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

Boiler Replacement at a Large Manufacturing Facility in Southern Ohio

A 900,000 square foot manufacturing facility in southern Ohio recently hired TP Mechanical to replace two, 70-year-old boilers. TP not only completed this project in six weeks, but during the demolition and installation, there was no disruption to the manufacturing facility’s production.

TP replaced dated, inefficient boilers with a new hydronic boiler and steam boiler. The two boilers deliver energy efficient coverage for the entire facility, including a manufacturing area and several offices.

One benefit of the new steam boiler is during the winter months, the equipment can be easily be converted from burning natural gas to propane. This was a unique project requirement as during heating season, the owner will switch to propane for significant energy and cost savings due to the size of the facility. 

The Cincinnati service team did a phenomenal job keeping the project on track, while combatting shipping delays caused by the pandemic. Under the leadership of project manager, Scott McEvilly and lead pipefitter, Tony Schroder, the team overcame any obstacle they had little control over to complete the project in six weeks.

TP Team:

Scott McEvilly, Project Manager

Russ Shively & Adam Luensman, Sales Representatives

Tony Schroeder, Lead Pipefitter

Dennis Meredith, Equipment Tuner

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

TP’s Quality Workmanship, Refrigeration Experience and Excellent Safety Record Leads to a New Project

TP Mechanical is part of the design-build team constructing a distribution facility addition featuring refrigerated storage for Team Modern in Somerset, Kentucky. Jordan Lewis, project manager for Denham Blythe – the design firm in charge of the project – engaged TP Mechanical in part to our team’s proven experience with Denham Blythe on a 2016 project for Senko. Pride, quality workmanship, refrigeration experience and an excellent safety record were all phrases used to describe TP’s successful involvement on the Senko project.

Team Modern is a supplier of snacks, cold drinks, ice cream, and other inventory to a wide network of convenience store clients throughout southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee. In addition to installing air rotation and exhaust fans for the entire 110,000 square foot facility, our crews will install 12 walk-in cooler condensers and 23 cooler evaporators in order to chill the facility’s 13,000-square foot freezer, 8,000-square foot cooler, and 4,000-square foot refrigerated dock.

The same, agency-wide defining characteristics that describe TP’s involvement on Senko will shape and define our work on the new Team Modern project, of which we’re proud to be a part.

Unique Needs Call for Custom Solutions through Retro-Commissioning

Shortly following a remodel of Indiana Farmers Insurance office, located in Carmel, Indiana, the need arose to upgrade the building’s dated HVAC equipment. Due to the enormous size of the existing air handling units and the expense associated with removing the units, TP Indiana’s General Manager, Mark Hunter, and the TP Mechanical Indiana team, worked to propose a creative solution through Retro-Commissioning.

“Taking something old and making it new is an excellent option to avoid unnecessary time and expense,” says Hunter. “Re-purposing older air handling units and re-engineering major components provides an efficient system that operates like new.  Additionally, this retro-commissioned equipment is covered under a new equipment warranty and helps with lowering maintenance costs for the coming years.”

For Indiana Farmers Insurance, TP completely replaced the system components on (4) air handling units to include a new blower motor, blower wheel, bearings, blower shaft and pulleys. Additionally, the old R-22 evaporator coils were replaced with custom built R-410A coils and the (4) old roof mounted condensing units were replaced with new energy efficient condensers as well.

TP Mechanical’s team was able to save Indiana Farmers Insurance time, frustration, and a large sum of money by eliminating office demolition which would have been required to entirely remove the old units.

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.

TP Mechanical Completes HVAC Rooftop Unit Installation at Pivotek

Pivotek – a prefabricated, modular bathroom manufacturer – recently turned to TP Mechanical to replace 30 rooftop HVAC units at its Milford, Ohio location. Pivotek has partnered with TP’s commercial construction division for several years; however, this installation marked Pivotek’s first project using our service division.

Having just moved into the facility six months prior, Pivotek leadership hoped to replace all of the aging rooftop heating and cooling units – which were original to the plant – at the same time. To provide a seamless installation, TP account manager Russ Shively, project manager Scott McEvilly and Clay Smith, operations leader for TP’s Cincinnati group, worked to ensure correct measurements for the new units were taken and curb extensions – required for some units due to new roofing which had been installed – were utilized when necessary.

All 30 units were strategically placed on the rooftop in a single day using a crane and then systematically installed. Because the units varied widely in size, TP team members were careful to tag and match new equipment with existing equipment, to ensure proper placement in the appropriate rooftop locations. “Every unit had some customization to it, so every unit had to go into a specific location,” explained McEvilly. “We worked to make sure every item was carefully labeled and identified.”

TP Mechanical team members completed the placement and installation of all 30 units within one month, operating only on Sundays to avoid disrupting the six-day-a-week manufacturing schedule at the plant.

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.”