Garmann Miller & Associates
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Joe Atwood
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When Brad Garmann and Bruce Miller were colleagues at the same architecture firm, the pair noticed certain practices that they felt were missing in the industry. With a shared vision of creating a firm that focused on customer and contractor relations, Garmann and Miller set out on their own and established Garmann Miller & Associates in 1993. Since then, the Minster, Ohio-based company has grown into a full-service architectural and engineering firm. With capabilities in numerous markets, Garmann Miller specializes in K-12, higher education and local government projects.
By keeping the lines of communication open, Garmann Miller has earned a reputation as an architectural and engineering firm that listens to and meets its clients’ needs. “It goes beyond just listening to the needs of clients and contractors,” says Garmann. “You have to be proactive in responding to those needs as well.”
This philosophy has opened the door for Garmann Miller to be competitive in multiple markets throughout the industry. In addition to the education and institutional sectors, the firm has completed many projects in the health care, industrial, commercial and civic arenas. Due to its location, Garmann Miller has established itself in the agricultural sector as well, designing several grain towers and agricultural buildings throughout the region.
Building upon progress
At the company’s inception, Garmann Miller began as strictly an architectural firm. In shaping with Garmann and Miller’s vision for the company, it soon added professional engineers (PEs) to the staff and became a turnkey solutions architectural and engineering company. Currently with 42 full-time employees, Garmann Miller employs nine registered architects, three PEs and two registered landscape architects and completes work through the entire state of Ohio. The firm is licensed in six states and will venture out of its regular market for the right project.
Garmann Miller recently completed Bath Elementary School in Lima, Ohio. At 106,500 square feet, the school is designed to accommodate 820 students. The facility includes a playground that is totally separated and contained to the building, allowing for maximum safety and large play areas.
Included within the building is a 1,200-square-foot stage that opens up to a gymnasium. Placed in a central location for school as well as after-hours community use, is a two-story daylight atrium that connects the cafeteria, gymnasium, media center and main offices. Three two-story wings lead off this axis with each corridor housing a grade of classrooms as well as extended learning and special education spaces.
Garmann Miller is currently involved in a renovation and addition project for the Apollo Career Center in Lima. With a focus on academic and technical career spaces, the renovated area of the facility will consist of 117,583 square feet, while the new addition to the building will include 45,823 square feet. Garmann Miller is performing architectural and engineering duties, including mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The project is being designed to meet LEED Silver certification.
In the municipality sector, Garmann Miller has established a niche market in completing county courthouses. “We recently completed an interior restoration for a courthouse in Auglaize County,” says Garmann. “This was a historical restoration project. We were able to find some of the original artwork in the building and restore it back to all the original colors, which presented a good challenge and it all turned out very nice.”
When completing projects heavily involved on the engineering side of the spectrum, Garmann Miller will self-perform all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and technology engineering aspects of the project. In certain situations, such as auditorium or food service design, the firm often turns to its solid network of strategic partners to collaborate with. “In the case of an auditorium, which has theatrical aspects, such as lighting, acoustic and controls, we’ll often work with a consultant to meet the client’s needs,” says Garmann. “We consider them as members of our team. It’s important that we integrate all of our services to make sure that all facets are covered.”
In measuring the success of Garmann Miller, Garmann says the company focuses on customer satisfaction as well as employee satisfaction. By following up with clients upon the completion of every project, Garmann Miller is able to rely on repeat business as a yearly source of revenue for the company. “We look at our books every year and share the wealth with our employees,” says Garmann. “We’ve given bonuses to our employees every year since we started. It’s not about me; it’s about us.”
Steady growth is what the near future holds for Garmann Miller. In the next couple of years, the firm is looking to further expand its market reach while continuing to meet the needs of clients in its current market. “We are always looking for good people who can bring ideas to the table,” says Garmann. “I hope to see the company eventually continue on far beyond me.”
As the company expands its market, Garmann Miller & Associates remains an innovator and a leader in multiple sectors of the Midwest architecture and engineering industry.
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