our students and the community,” said Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “You could call this center the new ‘front door’ to the MTC Beltline Campus. It is specifically designed to provide a space for our students that encourages collaboration, as well as educational and personal success. Students can come here and have access to all the great resources MTC offers, under one roof."

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Q+ proud to announce Wendy Bertani as part of AIASC LDA

COLUMBIA, SC – September 26, 2017 – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to announce Wendy Bertani as part of the 2017-2018 class of The American Institute of Architects South Carolina Leadership Development Academy.

The American Institute of Architects South Carolina Leadership Development Academy (AIASC LDA) prepares emerging architects for their future in the professional world by providing opportunities to develop leadership skills, mentorship and relationships with their classmates, communities and experienced professionals. The AIASC LDA selects program applicants to develop themselves as the next generation of architectural leaders in the state of South Carolina by broadening their exposure in multiple areas of the practice.

Wendy notes that she is most looking forward to learning from her peers from across the state of South Carolina and using that knowledge to better her community. “Architecture has enriched my life on every level and having an opportunity to help bring those values to young people and our community is very exciting,” Wendy says, “Architecture is not just about building an aesthetically pleasing building, it is about critical thinking, creative problem solving and teamwork.”

The curriculum will focus on core skills such as marketing and business development, office and firm management, presentation and public speaking, professional ethics and the law, philanthropy and board involvement, community service, industry trends, and the future of the practice.

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Gamecocks' facilities and success continue to grow

COLUMBIA – One wall, complete with rebar and temporary wooden construction platforms, has risen. South Carolina’s $50 million football operations building – called “a game-changer" by coach Will Muschamp – is in the very early stages of taking shape.

Construction and renovations have been a consistent part of USC athletics over the past decade, and while there’s always something else to do, major projects have an end in sight. What won’t end is the across-the-board success of the Gamecocks’ teams, or at least that’s the plan now that USC has caught up or in some cases surpassed the rest of the SEC or Power-5 schools.

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New USC Health Center

More than just a doctor's office

The four-story, 68,000-square-foot building under construction at the heart of campus over the past two years finally is done.

The new $27.5 million student-health center, open now next to the current Thomson Student Health Center, will offer a range of services including:

  • An eye clinic
  • Expanded sports medicine and physical therapy services, including a rehab gym
  • Expanded pharmacy with more prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs
  • A demonstration kitchen to teach healthy eating habits

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Quackenbush Architects + Planners Announces Three Newly Licensed Architects

COLUMBIA, SC – May 22, 2017 – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to announce that three of its team members—Wendy Michelle Bertani AIA, LEED AP, Kyle Fant AIA, and Spencer Hutchinson AIA—passed the Architectural Registration Examination and are now licensed architects in the state.

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Quackenbush Architects + Planners Wins AIA SC Honor Award

Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to announce that the firm has won a prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA) award for its Russell House Leadership and Service Center project at the University of South Carolina.

The AIA South Carolina Honor award was presented to the Q+ team at the AIA South Carolina Awards Banquet on April 17, 2017, at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Charleston, S.C. 

Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to announce that the firm has won a prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA) award for its Russell House Leadership and Service Center project at the University of South Carolina.

The AIA South Carolina Honor award was presented to the Q+ team at the AIA South Carolina Awards Banquet on April 17, 2017, at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Charleston, S.C.

The 3,740-square-foot renovation was recognized for how the design transformed a typical office suite into an open and technologically-driven multi-purpose space that encourages student and staff interaction. The new design includes the subtle use of partitions to create flexible spaces, complete with mobile furniture that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate different uses.

 AIA SC jurors praised the center’s detailed and more broadly defined design elements. One juror commended the interior space on how well it blended “harmoniously with the lines and features of the main building,” while another called the spaces “fresh and simple,” lauding the high quality of light. Still another commented on the “finesse in the details.”

A key feature of the center’s design is a prominent cantilevered bay window that provides optimal north-facing daylight. Located close to the Russell House entrance, the bay window provides what one juror suggests is a new identity for the center, observing “what a difference” the bay window makes to the space.

Another distinctive design element is the “high performance” walls that not only house interactive digital media, but also create a central transition zone. Remaining walls are transparent or semi-transparent glazed surfaces, continuing the open air feeling and allowing natural light to penetrate the suite. These walls, noted one juror, help to create both a “nicely minimalist and rigorously detailed” design.

Presented each year, the AIA SC awards recognize the very best of architecture in the state, with the aim of honoring design excellence in the profession and increasing public awareness of the value of  exemplary design.

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Q+ Architects Welcomes Interior Designer

COLUMBIA, SC – March 20, 2017 – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to welcome Lydia Ureda, IIDA, NCIDQ, to the firm as interior designer.

A native of Spartanburg, Ureda comes to Quackenbush after having completed design projects in the areas of new construction, commercial and residential remodeling, and commercial furniture installation. Ureda has also managed a number of projects that involved collaboration with architects on furniture and interior finish selections including flooring and surfacing products.

From 2011 to 2014 Ureda worked as a designer in the Facilities Design and Construction department at the University of South Carolina. She was involved with projects all over the campus, most notably for USC Athletics, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Nursing.

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USC Moves Ahead with Football Operations Center

South Carolina is in the process of building a new $50 million Football Operations Center as part of the Expanding Our Vision Capital Initiative. The state-of-the-art facility will give the coaches and student-athletes the ability to train and compete at the highest level.

"The Football Operations Center puts us at the forefront of facilities in college football," said South Carolina Head Football Coach Will Muschamp. "We are currently in the bottom half of the SEC in terms of football facilities. The Football Operations Center shows a commitment from the University to future student-athletes, as well as the student-athletes we currently have on campus."

South Carolina is in the process of building a new $50 million Football Operations Center as part of the Expanding Our Vision Capital Initiative. The state-of-the-art facility will give the coaches and student-athletes the ability to train and compete at the highest level.

"The Football Operations Center puts us at the forefront of facilities in college football," said South Carolina Head Football Coach Will Muschamp. "We are currently in the bottom half of the SEC in terms of football facilities. The Football Operations Center shows a commitment from the University to future student-athletes, as well as the student-athletes we currently have on campus."

The Football Operations Center received its final state approval on November 7 from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority. The project earlier had been approved by the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees, the Joint Bond Review Committee and the Committee on Higher Education.

The new center eliminates the current fractured alignment of football facilities within the football stadium and elsewhere. The proposed facility will be located adjacent to the Jerri and Steve Spurrier Indoor Football Facility and will feature coaches’ offices, locker room, meeting rooms, weight room, training room, dining room, players’ lounge and equipment room; all in one location.

"For our players, it's a one-stop shop," Muschamp said. "It's going to be just fabulous for us as a staff. Right now, our practice situation is phenomenal. We've got the nicest (indoor facility) I've ever been around and two grass practice fields with plenty of work space outside of that. To get this facility done, I'm really excited."

"It all goes back to recruiting... To win the battles on the field, you have to win the battles in recruiting."-Will Muschamp

“Perception is reality to these recruits,” said Director of Strength and Conditioning for South Carolina Football Jeff Dillman. “I tell them all the time that we’ve got a 12,000 square foot weight room right now, and we’re going to double that size when we have the facility built. It’s going to be beautiful, but it’s not just what it looks like; it’s how you use it. You’ve got to stay on track with all of these other programs around the country because they’re building all of these new facilities. That’s one of the things you hear about from these recruits.”

With hefty demands on the student-athletes' time for athletics as well as academics, the Football Operations Center centralizes all football activities to maximize preparations and allows for a more efficient way for student-athletes and coaches to conduct their daily responsibilities.

"Our in-state rivals are building a brand-new football operations facility," Muschamp said. "It all goes back to recruiting. It's about the bells and whistles that impresses a student-athlete when they come on our campus. To win the battles on the field, you have to win the battles in recruiting.”

More than half of the football programs in the SEC already have a consolidated football facility to base all of their operations, and South Carolina looks to not only keep up, but move ahead of the pack. Not only will the facility enhance the student-athlete's ability to train and compete at the highest level, but it will also serve as a showcase for recruits and their parents, while continuing to provide peace of mind to donors that their contributions are being reinvested for the good of the student-athletes.

"I think it's going to be a game-changer for us as far as the student-athletes on our campus presently, but also in the recruiting process,” Muschamp said. “We all like shiny and new. It will be, and we've been able to put our hands on it with the architects and get exactly what we want. We're really excited about that process.”

Construction for the Football Operations Center is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017 with a completion date slated for 2018.

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Q+ Architects Welcomes Intern Architect

Quackenbush Architects + Planners welcomes Jueminsi Wu, Associate AIA, to the firm as intern architect.

Wu, a native of Wuhan, China, is a recent graduate of the Clemson University Master of Landscape Architecture program. She completed her Bachelor of Architecture at the Suzhou University of Science and Technology in Suzhou, China.

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Q+ Welcomes Marketing Coordinator to Team

COLUMBIA, SC – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to welcome Brandon Brazell to the firm as a Marketing Graphic Designer.

Brazell graduated in May 2016 from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a focus on Graphic Design. During his time at the university, he worked as a student designer in the Creative Services department, where he designed and illustrated business advertising and campaigns for The Daily Gamecock newspaper and the studentGarnet and Black magazine, as well as for other non-USC organizations and businesses.




COLUMBIA, SC – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to welcome Brandon Brazell to the firm as a Marketing Graphic Designer.

Brazell graduated in May 2016 from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a focus on Graphic Design. During his time at the university, he worked as a student designer in the Creative Services department, where he designed and illustrated business advertising and campaigns for The Daily Gamecock newspaper and the studentGarnet and Black magazine, as well as for other non-USC organizations and businesses.

Over the past year Brazell’s designs have been recognized by several professional organizations. In early 2016 the College Media Business & Advertising Managers named him with “Designer of the Year” for his collective work during the 2015-2016 academic year on The Daily Gamecock. The national membership organization, which represents over 125 colleges and universities nationwide, provides leadership development and emphasis on high industry standards in the field of college media and advertising.

Brazell and the Creative Services team also won a prestigious “Best Poster Series” award from 2016 American Advertising Federation of the Midlands. The series included posters featuring designs of some of the most prominent of University of South Carolina campus landmarks, including the Horseshoe and the Capstone Building.

“Our goal was to create posters that represented each location individually while retaining cohesive design elements,” says Brazell. “The design allows clients to advertise their businesses.” He’s particularly proud of his senior year project, a design that featured a Columbia Olympic Games logo, which imagined the 2016 Games as being held in Columbia. The logo included icons representing the Broad River, the manufacturing and technology industries, as well as the historical aspects of the railroad system and textile industries.

“I wanted to keep the style fun and bright, with plenty of movement and depth, while using flat colors and simple shapes and patterns,” he says.

In his new position at Q+, Brazell will provide client and staff support, an opportunity he feels will help him develop professionally as a graphic designer. “I’m excited to be a part of the Q+ team. The firm has a proud history in helping shape Columbia and the region,” he says. “I’m also interested in seeing how graphic designers collaborate with architects on the various projects.”

“Brandon’s responsiveness and enthusiasm will help support our team as we continue to serve our clients and community,” President Doug Quackenbush says. “We’re excited to have him join the team.”


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Q+ Welcomes Associate Architect to Team

COLUMBIA, SC – July 15, 2016 –Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to welcome Spencer Hutchinson, Associate AIA, to the firm as intern architect.

 A recent graduate of the Clemson University Master of Architecture program, Hutchinson previously worked with Quackenbush in 2015 as a summer intern on several projects, including a feasibility study for the University of South Carolina Football Operations Building.

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Q+ Welcomes Milne as Interior Designer

COLUMBIA, SC – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is pleased to welcome Brenna Milne, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP, to the firm as interior designer.

Named by the Orlando Business Journal as among the “Next Generation of Design,” Milne has 10 years of experience managing a variety of educational and corporate projects. Most recently, she was a senior interior designer and project manager at HKS Architects, Inc., in Orlando, FL, where she assisted in creating a live-learn community environment in a 244,000-square-foot student housing facility at Florida International University. The design, which houses 620 students, includes a variety of multi-functional common areas, including academic support, retail, food service, recreational facilities and a parking garage. The building earned a LEED Silver Certification and received the Orlando American Institute of Architects Design Excellence Award for outstanding architectural achievement.

Another project where Milne took a lead design role includes creating a flexible work-play environment for the tech firm Power DMS in the Orlando historic Church Street Exchange. Milne’s design throughout the 13,200-square foot office building includes themed “neighborhoods” featuring a main commons area with a full commercial grade kitchen and bar area to a wellness room that transforms into a serene environment with massage services. At Q+ Milne will focus on educational projects and on developing the firm’s corporate interiors practice.

Milne is credentialed by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), the industry’s highest standard of excellence in the practice of interior design. NCIDQ represents a designer’s knowledge and proficiency in the latest interior design principles and practices as well as competency with contract documents, administration and decision-making skills, says firm President Doug Quackenbush. “Brenna’s portfolio reflects the kind of innovative design that illustrates where spaces, whether work or play, are heading,” he says. “Her experience is particularly valuable as we grow our corporate practice.”

Milne also is a member of the International Interior Design Association and is a licensed interior designer. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Florida State University and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

“We’re thrilled to have a design professional like Brenna join our Q+ team,” Quackenbush says. “Her creative designs reflect our ideas about design as an integral part of architecture and as advancing the integrity of interior space.” 

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Robyn Fisher selected for Leadership Columbia 2015-2016 Class, Named Midlands Director for SC American Institute of Architects

COLUMBIA, SC – Robyn Fisher, architect at Quackenbush Architects + Planners, was recently selected to join Leadership Columbia Class of 2016.

Fisher is one of 59 emerging and existing leaders from a cross-section of institutions, including business, government and nonprofit organizations, chosen to participate in this highly selective program. An initiative of the Columbia Chamber, Leadership Columbia focuses on regional issues, deepening leadership skills, and building relationships among individuals committed to their community.

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Construction to Instruction: Finishing Touches Added to New Chapin Middle School


Middle school students in Lexington-Richland School District Five will embark on a new year Wednesday at a brand-new campus designed to launch them into a successful high school career. The school’s outside is not quite finished, but Chapin Middle teachers say it’s the inside — the people and the instruction — that counts.

Teachers and construction workers stayed late into the evening Monday to ensure each classroom and instructional area was ready for students’ return Wednesday. Laborers painted, installed furniture and prepped the courtyards to become outdoor learning spaces as teachers hung posters and arranged desks.

Principal Anna Miller said she was “involved from the ground up” during the design process for the school on Broad River Road.

“It’s been a beautiful whirlwind,” she said.

Chapin Middle serves seventh-graders and eighth-graders, while the former Chapin Middle campus, renamed Chapin Intermediate School, serves fifth and sixth grades. The finishes are natural colors, and the large exterior and classroom windows give the school a light and bright feel.

“It says come in and joins us … It invites everyone,” eighth-grade math teacher David Fisher said.

Miller noted the amount of windows gives teachers, administrators and the school resource officer more visibility and increases safety.

The updated versions of traditional desks allow students and teachers to move around easily for collaboration or to change up the classroom layout. Students, teachers and parents were able to vote on the style of desk at the end of last school year.

“They allow for interaction between students,” teaching assistant Brenda Macaluso said.

Chapin Middle is Lexington-Richland Five’s first 2-story middle school, but seventh and eighth graders aren’t kept separate. Miller said the school is arranged by subject instead of grade to get students used to transitioning between classes as they will in high school. Having two English or math teachers next door also provides opportunity for impromptu planning.

“Those three to four minutes in between classes add up … Instruction is at the forefront,” Miller said.

Fisher said teachers’ collaboration will be easier with two grades at the school instead of the typical three. Miller agreed there’s a big difference between sixth and seventh grade, and staff can better focus on preparing Chapin Middle’s seventh and eighth graders for the next big leap.

“Middle school is stepping stone for high school,” Macaluso said.

The two-grade design gives Lexington-Richland Five an intermediate school on both sides of the district. CrossRoads Intermediate School serves sixth-graders in the St. Andrews area.

Chapin Middle did not hold a traditional open house for parents and students because of construction, which was delayed because of spring rains. But Miller has brought the “Eagle Launch” orientation model to her new school. Students only need to know their first block teacher when they arrive Wednesday.

“The teacher will take care of that class for the rest of the day,” Miller said.

A few families were able to tour parts of the building during late registration.

“They had big eyes, dropped mouths and big smiles,” Miller said.

Student body president Gracie Culley said she’s already scoped out a few areas to study with friends.

“The traffic flow should be a lot better in the hallways,” she said.

The school was built to relieve overcrowding at the former Chapin Middle, which housed 1,185 students last year. Miller said enrollment at Chapin Middle is already above what was projected, and more than 800 students will learn there this year.

Chapin Middle is the last school built with funds from the 2008 bond referendum. District spokesperson Katrina Goggins said it’s too early to say if board members are considering another but noted “there’s tremendous growth in (the Chapin) area.”

Read the original story here.  Read more about the project here.  See the videos here and here See construction progress on the new middle school here.

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Quackenbush Presents at International Conference

COLUMBIA, SC – Doug Quackenbush, President of Quackenbush Architects + Planners, presented at the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I) Conference in Orlando, Florida on June 30th . Doug participated on a panel that included the Director of Housing at Coastal Carolina University Stephen Harrison, and representatives from Mackey Mitchell Architects- Merrilee Hertlein and Kyle Wagner.

The ACUHO-I has more than 1,000 member campuses, as well as more than 250 product and service providers, all dedicated to creating educational and enriching residential experiences on campuses around the world. ACUHO-I empowers these efforts through informative events and programs, invaluable resources, and an invigorating professional network.

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Quackenbush Shares Student Union Design Expertise

COLUMBIA, SC – Doug Quackenbush, President of Quackenbush Architects + Planners, contributed to the recent 2015 SEC Union Directors Summer Meeting through a panel discussion entitled “Why the College Union (still) Matters”. The discussion explored the evolving role of the college union on university campuses. 

The panel comprised of six participants representing a variety of perspectives on the modern university campus.  Quackenbush offered his insight and expertise on the panel via the recently completed USC Russell House Leadership and Service Center alongside Kim McMahon, Director of Campus Life at the University of South Carolina.

When asked about the changing needs of the college student union, and our role in that evolution, Quackenbush gave the following answer: 

“The Union has always been the ‘living room’ of the college campus- and as such, will continue to be the social hub for students, faculty, and administration. The evolving need, as I see it, is keeping up with the needs and preferences of today’s student population: solving the keys to attracting students, enabling collaboration, and engaging in learning- even if it’s over a meal or during ‘down-time.’ Today, we feel this requires spaces that are comfortable, flexible and adaptable,  and perhaps the most under rated feature- spaces that are ‘cool.’  For this generation of students, this usually means sleek, modern, and loaded with tech.”

Quackenbush also discussed the need for “sticky” and “collision” spaces within the student union. The union serves as the main social hub in the heart of campus and its primary mission is to build “community.’ As such, good designs feature spaces that are welcoming, inviting, comfortable, day light filled and easily accessible- and therefore “sticky”, fostering organic interaction among students.  And “collision” spaces- typically common spaces strategically located at the major intersections of building circulation- also encourage natural interactions and collaboration, and tend to food service options.  

Quackenbush also lent his expertise to a panel discussion on student housing, “Coastal Connections: Relationships between People and Place at Coastal Carolina University,” at the 2015 Association of College and University Housing Officers – International Annual Conference on June 30th in Orlando, Florida. 

Read more about the project here.

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Midlands Technical College Constructing New Learning Resource Center on Beltline Campus

COLUMBIA, SC – Midlands Technical College has begun construction of the Learning Resource Center on its Beltline Campus. This three-story building will become the focal point of the campus along Rosewood Drive.  The center will feature technology-rich classrooms and computer labs equipped for teleconferencing, an Academic Success Center with onsite tutoring, individual study rooms and a student commons area.  Construction will take approximately two years.

“This new facility will be the signature academic building of the college’s Beltline Campus,” said MTC President, Dr. Ronald L. Rhames.  “It’s another example of how MTC encourages dynamic teaching and learning in a state-of-the-art environment.  Everything we do is geared toward being an innovative leader in higher education.”

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Blowfish ready for new season in new stadium


This year, summer nights in Lexington County will include live music, fireworks, prizes, cold beer for the grown-ups and space for kids to play – all delivered within the space of nine innings of baseball.

When the new Lexington County Baseball Stadium opens on Ballpark Road in Lexington County on Wednesday, May 27, every Lexington County Blowfish home game will include theme nights, giveaways, entertainment and interaction with the players. Each game will also feature a local nonprofit with representatives on hand to share information about the work they do. The nonprofits can also sell game tickets to supporters and keep some of the proceeds.

For example, at opening night on May 27, Harvest Hope Food Bank will be on hand, and fans who bring a canned good to donate will receive a free Blowfish rally towel.

Bill Shanahan, who owns the Coastal League summer collegiate team with his wife, Vicki, wants every game to help better the Lexington community in some way.

“Instead of the giveaway where you just get something when you come in, we’re trying to help some nonprofits,” Shanahan said. “Sure, they need the donations, but they also need the publicity.”

Each home game will also feature a Military Family of the Night. The USO is helping the Blowfish choose families to honor. That family will throw out the first pitch, share their story between innings, and “get the best seats in the house,” Shanahan said.

There will also be standing promotions throughout the summer.

Each week will kick off with Monday Night Football at the ballpark. Fans can win prizes for wearing their favorite football team’s gear.

Tuesdays are Dog Days at the park. With every adult dog ticket purchased, the human gets in free, Shanahan joked. Owners will lead their pets in a pooch parade around the field.

Wednesdays are Ladies’ Nights, where the first 500 female fans will win a Mary Kay Cosmetics gift bag.

Thursdays are “Thursty Thirsdays” with drink specials.

Fridays are Faith Nights, with live performances by Christian musicians before the game.

On Saturdays, kids can take the field to play catch with Blowfish players before the game.

Fridays and Saturdays will also be popular nights at the ballpark for the fireworks show after those games.

“From a promotional standpoint, we know what people like. What people really like is fireworks,” Shanahan said.

Special promotions will round out the schedule of events, including a Superhero night, a “Star Wars” night, a Middle Child Appreciation Night, a “Frozen” night, and nights for Clemson and Carolina fans to show their colors.

On Splish Splash Saturday (May 30), fans are invited to wear Hawaiian shirts for a chance to win Lake Murray-themed prizes. The team will call itself the Lake Murray Blowfish that night, wearing special jerseys showing the lake and dam. Fans can bid on the jersey of their favorite player, and winners will take home the jersey after the game. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Lake Murray July Fourth fireworks display.

Similarly, special jerseys will be designed for the June 20 game, featuring pinstripes in the colors of each high school in Lexington School District One. Those jerseys will also be auctioned, with proceeds benefitting the Lexington One Foundation.

During the games, fans will be able to enjoy a view of the field from Wrigley Field-style stadium seats – or from a food and beverage court housed under a 2,000-square-foot permanent tent. Kids can hang out on “Homerun Hill,” just past left field’s low fence, for a chance to snag some home run balls. They’ll also be able to high-five the players as they run past Homerun Hill on their way from the locker room to the dugout.

Bill and Vicki Shanahan hope that residents across Lexington County will consider The Blowfish and the stadium their hometown team and ballpark. The facility has incorporated bleachers from the old Wildcat Hollow and renovated an existing locker room to pay homage to the site’s history.

“How many people watched their grandsons or granddaughters graduate here, cheerlead, play football?” Shanahan said as he looked out at the new baseball field on the site of the old football field.

“We’re taking 40 years of wonderful memories and adding new memories.”

To see a full game schedule and purchase tickets, click here.

To read the original story, click here.

To read more about the project, click here.  To follow construction progress, click here.

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Eastminster Presbyterian Church Renovation Awarded by Historic Columbia Foundation

COLUMBIA, SC – The Eastminster Presbyterian Church was honored with an award for Preservation/Restoration by the Preservation Awards Committee of the Historic Columbia Foundation. Mashburn Construction worked with Quackenbush Architects + Planners to complete the 30,000 square foot historic renovation. Together Mashburn and Quackenbush carefully updated the church while respecting and preserving the already existing architectural character.

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Healthier Gamecocks a long-held goal of new USC student health center


When ground is broken, probably in July, on a new, $27.5 million student health center at the University of South Carolina, it will be a big step toward a long-held university goal: healthier Gamecocks.

The four-story, 65,000-square-foot building is going up in the historic center of the burgeoning Columbia campus next to the Thomson Health Center behind the Russell House Theater and adjacent to the Thomas Cooper Library.

Right now, the Thomson center houses a pretty significant array of medical services for USC’s 30,000-student population, from general medicine and women’s care, to sports medicine, lab, X-ray, pharmacy and physical therapy.

The 36,000-square-foot facility the school has been using as its health center since 1972 – initially it was an infirmary – limits the university’s ability to expand services or add new ones, said Deborah Beck, USC student services executive director.

When the new health center opens as planned for the spring semester of 2017, all campus health services will be housed in the same general location inside the two buildings, which will be connected by a tunnel, Beck said.

The facility will be paid for with $13 million in bonds with the balance coming from student health center reserves, said USC spokesman Wes Hickman.

“This building is going to be a symbol that we are all Healthy Carolina,” Beck said, referring to the campus initiative 10 years ago designed to change the university’s policies and campus culture to reflect the importance of health and wellness.

About 64,000 patients use the aging center each year, she said. “With the volumes of patients that we see every year, it just makes it difficult to be as efficient and to expand our services as those students are continuing to come in,” Beck said.

Psychiatric services also are housed in the Thomson Health Center, though the university’s counseling services are housed several blocks away in the Byrnes building.

During the past couple of years, the center and USC have worked to become accredited as a “patient center medical home,” a designation Beck said that fewer than 1 percent of the nation’s university health centers have. That achievement means the center can treat patients holistically to include preventative medicine, health education and lots of health screenings.

“All our services are so comprehensive that we can do everything within that student health services, so (students) don’t have to be referred out to the community,” she said. Those kinds of holistic services are linked to greater student retention and higher rates of success, Beck said.

Student patient load is so heavy that university faculty and staff generally are not treated at the health center, though that too will improve with the new center, she said. The center has 170 staff members, including 13 physicians – all with board specialties in emergency, family, internal medicine, gynecology, psychiatry and pediatrics, Beck said.

Maintaining certification is a condition of employment, she said.

All the medical services currently administered in the Thomson center – general medicine, lab, X-ray, pharmacy, sports medicine, physical therapy, women’s care – will move to the new building when it opens, Beck said. But the new facility will have 36 examination rooms from the current 13. There also will be more procedure rooms to serve more patients.

Lab services, X-ray and pharmacy services will be expanded to include the ability to provide ultrasound services and more pharmaceuticals including over-the-counter, Beck said.

“We’ve been planning this building for about 10 years,” Beck said. “In fact, we actually asked students if they wanted this facility and they were all so positive about wanting the expanded services, that we’ve actually been using part of their health fees to help support this.”

Students pay $169 per semester in health fees, she said, and $23 of that has gone each semester to a health center reserves fund, Beck said. USC student government voted to have their fees used for the expanded health services.

Students were involved in planning the new building through focus groups, identifying the services they wanted and the nature of the building, Beck said, which will have a “biofilia concept.” That means the building will not only be a place for health care and prevention, but also a quiet place to study.

There will be lots of glass and the aim is for the building to be LEED certified. “Everywhere that we have been able to bring life – the outside to inside the building – we’re doing that,” including a living wall in the health center’s lobby.

“It’s all about health and wellness,” said Beck, who has been with university nine years. “We want them to see this as a building that will improve their overall health and well-being, and to be really good consumers of health care long after they graduate.”


Read the original story in The State.

Read more about the project here.

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CCU Lib Jackson Student Center Dedication

CONWAY, SC – February 27 – Quackenbush Architects + Planners joined Coastal Carolina University Friday afternoon to celebrate the dedication of the renovation and expansion of the Lib Jackson Student Union.

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Q+ Staff Members Named to AIA Greater Columbia Executive Committee

Robyn Fisher (left) and Wendy Bertani have been named to the AIA Greater Columbia Executive Committee

Q+ Staff Members Named to AIA Greater Columbia Executive Committee

COLUMBIA, SC – The Greater Columbia Section of the American Institute of Architects has announced the election of its Board of Directors for the 2015 term. Two members of the Q+ staff, Robyn Fisher and Wendy Bertani, were among those honored as Board Members. Fisher will serve as President, and Bertani will serve as Vice-President/President Elect for the 2015 term.

The complete list of Board Members is as follows:

2015 Executive Committee:

President:  Robyn Fisher, AIA, LEED GA 

Vice-President/President-Elect:  Wendy Bertani, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Secretary:  Andrew Rogerson, AIA, LEED AP

Treasurer:  Tara Jerdan, AIA

Past President:  John Powell, AIA, LEED AP


2015 Board Members/Directors:                                                

Midlands Director:  Josh Boltinhouse, AIA, LEED AP

Board Members:  Tripp Riley, AIA; Coral Brandt, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; David Sickinger, AIA, LEED AP; Josh Bucher, AIA; Hunter McKenzie, AIA; Brandon Rogers, Assoc. AIA; Ashley Colquhoun, Assoc. AIA

The AIA Greater Columbia Section is an all-volunteer organization which plans and hosts many events for the architecture and design community, as well as the general public.  The members regularly participate in membership meetings, continuing education courses, mentoring programs, and social and charity events.  This year, two board members will represent the chapter at the AIA Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.  The section will host the annual Kids in Architecture Day in partnership with the Columbia Museum of Art.  AIA Greater Columbia will offer a scholarship program to Clemson University School of Architecture students competing in the annual Solar Decathlon.  The section also regularly teams with other local professional and design related organizations to promote interaction between the design-related disciplines.

Read more of the story here.

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Blowfish Formalize Move to Lexington County

"Wildcat Hollow" Site of New Collegiate Baseball Stadium

COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 28, 2014) - Shanahan & Company Sports Management LLC, parent company of the Blowfish, announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission to market and manage a new collegiate baseball stadium in Lexington County.

"We are excited to partner with Bill Shanahan who brings 30 years of sports ownership, management, marketing and sales experience to the table." said Lexington County Recreation Aging Commission Executive Director, Randy Gibson. "Lexington County is continuously developing ways to improve our community through sports and recreation, and this is another giant step in achieving that goal."

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Blowfish Formalize Move to Lexington County


Janie Kronk Gossett Achieves Licensure, GGP Certification

COLUMBIA, SC – Quackenbush Architects + Planners announced that Janie Kronk Gossett, AIA LEED AP BD+C GGP, recently earned her architectural license from the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) and certification as a Green Globes ProfessionalTM from the Green Building Initiative (GBI). Gossett, an architect with particular interest in sustainable design, has been with Q+ since 2006.

“Janie’s NCARB registration and GGP certification speak volumes about her commitment to professional growth,” says Doug Quackenbush, President of Quackenbush Architects + Planners. “She continues to seek out new challenges and opportunities in her work, which reflect the core principles we value at Q+.”

Registration as an architect is an intense process requiring the candidate to pass 7 Architectural Registration Exams and complete the Intern Development Program, a work experience regimen developing competence in programming, site and environmental analysis, construction documents, specifications and materials research, and project management. The GGP certification recognizes the architect’s capability to use the Green Globes assessment and rating system in developing energy efficient buildings which offer a healthy and environmentally sustainable design.

Gossett’s role at Q+ includes all phases of project design and development, leadership in sustainable design, and marketing coordination.

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Q+ Welcomes New Architect

COLUMBIA, SC – June 30 – Quackenbush Architects + Planners is proud to welcome Robyn Fisher to the firm as Project Architect. 

“The entire team is energized and delighted to have Robyn join us,” says Doug Quackenbush, President of Quackenbush Architects + Planners. “Her experience and her passion for design excellence perfectly complements our focus on exceptional architecture for our community and our clients.”

Fisher received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Clemson University and her Masters in Architecture from NC State.  During her time at Clemson, Fisher spent a semester at the Charles E. Daniel Center for Architecture and Urban Studies in Genoa, Italy. While in graduate school, Fisher participated in a study abroad program at the NC State Prague Institute in Prague, Czech Republic.

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USC Softball Stadium Featured in "Athletic Business"

ATHLETIC BUSINESS - The University of South Carolina replaced its outdated softball stadium with a larger facility that accommodates 1,400 people — approximately double the previous facility’s seating capacity. An assortment of seating options range from enclosed rooms to traditional outdoor seats.

Once inside, fans are greeted with a panoramic view of the field before descending to their seats. With an excellent view of the field from all angles, visitors won’t miss the play on the field even when they are at the concessions stand, heading to the restrooms or hanging out in the stadium’s many places to socialize.

On the ground floor, student-athletes and coaches have access to player locker rooms, changing rooms, showers, coaches’ support areas, meeting rooms and training facilities. The stadium’s innovative dugout uses a deep overhang to shield team members from inclement weather while maintaining visibility to the field. Concrete pads in the dugouts are raised to field level and aligned with first and third bases to accommodate baseline cameras. In accordance with a new field requirement, baseline netting spans from home plate to first and third bases.

Brick, durable precast concrete and silver metal elements keep the stadium true to the Athletic Village’s architectural character, while natural daylight illuminates many of the stadium’s interior spaces, as well as its 4,000-square-foot batting cage.

See the original story here.  Read more about the award-winning stadium here.

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LR5 New Middle School Groundbreaking

Administrators, board members and School Improvement Council members gathered Thursday in Chapin to break ground at the site of Lexington-Richland School District Five’s new middle school campus. While they dug into the earth with ceremonial shovels, construction crews continued to clear and level land for the new home of local students.

“We are excited about the minds that will be shaped here,” said Mark Bounds, district chief information officer.

The yet-to-be-named school is the last one scheduled to be built with proceeds from the 2008 bond referendum and will be next to Spring Hill High School and Center for Advanced Technical Studies on Broad River Road.

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