Harrison Schools – New Junior High and Central Elementary

TP Mechanical’s Cincinnati team has been working diligently on the plumbing and HVAC for two new schools in the Southwest Local School District – Harrison Junior High and Central Elementary. Both schools are currently under construction with an anticipated completion of spring 2021. Harrison Junior High will be approximately 148,000 square feet and Central Elementary will total a little over 75,000 square feet.

The installation of a VRF system in the junior high will allow each classroom to run either heat or cooling; these systems are convenient for comfort in each individual classroom and are also highly energy efficient. Unique to an elementary school, all the plumbing was designed and installed with elementary students in mind. Drinking fountains, bathroom fixtures and plumbing were all installed at a lower height to accommodate ease of use for young children.

Not long after the projects launched, COVID-19 impacted the industry. Our team saw firsthand the effects the pandemic had, not only on the supply chain as piping, fixtures and equipment arrived weeks later than anticipated, but also manpower. Flexibility and communication throughout the project were crucial elements in keeping the project’s schedule on track.

The project manager, Mike Schneider, is incredibly proud to be part of this special project. He attended high school in the Southwest Local School District and like so many other TP projects, he is honored to be part of a project positively impacting the community. In addition, he credits his team with showing perseverance and patience as they continued to work through all the potential challenges which arose due to COVID-19.

Other Team Members

Skanska Megen, Construction Manager

TP Field Management Team

Mike Schneider, Project Manager

Jason Welte, Superintendent – Harrison Junior High

Tyler Tremain, Superintendent – Central Elementary School

Bringing Life Back to the Dayton Business District

Since 1902, the Dayton Arcade has been a special and historic staple in the Dayton community. TP is very proud to be a part of the building’s revitalization and its impact on improving the Dayton Business District. The renovated arcade will feature space for retail, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, 20 floors of residential space and more including a section known as The Hub, which is a joint venture between the University of Dayton and The Entrepreneurs Center. The Hub itself will total over 100,000 sf of retail space, featuring classrooms, offices and coworking space. The newly renovated Arcade will begin to open early this year.

Our team is performing a large amount of the plumbing and HVAC work, as well as installing new fire protection systems throughout the seven-building complex.

Due to the historic nature of the Arcade, certain steps have been taken to preserve the history, architecture and art that decorate the structure of this once alluring building. This includes leaving the ornamental sculptures that adorn the walls of the five-story rotunda and saving glass pieces and floors that were untouched during renovations. Our team, along with the other contractors, have worked around these relics (instead of removing and replacing) to preserve the elegance and beauty of the complex.

TP’s project manager, Mike Neri, is proud of everything being done to make the new vision a reality. When the project team entered the building for the first time, it was vacant and run-down. For Mike, it has been fascinating to see the transformation, making any challenges well worth it. “I am really impressed with my team and I’ve seen them step-up to the plate on this project. They have pushed as hard as they can and have done so well,” said Mike.

More About the Original Building

The Arcade was originally built in 1902 as a marketplace that existed into the mid 1900’s. Many people remember it as the place to go. It was beautiful, elegant and had everything you could think of all-in-one place. In the 1980’s, the Arcade began to see a decrease in retail activity which ultimately led to its closure in 1990. For almost 30-years, the space has been sitting vacant. Now renovations and restorations are underway to bring this historical building back to life and we cannot wait to see the finished product!

Other Team Members:

Cross Street Partners, Developer

Model Group, General Contractor

TP Field Management Team:

Mike Neri, Project Manager

Bridget Ellis, HVAC/Plumbing Project Manager

Mitchell Hockenberry, Fire Protection Superintendent

Brian Darding, Fire Protection Superintendent

Michael Hirschbach, HVAC/Plumbing Superintendent

TP Implements New Fabrication Method – Fully Prefabricated Mechanical Rooms

In today’s ever-changing construction environment, TP Mechanical continues to adapt and innovate. We know the challenges of large-scale construction projects, and for over thirty years we’ve answered them with our market-leading, quality-driven fabrication division. As a leader in the fabrication industry, TP continues to push the envelope with new technology and capabilities. We are proud and excited to announce we are now building and pre-assembling entire mechanical rooms in our fabrication facilities.

There are many benefits to pre-assembling a mechanical room offsite. TP’s Distribution Center is an extremely safe and controlled environment where production continues even when there is inclement weather. With a portion of the project’s manpower shifting from the jobsite to our distribution center, onsite assembly requires less time while still achieving a seamless installation process. This strategy also ensures we have eliminated any and all issues before the field installation occurs. This high-level prefabrication allows for us to avoid jobsite delays and meet strict deadlines, which is a continued priority for all our projects.

TP Mechanical was thrilled to utilize this strategy for a new central energy plant at Big Walnut Schools with general contractor, Gilbane Building Company. This energy plant is equipped to provide a total of 1500 tons cooling capacity, twenty-four million BTU’s of heating, which supports the over 350,000 square feet for the new Big Walnut High School and Prairie Run Elementary.

To ensure the installation of piping and equipment went as effortlessly and fast as possible, TP built the entire mechanical room in our 100,000 square foot distribution center. This energy plant consists of (4) six million BTU boilers, (3) 500-ton chillers, hydronic pumps, (2) air separators, (2) expansion tanks, a chemical feeder, (3) 1500-gallon cooling towers, a makeup water system and more.

The mechanical room was completely pre-assembled while the energy plant structure was simultaneously being built.  Once the building was dried-in, the pre-assembled portion of the mechanical room was broken down into segments, then shipped to the jobsite to allow for an efficient and expedited installation. From disassembly to reassembly on-site, the process was performed in a period of four days.

To learn more about TP’s fabrication division, visit https://www.tpmechanical.com/fabrication/. Discover how our team offers unparalleled skill with sophisticated software to generate innovative, customized solutions for your primary challenges.

Cincinnati Service Team Completes Entire Turnkey VRF Installation

TP’s Cincinnati Service Team just completed a unique turnkey project for a school in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Installation of the brand-new Daikin VRF system took only months for the entire process from bid to completion. This quick pace was crucial to ensure the school’s opening date remained on schedule. TP Mechanical also partnered with Denier Electric to change the service in the building to accommodate the added equipment. This scope of work was conducted and managed under TP Mechanical’s contract with the client.

VRF or Variable Refrigerant Flow systems are a completely state-of-the-art, modern, and efficient option perfect for commercial spaces or school classroom settings. The main benefit to utilizing a VRF system is that it allows each room to run heating or cooling – at any time – depending on the load in each part of the building. This system consists of multiple groups of indoor units where each group runs off a pair of condensing units. There was also a section of the facility where an Energy Recovery System was installed to meet outside air requirements and guidelines. Though these systems are complex, our service team is equipped with two fully certified technicians capable of installing, commissioning, and repairing the equipment.

Following proper procedures for startup was crucial to ensure the validity of the manufacturer’s warranty. Each part of the system had to go through a series of tests, as well as requiring a recorded run time of 72-hours total to complete the start-up. Our certified technicians were able to successfully finish the start-up process virtually with a Daikin representative.

A big thanks to our team, including Project Manager Scott McEvilly, Sales Representative James Hatfield, and Project Lead Dennis Meredith for all their hard work to make certain everything was up and running in time for the first day of school.

Other Team Members:

Denier Electric

TP Team:

Scott McEvilly, Project Manager

James Hatfield, Sales Representative

Dennis Meredith, Project Lead

James Johnson, Startup and Commissioning

Tony Schroeder, Piping

Mike McGaha, Piping & Controls

Zach Meister, Sheet Metal

Greg Deardorff, Helper

Carson Cagle, Helper

Building a Customer Service Culture

Last year, teams at TP Mechanical embraced a new goal: developing a stronger customer service culture. TP recently created a client-focused training program to help our team members who interact with customers the most, including sales reps, dispatchers, service techs, and project managers.

Spearheaded by TP President/CEO Bill Riddle and implemented by TP’s Business Development Leader, Matt Anderson, and Learning and Development Manager, Vanessa King, the training helps TP staff approach their jobs from the customer’s point of view. TP’s goal has always been providing first-rate, quality-driven work exceeding our clients’ expectations. This new initiative builds on our already strong foundation, ensuring our commitment to customer service is industry leading.

Half-day trainings incorporating exercises with real-world scenarios began in 2019 and will continue with teams throughout our markets in 2020. Additionally, TP’s construction and service teams will continue with our existing CARE (Customer Appreciation Retention Escalation) and Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs – which help teams evaluate how we are performing on projects and how we can improve customer experience.

“We always want to do what’s right for the customer,” said Anderson. “By training to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes, we’ll strengthen our reputation as a very customer-service focused culture.”

TP Mechanical Employee Spotlight: Ben Handley

Now in his fourth and final year with TP Mechanical’s Apprenticeship Program, Ben Handley is a rising star both in the classroom and in the field. Currently the lead operator of the Trimble® Control Unit (TCU) on our Big Walnut High School project in Sunbury, Ohio, Ben also holds down a 98.9% GPA in his coursework and serves as an ambassador for TP’s Apprenticeship Program. In this role, he travels to local high schools and career centers to speak about the advantages of working with our company.

At the Big Walnut project, Ben’s work on the TCU provides essential GIS (geographic information system) mapping details, which enables TP teams to properly design and position the project’s plumbing and HVAC systems. Ben is so skilled at using the TCU technology, he now trains other team members on its operation. Last year, Ben worked in the mechanical rooms at TP’s Covelli Arena project on the campus of The Ohio State University, learning to weld in the process.

We feel fortunate to have Ben serving as an ambassador for TP’s Apprenticeship Program – an industry-leading training program including 8,000 hours of on-the-job training plus 576 hours of classroom learning across four years. Ben truly has a passion for working with our company and serves as a shining example of the talented, new generation of skilled team members we have in our ranks.

Employee Spotlight: Kelly Wilson, Director of Human Resources

Since joining TP’s leadership team in 2015, Kelly Wilson, Director of Human Resources, has worked to oversee new talent acquisition – as well as employee relations, leadership development, and performance management for TP Mechanical’s roughly 500 employees. Prior to her move to TP, Kelly worked in HR in both healthcare and distribution logistics.

At TP, she makes it a priority to integrate on-the-job training opportunities like the Rising Leader program, which develops current employees into future leaders, and a highly sought-after Apprenticeship Program.  The Apprenticeship Program is accredited through Columbus State and consists of a minimum of 8,000 on-the-job training hours and 576 hours of classroom learning over the course of four years. “We try to promote from within as much as we can at TP,” Kelly says. “It’s a place where employees can find not just a job, but a real career path.”

One of Kelly’s challenges is finding enough skilled workers to fill the demand of available positions. In addition to her involvement with the Apprenticeship Program, Kelly works hard to establish relationships with area schools and speak about the numerous opportunities for plumbers, HVAC technicians, pipefitters, and more. “These jobs are in high demand,” she says. “Every company needs them. The biggest challenge is shifting the perception many people have regarding a four-year college as the only path to success.”

Kelly feels a sense of pride driving by buildings TP employees constructed, knowing her fellow team members helped bring those assets to the community. “I’m proud to work at TP Mechanical,” Kelly says. “Every day I try to pass my excitement and pride onto my colleagues and potential employees.”

Employee Spotlight: Brittany Knue, Safety Specialist, Kentucky Region

Brittany Knue began at TP four years ago as an administrative assistant and was quickly promoted to assistant project manager.  Last year, she was again promoted to her current position as TP Mechanical’s Kentucky Region Safety Specialist. For Brittany, safety is more than just a job – it’s a calling. “It takes everyone at TP Mechanical working together as a team to reach the safety goals and to achieve our level of safety culture,” said Knue.

As Safety Specialist, Knue plays a central role in continuing TP’s longstanding mission to make safety the top priority on every project. As proof of TP’s commitment to injury-free projects, Knue lauds the company’s longstanding safety protocols, which go well beyond minimum OSHA standards and are some of the most stringent in the industry. She also points to the company’s EMR rating* of 0.65 – 35 percent lower than the industry average of 1.0. As a company, TP Mechanical has worked more than 5 million hours without a lost-time accident.

In her current position, Knue is following in the footsteps of her father, who was also a corporate safety director in general industries. As Safety Specialist for the Kentucky Region, Knue oversees safety on all of TP’s Kentucky projects as well as some in Cincinnati. Her main priority: ensuring all TP employees go to work in a safe environment every day. “It’s a challenging job, but there is a large amount of satisfaction making sure the guys go home safe to their families each day,” she said. “There’s no greater feeling than to know you are a part of a safe return home!”

*Modification Rate, or EMR, is used by insurance agencies to measure a company’s past cost of injuries and risk of future on-the-job injuries.

Employee Spotlight: Mark Hunter, General Manager, Indiana Service Division

General Manager Mark Hunter has brought an energetic leadership style to TP Mechanical’s Indiana Service Division, and his vision has helped take the Indiana office to new heights in a short time.  Ken Wood, TP’s Director of Service, attributes “Mark’s leadership as general manager is one of the big reasons for the Indy office’s vision and growth.”

Since becoming General Manager of TP Mechanical’s Indiana Service Division based in Indianapolis, Hunter has taken the office from a team of two to 15. “We’ve tripled our staff in four years and built a good team,” said Hunter, whose previous professional background includes all aspects of the mechanical contracting industry, from HVAC to refrigeration and field technician to sales manager.

Hunter said his favorite part of working at TP Mechanical is the family atmosphere the company maintains – even though the staff now includes nearly 500 total employees across all locations. “You can open anyone’s door and walk in and talk to them anytime,” he said.

TP’s Indiana Service Division has developed a key niche in refrigeration, and unlike other companies, TP’s crew includes an in-house electrical team, ensuring work is done reliably and cost-effectively. “In some ways, we stick to an ‘old way’ of doing business, where customer service is our top priority,” Hunter explained. “I like the fact that we are helping people. When emergencies strike, we’re driven by an urgency to get things handled for our customers as quickly as we can.”

Employee Spotlight: Tim Hoover, Executive Vice President of Columbus and Dayton Operations

Tim Hoover has worked his way up to an executive leadership role at TP Mechanical through dedication, skill, meticulous attention to detail and a service-oriented focus. “It’s about getting things taken care of and serving others every day,” he says. Having this mindset has made him a respected, integral team member of TP Mechanical – where teamwork, servant leadership, and a winning attitude are part of our daily approach.

Tim began at TP Mechanical as a journeyman technician, before working his way up in the field and at the corporate level to hold positions of project manager, Apprenticeship Program instructor, regional manager, chief operating officer, and, most recently, executive vice president for Columbus and Dayton Operations. As Executive Vice President, Tim oversees business development and operations in TP Mechanical’s growing Columbus and Dayton markets. Tim says he’s “constantly evolving” his leadership skills to better communicate with his team members and to stay abreast of advances in the ever-evolving industry.

Before launching his career at TP Mechanical, Tim served our country in the Ohio Army National Guard. Tim first met friend and fellow TP Mechanical colleague Mike Kelley – now a Field Quality Control Specialist – during his military service. It was Mike who reached out to Tim about an open position at TP Mechanical, helping launch his long career with the company. More than two decades later, the two friends are still working together.

While his titles over the years may have changed, Tim feels his mission has stayed the same: setting the bar high and exceeding customer expectations for every project. “We always work to provide our customers with the results we have promised,” he says. “It is how we build loyalty and credibility with our clients.”

We are honored to call Tim one of our own and thank him for his years of client-focused service to our company and industry.